Author Topic: ISS: Still in assembly, producing science research accomplishments  (Read 21161 times)

Online Chris Bergin

Written an article based on a presentation that we've been given permission to release on site.

ARTICLE:
http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2009/08/iss-assembly-producing-science-research-accomplishments/

Presentation - click/save the attachment at the bottom of this post.
« Last Edit: 08/23/2009 05:50 am by Chris Bergin »
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Offline ChrisGebhardt

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EXCELLENT!  THIS IS THE TYPE OF STUFF EVERYONE NEEDS TO BE AWARE OF. 

GREAT ARTICLE, CHRIS.

Offline Bubbinski

Thanks for the article Chris.  That's an interesting tidbit about the mental health of crewmembers actually *improving* the longer they stayed on orbit.  I would have thought that there would have been some "cabin fever" slipping in as the months went by.

Did the results change for the better as the station expanded in volume and living space?  And will these results hold with 6 person crews?  Also what will happen when the stays get longer (a year or two)?
I'll even excitedly look forward to "flags and footprints" and suborbital missions. Just fly...somewhere.

Offline madscientist197

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There's some interesting research there, but this doesn't mean that it is necessarily applicable to non-space environments or commercially valuable. Too much of the research is circular. At least the AMS will be a bit different when it arrives -- that experiment should provide some fundamental cosmology/particle physics results.

I would like to note, for the sake of NASA PAO -- heavy experimental equipment \neq valuable science return.

This doesn't look like US $100 Billion worth of reseach to me (okay, okay, maybe $50 billion -- but $100 is the figure the media always use). I guess most people on the street will just take NASA PAO's word that there is important research being done on the station. Give them the list of experiments and their eyes probably glaze over. Oh well... Compared to the rest of the station, the AMS will be worth every dollar.

It's just a little bit depressing when you think of what $100 billion could have done in other areas like planetary science.
« Last Edit: 08/23/2009 10:32 am by madscientist197 »
John

Offline Svetoslav

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This doesn't look like US $100 Billion worth of reseach to me (okay, okay, maybe $50 billion -- but $100 is the figure the media always use). I guess most people on the street will just take NASA PAO's word that there is important research being done on the station. Give them the list of experiments and their eyes probably glaze over. Oh well... Compared to the rest of the station, the AMS will be worth every dollar.

It's just a little bit depressing when you think of what $100 billion could have done in other areas like planetary science.

This is what Mr. Robert Park always said - there's nothing wrong with science conducted aboard ISS. It's not voodoo science. It's just unnecessary.

I also hope that AMS will be launched in near future (and after that the life of ISS will be extended).

Offline grdja

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Even if press and criticizers have to use it, can we at least drop the 100 billion figure? Further more, are shuttle assembly flights included in the public ISS price? Those would have flown anyway, flying  so much more important experiments relating to ants and tiny screws.

You cant blame NASA that they accepted reductions and cuts over decades of space station design that removed so much technical and scientific capability from it. Centrifuge was a cut made in this decade.

And I wonder how does the "no worthy science on ISS" relate to what ESA and Japanese are doing with their modules?

Online wjbarnett

Really glad to see this being published, even pushed a little. I hope (but doubt) the mainstream media will pick up on this.
Jack

Offline Svetoslav

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I could write an article on my own site, but this information as I see it is copyright protected and I must ask for permission.

EDIT: Looks like I'm wrong! The presentation is marked as a work of NASA. I'm still not sure - please, confirm if it's really a work of NASA and its copyright status
« Last Edit: 08/23/2009 12:44 pm by Svetoslav »

Offline stockman

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Great article Chris... Its great to see a summary report like this... will take a bit of time to read through.

I have to say, I can't understand this continued hatred toward ISS by some... There are many areas of research that take time and money and may or may not result in direct benefits or applications to the mass populations - but its always worth doing the science!! Oh well there will always be cynics that will never be satisfied or who will always dream of how they could have spent the money better (even though if ISS didn't exist it is highly unlikely that money would have magically been available for their pet projects anyway.. it would have been absorbed in the general revenues and spent elsewhere)... We Have ISS... lets be happy we have SOMETHING to experiment and work with and make the most of it...

ok.. off soap box now..
One Percent for Space!!!

Offline khallow

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Even if press and criticizers have to use it, can we at least drop the 100 billion figure? Further more, are shuttle assembly flights included in the public ISS price? Those would have flown anyway, flying  so much more important experiments relating to ants and tiny screws.

Yes, since another choice was not to fly the Shuttle for the past ten years or so. And another choice was not to rely on the Shuttle at all for station construction.

Quote
You cant blame NASA that they accepted reductions and cuts over decades of space station design that removed so much technical and scientific capability from it. Centrifuge was a cut made in this decade.

Sure you can. NASA was responsible for planning and building it. They could have launched a MIR-sized station by 1995 or so and have had more than a decade of productive science with that station. It might not have tested orbital construction techniques to the extent that the ISS did, but science output would have been greater.

Quote
And I wonder how does the "no worthy science on ISS" relate to what ESA and Japanese are doing with their modules?

Worthwhile question since NASA paid their way onto the station.


I have to say, I can't understand this continued hatred toward ISS by some... There are many areas of research that take time and money and may or may not result in direct benefits or applications to the mass populations - but its always worth doing the science!!

Opportunity cost. Even if you only value space science (or space development or whatever), it still remains that the ISS is a very expensive way to achieve your aims. My view is that NASA could have launched the ISS for a third of the cost, mostly by using expendables in place of the Shuttle (and discontinuing the Shuttle some point in the 90's) and cutting Russia out of the critical path for ISS infrastructure.

In other words, even if you only like space science, more could have been had for cheaper. Otherwise, why not pay me a few tens of billion to launch a probe or something to do "space science"? Sure, maybe I'll squander 90% or more of the funds on my personal interests rather than space science, but I'll be sure to do something sciency in space. That's all that matters, right?
« Last Edit: 08/23/2009 01:31 pm by khallow »
Karl Hallowell

Offline grdja

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But wasn't getting the Russians in the program a measure of desperation from the never ending budget cuts and schedule slips? Remember Fred? Adding in Russians and their modules was imagined as a way to save money. And I think it worked, Zvezda cost NASA nothing, and Russian build Zarya would have been more expensive if build in America. And how would have you even run the station without Soyuz and Progress?

Online Chris Bergin

Appreciate the positive notes on the article :)

I could write an article on my own site, but this information as I see it is copyright protected and I must ask for permission.

The poster was talking about mass/mainstream media, but we are releasing that presentation "openly" and there's no copyright on a NASA presentation......so yes, do what you wish with it. The more exposure the better.
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Offline gospacex

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Quote
Specifically, it has been thanks to the return to regular launch operations for the shuttle that a “steady pace” of increased science has resulted in over 100 major scientific accomplishments being achieved on the Station

Is there somewhere a bullet list of these "major scientific accomplishments"? They should so cool. After all, we pay $1 billion for each, on average.

As is discussed in another thread, Robert Bussard spent his last 10 years researching a way to build a fusion reactor. He had to do this on a shoestring budget of a few millions of dollars. This was slowing his work a lot.

He died while he was in process of securing funding to build the next experimental apparatus. (Thankfully, he has colleagues which are continuing his work).

$1 billion, or even $100 million, would be more than enough to determine once and for all whether Bussard fusion reactor can be made to work.

Are these ISS "major scientific accomplishments" anywhere near this caliber?

Offline Lawntonlookirs

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Thanks to the source for the interesting information.  A lot of reading, but doing a quick scan of the article, a lot has been learned.
Everyman is my superior in that I may learn from him.  Albert Einstein

Offline Longhorn John

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Excellent article and very interesting presentation. I had no idea of some of things going on with science on ISS.

Offline marshallsplace

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As an engineer, following the construction of the largest and most complex structure in space has and is a most exiciting achievement.

The ISS science research capability is second to none and will be for some time. 

The scientific result so far should only be the tip of the iceberg as we have many more years of planned space science to come from the ISS.

We should all embrace the ISS for its experimental capability for the future of HSF and maybe some really useful ideas for earth too.

Offline mr_magoo

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It's easy to bean count any extant program and say we could have spent the money better but these projects are not decided and funded on purely rational grounds.  Never will be.  That money wouldnt flow smoothly to whatever pet projects you prefer if it was killed.

IMO, its best to dance with the one that brung ya, be happy about it, and learn whatever you can while the moment lasts.

Offline Chandonn

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As an engineer, following the construction of the largest and most complex structure in space has and is a most exiciting achievement

I've been saying all along that the greatest thing ISS is accomplishing is teaching us how to build large, complex structures in space.  We're doing it with various standards but making them all work together.  THAT is an accomplishment in itself!

Offline savuporo

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Im curious. I went to check for research results in an experiment that has always interested me ( MISSE and FTSCE in particular ) and it turns out the results are proprietary.

In fact, quite in the beginning of the introductory text it says:

Quote
One of NASA’s top priorities for research aboard the ISS is the development and testing of new technologies and materials that are being considered for future exploration missions. To date, 22 different technology demonstrations have been performed. These experiments include research characterizing the microgravity environment, monitoring the ISS environment both inside and outside the spacecraft, testing spacecraft materials, developing new spacecraft systems, and testing picosatellites and new satellite commanding and controls. We are tracking 34 scientific publications, and recognize that classified and proprietary proceedings include a much greater number of results documenting technology developments.

So how does proprietary research get onto the ISS? Are the companies already paying their own way ?

Orion - the first and only manned not-too-deep-space craft

Offline madscientist197

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That probably means that buying the scholarly papers costs money. There is quite an ongoing debate over whether government funded research grants should force authors to make their papers freely available.

There seems to be a few papers if you search for them:

http://ntrs.nasa.gov/archive/nasa/casi.ntrs.nasa.gov/20050206382_2005207981.pdf
http://ieeexplore.ieee.org/xpl/freeabs_all.jsp?arnumber=4060046
http://gltrs.grc.nasa.gov/reports/2001/TM-2001-211311.pdf
http://www.aztechnology.com/PDFs/spaceflight-MISSE-SummaryReport.pdf
« Last Edit: 08/24/2009 10:36 am by madscientist197 »
John

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