Author Topic: NASA and International Partners Discuss New Uses for Space Station  (Read 4685 times)

Offline Space Pete

RELEASE : 11-249
 
NASA and International Partners Discuss New Uses for Space Station

 
WASHINGTON -- The Multilateral Coordination Board (MCB) for the International Space Station partner agencies met Tuesday, July 26, to discuss how to use the space station as a test bed for technologies that will enable missions beyond low Earth orbit.

The board will begin identifying several specific technology collaboration initiatives based on possible future missions suggested by the International Space Exploration Coordination Group. These technology developments and demonstrations on the station could support voyages to an asteroid or Mars or the development of lunar habitats.

The MCB also discussed efforts to increase station use and reported on the status of standardization efforts for rendezvous and proximity operations, interfaces for replaceable items and payloads and command protocols for spacecraft. The recently released revision of the International Docking Systems Standard can be downloaded at:

http://www.internationaldockingstandard.com

Ongoing space station research includes:
- The uses of the International Space Station as a national laboratory are growing. Memorandums of understanding are in place between NASA and other U.S. government agencies such as the National Institutes of Health, which is now in its second year of selecting experiments related to human health research.

Space Act Agreements also are active with private firms and universities in the areas of vaccine development for bacterial pathogens, gene differentiation for production of new plant cultivars, nanocube scale experiment systems, hyper-spectral imaging for agricultural applications and advanced propulsion technologies. Earlier this month, NASA formally selected the Center for the Advancement of Science in Space for negotiation of a cooperative agreement to stimulate, develop and manage uses of the station by organizations other than NASA.

- The Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer has collected more than 2 billion observations of galactic cosmic rays since its launch and installation on the space station in May. The astrophysics instrument is a partnership of hundreds of scientists and sixteen countries led by Nobel laureate Samuel Ting.

- Robotic technologies developed by the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) for the station have been used to improve the dexterity of surgeons in fine scale surgery. NASA will be testing a humanoid robot, Robonaut, developed in partnership with General Motors in the coming months. The first test of robotically controlled refueling in orbit, developed jointly by NASA and CSA, launched earlier this month aboard Atlantis' STS-135 flight.

- The space station partnership is working to share data from remote sensing instruments mounted on the orbiting outpost and to increase the application of such data to disaster response. The Hyperspectral Imager for the Coastal Ocean has collected more than 3,510 images, providing unprecedented spectral resolution of difficult-to-map coastal waters. The International Space Station Agricultural Camera collected its first images on June 10. Its data is used to assess crop health and rapid changes during the growing season.

- NASA's studies of crew health have identified relationships between diet and bone loss that offer important insights for future studies. Recently published data on chemical changes in pharmaceuticals identified that low-dose ionizing radiation in orbit degrades many medications, and that additional development of space-hardy medications will be needed for human spaceflight beyond Earth orbit.

- The Russian Federal Space Agency, Roscosmos, continues experiments aimed at human adaptation to future long-term expeditions. Effects of the flight conditions on the cardiovascular system, the respiratory system and bones are being investigated in dedicated medical experiments. Wheat and vegetables are being planted, followed by genetic, microbiological and biochemical tests of the plants. Four different long-duration Russian astrobiology experiments from Expose-R returned after two years of open space exposure.

- In addition to astronomical and Earth observations, Japan promotes biotechnological research by analyzing structures of high-quality protein crystals created on the station leading to treatments for muscular dystrophy. Japan also continues experiments related to future long-term human spaceflight missions such as investigating bone loss mechanism, the effects of radiation and countermeasures of those. Scientists have gained insight to the fields of fundamental life and materials science from research conducted in the Kibo laboratory.

- With the return of European Space Agency (ESA) astronaut Paolo Nespoli in May, ESA successfully concluded a focal set of research known as the "MagISStra" mission. Recently returned long-duration experiments include: a year-long radiation exposure experiment conducted with Roscosmos, nine different European astrobiology experiments after two years of open space exposure and the CFS-A study of fungi after five months in space. The completion of the ZAG and Otolith experiments by shuttle crew members gives new, unexpected insight into human balance. The Materials Science Laboratory now has the ability to cool rapidly metal alloy samples, with new cartridges expanding its use by the research community. These experiments are being performed in collaboration with the station's international partners.

- Educational activities on the station reach thousands of students around the world. In May and June, hundreds of thousands of students watched the adaptation of spiders to a space environment and compared their behavior to spiders in classrooms on Earth through the website BioEdOnline.org. The spiders returned to Earth on Thursday, July 21. Students in the U.S., Europe and Japan had the opportunity to propose investigations for the space station and astronauts conducted the winning activities.

The MCB includes senior representatives from NASA, CSA, ESA, Roscosmos and the Japanese Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology. The MCB meets periodically to ensure coordination of station operations and activities among the partners. The board is working to tabulate station utilization metrics and document accomplishments for a publication to be released by September.

For more information about the International Space Station, visit:
http://www.nasa.gov/station

For more information about NASA and agency programs, visit:
http://www.nasa.gov

For more information about the Canadian Space Agency, visit:
http://www.asc-csa.gc.ca/eng

For more information about the European Space Agency, visit:
http://www.esa.int/spaceflight

For more information about the Russian Federal Space Agency, visit:
http://www.federalspace.ru

For more information about Japanese Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, visit:
http://www.mext.go.jp/English


http://www.nasa.gov/home/hqnews/2011/jul/HQ_11-249_ISS_MCB.html
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Offline robertross

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Awesome stuff.

This one got me: "Recently published data on chemical changes in pharmaceuticals identified that low-dose ionizing radiation in orbit degrades many medications, and that additional development of space-hardy medications will be needed for human spaceflight beyond Earth orbit."

It also points to the need of super rad-hardened enclosure for critical items, such as vitamins & these pharmaceuticals

SO much more needs to be done.

Of course so much should have been done years ago to be ready at this point, but such is life.

Remembering those who made the ultimate sacrifice for our rights & freedoms, and for those injured, visible or otherwise, in that fight.

Offline Bubbinski

Thanks Space Pete, that is pretty neat to see that status report on the stuff they've been doing on ISS.  If I'm NASA I would publicize ISS pretty heavily right now and in the future. 

As far as new uses for ISS go, is there any plan to experiment with building (small, of course) satellites using solar arrays, computer chips, and optics fabricated in microgravity? 

And on that item about medications, is there going to be a set of hardened storage boxes allocated for them to experiment to see if they make a difference?  And would it make a difference on earth as well?
I'll even excitedly look forward to "flags and footprints" and suborbital missions. Just fly...somewhere.

Offline bolun

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New uses for Space Station
 
27 July 2011

For more than a decade, the International Space Station has been a busy orbiting research lab. But it could soon take on a new role as a testbed for ambitious missions deeper into space.
 
Future ventures could include Mars missions, lunar habitats or travelling to an asteroid all needing new technologies and techniques that could be tested on the Station.

Following today's meeting of the orbital outpost's Multilateral Coordination Board, member agencies expect to begin identifying specific technology initiatives based on sample exploration missions. 
 
The Board meets periodically to coordinate Station activities, with senior representatives from ESA, NASA, the Canadian Space Agency, Russia's Roscosmos and Japan's Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology.

The meeting also discussed standardising space systems, including the revised International Docking Systems Standard, as well as the Board's effort to gather information on how successfully the Station has been used, the results of which will be published in September.

http://www.esa.int/esaCP/SEMMXJFTFQG_index_0.html

Offline Robotbeat

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New uses for Space Station
 
27 July 2011

For more than a decade, the International Space Station has been a busy orbiting research lab. But it could soon take on a new role as a testbed for ambitious missions deeper into space.
 
Future ventures could include Mars missions, lunar habitats or travelling to an asteroid all needing new technologies and techniques that could be tested on the Station.

Following today's meeting of the orbital outpost's Multilateral Coordination Board, member agencies expect to begin identifying specific technology initiatives based on sample exploration missions. 
 
The Board meets periodically to coordinate Station activities, with senior representatives from ESA, NASA, the Canadian Space Agency, Russia's Roscosmos and Japan's Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology.

The meeting also discussed standardising space systems, including the revised International Docking Systems Standard, as well as the Board's effort to gather information on how successfully the Station has been used, the results of which will be published in September.

http://www.esa.int/esaCP/SEMMXJFTFQG_index_0.html
Cool.

I'm excited about stuff like this... It's our Gemini (but a lot more awesomer... we have a huge space station to test these things on, now.).
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Offline Prober

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saw this headline in this mornings news:  International Space Station to be 'sunk' after 2020

http://news.yahoo.com/international-space-station-sunk-2020-002250127.html

2017 - Everything Old is New Again.
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Offline Space Pete

saw this headline in this mornings news:  International Space Station to be 'sunk' after 2020

http://news.yahoo.com/international-space-station-sunk-2020-002250127.html

I've seen that AFP wire story being circulated too. Not sure why it's "news" exactly - we've know this for over a year.
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Offline asmolenski

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I think the issue being taken with that article circulating in much higher exposure now is because of where the comments come from.

Given the huge 'budget' debate an political fiasco with our budget here, the fact that the Roscosmos is making that statement is the reporter's sticking point. They're trying to make it sound like the Russian's made the decision about what we spent billions on helping to create.

I think it's just reporters focusing on that, trying to sensationalize it.

Offline erioladastra

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saw this headline in this mornings news:  International Space Station to be 'sunk' after 2020

http://news.yahoo.com/international-space-station-sunk-2020-002250127.html



The Russians released the same news years ago before ISS was extended from 2015 to 2020.  The partners are required to have a plan for disposal and will continue to work it.  Sure, ISS will likely be extended and this again will be kicked down the road.  But it still has to be considered.  No news here really.

Offline Danderman

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saw this headline in this mornings news:  International Space Station to be 'sunk' after 2020

http://news.yahoo.com/international-space-station-sunk-2020-002250127.html



Only because 2020 is the last date for ISS to be operating under the current plan, much as 2015 used to be the last date. As we get closer to 2020, that date will change.

Offline EdwardHowell

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As the Station ages, would it be possible to replace the oldest sections? Does its modular nature mean that it could be substantially reconfigured at some point to extend its life?

Offline rdale

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As the Station ages, would it be possible to replace the oldest sections?

No, the core pieces can't just be pulled out and swapped.

Offline PeterAlt

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As the Station ages, would it be possible to replace the oldest sections?

No, the core pieces can't just be pulled out and swapped.

A better question is could newer modules be transferred to a new space station?

Offline rdale

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Possibly - but not a good question. The expense involved in modifying your "new" station to accept outdated hardware would be bad by itself. But then you have to disassemble the current station, button things up, somehow transport it to the new orbit and reassemble. That's a non starter...
« Last Edit: 11/02/2011 02:37 AM by rdale »

Offline Ronsmytheiii

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As the Station ages, would it be possible to replace the oldest sections?

No, the core pieces can't just be pulled out and swapped.

however, utilizing the ISS as a research platform, it would be pretty conceivable that mitigation techniques or even repair techniques could be developed to extend the life of ISS components, such as rubber seal repair/reinforcement or mold removal ect.
And this is a good reminder that just because one of your fellow space enthusiasts occasionally voices doubts about the SpaceX schedule announcements or is cautious about believing SpaceX has licked a problem before actually seeing proof that's true, it doesn't mean they hate SpaceX.

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