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NASA Space

Astronauts Open ISS Station Room 90

Posted by kdawson
from the now-to-hang-curtains dept.
mikesd81 notes an ABC News report that astronauts aboard the ISS have opened the new station room. Commander Peggy Whitson and astronaut Paolo Nespoli delayed their lunch so the event could happen before the station's orbit temporarily blocked the ability to send a video downlink to Mission Control. From the article: "Nespoli... joined Discovery's crew to personally deliver the Italian-made pressurized chamber... Astronauts added the school bus-sized room called Harmony during a 6.5-hour spacewalk Friday, using a robotic arm to lift it from the shuttle's cargo bay and install it on the station. The compartment will serve as the docking port and nerve center for European and Japanese laboratories that will be delivered on the next three shuttle flights. It also will be a power and thermal distribution center, providing air, electricity, water and other systems for the space station. Racks of computer and electronic equipment are already inside the cylinder, which will double as a living space for the crew... The astronauts will have to undo more than 700 bolts [which held down the equipment during flight] to free up the equipment."
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Astronauts Open ISS Station Room

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  • by creimer (824291) on Saturday October 27, 2007 @08:36PM (#21144189) Homepage
    With 700 extra bolts, I'm sure someone will find them useful [penny-arcade.com] in space.
    • Re: (Score:1, Funny)

      by Reaperducer (871695)

      Nespoli... joined Discovery's crew to personally deliver the Italian-made pressurized chamber.
      Italian-made technology? Better hope it doesn't have internet access [slashdot.org].
    • by dbolger (161340)
      Well at least they have relevant experience for the task. I wonder if any of the crew served on that mission a few years back, studying the effects of weightlessness on tiny screws [snpp.com].
  • Lift? (Score:1, Interesting)

    by MOBE2001 (263700)
    Astronauts added the school bus-sized room called Harmony during a 6.5-hour spacewalk Friday, using a robotic arm to lift it from the shuttle's cargo bay and install it on the station.

    Uh... I don't think anything was "lifted". In zero G, there is no up and down, AFAIK.
    • Re:Lift? (Score:5, Informative)

      by falcon5768 (629591) <Falcon5768.comcast@net> on Saturday October 27, 2007 @08:58PM (#21144301) Journal
      except they are not at zero G they are in microgravity.
      • by MOBE2001 (263700)
        except they are not at zero G they are in microgravity.

        Very little difference, IMO.
        • Re:Lift? (Score:4, Informative)

          by RedWizzard (192002) on Saturday October 27, 2007 @09:16PM (#21144383)

          except they are not at zero G they are in microgravity.

          Very little difference, IMO.

          I guess you'd describe a plane in freefall as having no up and no down either then. The Earth's gravity is only about 10% weaker on the ISS than it is on the surface.
          • by MOBE2001 (263700)
            I guess you'd describe a plane in freefall as having no up and no down either then. The Earth's gravity is only about 10% weaker on the ISS than it is on the surface.

            I am not sure what your point is but that is not what microgravity means, IMO. Microgravity in orbit is the gravitational attractions between the orbiting masses. It's very minute, to the point of being imperceptible to the astronauts. You need highly sensitive instruments to measure it.
            • "# Objects left alone will "fall" toward the densest part of the spacecraft. When they eventually touch the spacecraft, they will stop moving and feel weight." - Wikipedia
              Microgravity means, apparently, perceived weightlessness- ie, no contact force pushing against you. You can jump and feel 'microgravity'.
            • I guess you'd describe a plane in freefall as having no up and no down either then. The Earth's gravity is only about 10% weaker on the ISS than it is on the surface. I am not sure what your point is but that is not what microgravity means, IMO.

              You claimed there is no up or down on the ISS because it is in "zero gravity". My point is that the weightlessness felt by people on the ISS is because it is in constant freefall, not because it doesn't feel the Earth's gravity. If you concede that a plane in freefall still has an up and a down then you must concede that the ISS does too.

              • by khallow (566160)

                A few things here. First, when a plane is in free fall, it doesn't have a natural up as determined by acceleration at that point. If you spun someone around, blindfolded, they probably wouldn't be able to recall which way "ground" used to be (unless they have a good sense of direction). There's no acceleration cues (well aside from jostling and imperceptible gravity gradients). Second, immediately before and after this period of freefall is a period of high G acceleration where down is clear. finally, they

                • In summary, anything in freefall whether it be a plane or a satellite, does not have a natural "up" as determined by acceleration.

                  Who said anything about "up" being determined by acceleration? Spin a blindfolded person around and they probably wouldn't be able to recall which way north is either, but that doesn't mean that north doesn't exist when you're not holding a compass. Astronauts on the ISS probably define "up" in terms of the orientation of the ISS. That is a perfectly valid definition for "up" - it doesn't matter at all that they can't instinctively feel which way "up" is.

          • REALLY? Only 10% less?
            Hmmnn.. then howcum they always seem to be "floating"?


        • by pecosdave (536896)
          That's in your opinion, as you said. Up and down is in the opinion of those "lifting", and in this article their opinion counts, not yours.
        • Up, in the normal human reference frame, is away from the most powerful source of gravity detectable. Seeing as how the ISS isn't far enough away to be in true microgravity (less than 50% difference) there's very little ground to stand upon if you're claiming there's no detectable source of gravity nearby, about as much as claiming that there's no Up in an elevator. Just thought I'd point that out, physics does allow you to have an opinion about up and down, but common sense doesn't and in this case common
      • Re:Lift? (Score:4, Informative)

        by rubycodez (864176) on Saturday October 27, 2007 @09:15PM (#21144371)
        and they're at almost 1 g, force of gravity is just about as strong where the ISS is as it is on the surface of the earth. they're just falling around the earth is all.
        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          While the fact that they still in Earth's gravity well is pertinent to the "up and down in space" discussion, is it correct to say that they are in almost 1G? This is an honest question as my understanding of Physics is all self taught. As I understand things, there is no observable difference between being in Zero G and perpetually falling, at least from the perspective of the astronauts.
          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            by rubycodez (864176)
            that would be true in a uniform gravitational field, but around a planet there's a gradient to the acceleration due to gravity and thus a net small acceleration on object (we're back to microgravity)
            • by starman97 (29863)
              How much as a percentage of the normal force of gravity as felt by those of us on the surface of the earth.

              0.0001% or less?
        • Re: (Score:1, Troll)

          by khallow (566160)
          That's not an interesting observation since the astronauts don't perceive the gravitational field. And sure, there is a barely measurable tidal force (the gradient of the gravitational field), but again astronauts do not perceive it directly. Finally, the killer argument to all this is the observation that the space station doesn't orient itself with respect to the Earth. The effect of the Earth's gravitational field on the orientation of the ISS is negligiable. The only thing that is deliberately moved as
          • by rubycodez (864176)
            sorry but the ISS is gyrodine stabilized to keep desired rather than natural orientation
            • by khallow (566160)
              There's nothing to be sorry about here. Gyroscope stabilized orientation is the natural orientation. I didn't make it clear in my original post.
      • by khallow (566160)

        Two things. First, zero G just means that the local acceleration is negligiable. A microgravity environment is a special case of a zero G environment where the allowed accelerations can be measured in micro G's. Zero G doesn't mean precisely zero acceleration. Second, zero G does not mean zero gravitational field. Even if we ignore the Earth's gravitational field, anything in orbit would experience gravitation fields from the Sun, Moon, and any other object visible in the universe. If my calculations are co

        • by Teancum (67324)
          You could also count the local acceleration due to the mass of the ISS itself. That is not completely zero either, especially when NASA and its "partners" keep adding additional mass in the form of new modules.

          Certainly it is something that would be important to take into consideration if you are trying to do some calculations for very low gravity research, such as metallurgy and other similar activities. Of course, this is but another reason why some consider the ISS platform to be a horrible way to do m
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      "Uh... I don't think anything was "lifted". In zero G, there is no up and down, AFAIK."

      Up and down are relative terms. On Earth, for example, down to us is a straight line from the point of the sphere we're standing on to the Earth's core. If you're on a space shuttle in 'zero G', you still think of the floor of the shuttle as 'down'. When the doors on top open and the cargo is removed, it goes 'up' to exit.

      The reason the phrase "there's no down in space" came about is that there isn't the pull of gravit
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by SuperBanana (662181)

      Uh... I don't think anything was "lifted". In zero G, there is no up and down, AFAIK.

      Since you're being a nitpick: they're not in "zero g", they're in orbit. There is a difference. One means there are no (or, in practical terms, very little) gravitational forces acting on you; the other means you're hurtling through space fast enough that you counteract gravitational forces trying to pull you down to the planet.

      • by MOBE2001 (263700)
        Since you're being a nitpick: they're not in "zero g", they're in orbit. There is a difference. One means there are no (or, in practical terms, very little) gravitational forces acting on you; the other means you're hurtling through space fast enough that you counteract gravitational forces trying to pull you down to the planet.

        Zero G and free fall are equivalent from the point of view of the object, according to GR and Newtonian physics. No unbalanced force and all that.
        • Zero G and free fall are equivalent from the point of view of the object,

          It doesn't matter. They're still two different things...zero g means NO gravity.

  • Mama Mia! (Score:5, Funny)

    by dangitman (862676) on Saturday October 27, 2007 @09:36PM (#21144485)

    Nespoli... joined Discovery's crew to personally deliver the Italian-made pressurized chamber... Astronauts added the school bus-sized room

    That's a big pressure cooker! Now they just have to find enough ravioli to fill it.

  • We are all wondering down here, did those astronauts get their lunch?
    • by TyroPyro (974731)
      Seeing as the Harmony module is the first pressurized module (read: living space enlargement) added to the ISS since 2001, I can't blame them for being a little anxious to open the hatch. Everything else has been trusses and arrays.
    • No, but they'll have to fill out a schedule H21-B now to get authorization to be paid 30 minutes overtime :D
  • If I read the headline right:

    Astronauts Open ISS Station Room

    Then they just opened the International Space Stationn Station Room, yes?

    I don't usually play grammar police, but this one was a bit too obvious...
    • by khallow (566160)
      I hear this sort of thing happens all the time, but us mortals don't usually hear about it.
    • by azenpunk (1080949)
      they had to use their pin numbers on the door to open it.
    • Well, if the room itself is called "Station room", yes, it should be the International Space Station Station Room, i.e. the Station Room of the International Space Station (as opposed to an ISS room in general, i.e. a room of the ISS; most ISS rooms are not the ISS Station Room).
    • by aqk (844307)

      Should I hold my breath?


  • 700 bolts...and of course, the ONE tool missing from the toolbox is the wrench they need.
    • That's nothing. When they do manage to jury rig a wrench they'll remove 699 bolts and the 700th one will be stuck!
  • But... but... there aren't any gay astronauts!

    How will they decorate this new room?

    - RG>
  • by SnarfQuest (469614) on Sunday October 28, 2007 @12:37AM (#21145477)
    Astronauts added the school bus-sized room

    Who gets to be the first to moon the Earth?
  • by Anonymous Coward
    I eagerly look forward to the new scientific results we'll get, now that the ISS has a new module. ...
    Fucking low-earth orbit rathole. We could have another hubble or the Next Linear Collider, but instead we get a damn hamster habitat in space.
    • Yes, because learning how to live and work in space has no importance whatsoever.

      (that was sarcasm btw)
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by damburger (981828)
      Like the shuttle, the problem isn't the project itself, its the lack of imagination in using it. The ISS could be a launchpad for manned missions to the planets. If you want to assemble a interplanetary craft in space, a long-term human habitat could house your construction crew whilst the bits are being sent up. This eliminates the need to rush them all up over a week or so.
      • by Teancum (67324)
        I would generally agree with this sentiment, however it would have been nice had the ISS been equipped with something like a "space drydock" facility or something similar.

        For crying out loud, there is a real need to do in orbit repairs on the Space Shuttle, and the ISS would be an ideal way to test out such repair techniques rather than some sort of ad hoc patch job that is the current method.

        Of course Skylab had nearly as much working space and volume as the current ISS configuration has right now... even
    • by Edgyboy (1157885)
      Yeah, screw those stupid ''low orbit'' lovers! In fact, screw space in general. There are so many problems right here. Let's spend all that money on feeding the hungry in the Third world. But, they'll just buy black tar heroin and AK47's, and then star a bunch of religious and tribal wars. Screw them too! I know! We should finance another ''Enterprise'' season - we will surely learn more form that entertaining yet informative show then from some silly ''space stations'' and ''laboratory modules''.
  • With all the chicks flying in space nowadays, some of them pretty [yahoofs.com] decent [nasa.gov] looking [nasa.gov], it's nice to know there is one more semi-private place where the Zero G club can initiate new members. Just gotta watch out for the floating gobs of spooge.

Nothing is rich but the inexhaustible wealth of nature. She shows us only surfaces, but she is a million fathoms deep. -- Ralph Waldo Emerson

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