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Additional Lab To Be Added To the ISS 81

Posted by timothy
from the heck-what's-one-more dept.
Matt_dk writes "Apparently the International Space Station is going to get bigger. NASA and the Italian Space Agency (ASI) are preparing to sign an agreement to add another laboratory to the ISS by using a modified multipurpose logistics module (Raffaello) during the final Space Shuttle mission. It will be attached in September 2010 during Endeavour's STS-133 mission. The idea had originally been rejected, but earlier this year ISS program manager Michael Suffredini said using an MPLM for an additional module was being reconsidered."
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Additional Lab To Be Added To the ISS

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  • It's going to be decommissioned in 5 years. Maybe they should be planning the lab for the next generation space station.
    • It's a masturbation lab, so it won't be needed for a lengthy period of time...

      • by vasp (978274) on Sunday September 06, 2009 @05:49PM (#29334587)
        Excuse me gentlemen, while I retreat to the masturbatorium!
        • Re: (Score:1, Interesting)

          by Anonymous Coward

          I'm not a queer or nothin, but even I wonder what a shpritzen of jizm would look like in zero G!

    • by negRo_slim (636783) <mils_oRgen@hotmail.com> on Sunday September 06, 2009 @05:21PM (#29334401)
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/International_Space_Station#End_of_mission.2Fdeorbit_plans [wikipedia.org]

      As the Russian modules have the motors that would be used for controlled de-orbit, this poses a potential issue if Russia takes that capability to a new, on-going station. Other options include using a European Automated Transfer Vehicle. One option stated for an ongoing station is for Russia to build a ball-shaped, six-port module to which existing modules could be attached.

      Decommissioned doesn't necessarily mean EOL.

      • by rubi (910818)

        Decommissioned doesn't necessarily mean EOL.

        For what I have seen previously (Mir), decommissioned means "go down and burn!".

    • by Shag (3737)

      There's talk of possibly reallocating some of the money from the next thread down [slashdot.org] (since it's already been determined that there's no way to do what Bush wanted on the money they have) to actually keep the ISS operational long enough to do some of the meaningful science that was promised. :)

    • The point is to get other countries to pointless.

         

      • fucking slashdot (Score:3, Insightful)

        by QuantumG (50515) *

        The point is to get other countries to <3 the USA by showing "global leadership" in space. It's all about "soft power" and, like most political things, it really doesn't matter if it is actually pointless.

           

        • by Entropius (188861) on Sunday September 06, 2009 @07:18PM (#29335143)

          Sounds like a joke, but it's not -- the world is more likely to look favorably on a country that uses its wealth for cultural progress like significant science. (

          Ironically spending $10 billion on the space program would contribute *far* more to US national security than an extra $10 billion to the military.

          • by rm999 (775449)

            I think an 8 billion dollar aircraft carrier off the coast of North Korea probably convinces them of whatever we want a lot faster than a space station.

            • by MrMr (219533)
              I think North Korea already knows what the US wants.
            • Re: (Score:1, Insightful)

              by Anonymous Coward

              The US already has an aircraft carrier off the coast of North Korea. It's called Japan.

          • by c6gunner (950153)

            Sounds like a joke, but it's not -- the world is more likely to look favorably on a country that uses its wealth for cultural progress like significant science.

            Ironically spending $10 billion on the space program would contribute *far* more to US national security than an extra $10 billion to the military.

            Yeah! I mean ... inventing silicon chips integrated circuits and microprocessors .. the cyclotron and nuclear energy .. freon for use in refrigeration and air conditioning .. the gasoline engine, electric

            • Think what you want, but I tell you from a country other than the US: the US was definitely admired because all of that stuf fyou mention, and for being a beacon for democracies around the world. That was until the last decade. The US is now looked with disdain, some fear but zero respect. It is considered a bully that resolves all matters through force, and is willing to invest 10x more in maintaining that attitude than in continuing its historical path of exploration and invention. There's some hope at th
              • The US is now looked with disdain, some fear but zero respect. It is considered a bully that resolves all matters through force, and is willing to invest 10x more in maintaining that attitude than in continuing its historical path of exploration and invention.

                It would be nice if we moved past a Machiavellian world, but we haven't. Pretending there are no barbarians left in the world doesn't make it so.

                Good will and tender feelings are fickle, and any positive effects from those factors are based on common i

                • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

                  by mjwx (966435)

                  Incidentally, 'fear' and 'respect' are often used interchangeably.

                  No they are not.

                  Fear will only ever buy you lip service, respect gives you admiration and cooperation. Base you regime on fear and watch your friends disappear when the going gets tough, just like Saddam. But gain your allies respect and they will stick with you no matter what. This is the only reason the US is not a province of China with China owning most of your 10 trillion in debt, because your Euro and APAC allies are strong enough

                  • Incidentally, 'fear' and 'respect' are often used interchangeably.

                    No they are not.

                    Perhaps I'm reading more into this than I should but I don't see dfenstrate making the mistake of using fear and respect interchangeably himself; rather, he was suggesting that it is not an uncommon mistake to see made.

                    Of course, I complete agree with the rest of your post.

                  • by c6gunner (950153)

                    But gain your allies respect and they will stick with you no matter what.

                    Yeah, that worked really well in the lead-up to Iraq, huh?

                    Of course, ideally you want your friends to respect you and your enemies to fear you. Pragmatically, it helps if your friends fear you at least a little bit. That way they won't be so quick to jump to the defensive of a murderous dictator, just so they can keep buying cheap oil from him. Sure, some of them will stay with you out of respect and loyalty, but others are weaselly

                    • by mjwx (966435)

                      Yeah, that worked really well in the lead-up to Iraq, huh?

                      Actually it did.

                      The point of respect is not to gain blind obedience but to inspire loyalty. The US allies have not abandoned it due to their good history. Just beacuse some did not blindly follow you to war does not mean they are not allies.

                      Pragmatically, it helps if your friends fear you at least a little bit.

                      No it doesn't. In fact its quite the opposite.

                      hat way they won't be so quick to jump to the defensive of a murderous dictator, just so

                    • by c6gunner (950153)

                      Actually it did.

                      Hi. Welcome to Earth. Did you have a nice trip?

                      Fear only works so long as one is vulnerable, if one can find someone capable of protecting them then fear is useless.

                      Yeah, that's right, France sided with Saddam because they were afraid of the US, and they figured Iraq could protect them. Makes perfect sense!

                      The Romans taught Latin to native tribes, adsorbed other cultures into their own.

                      AKA conquered.

                      Julius Caesar married his generals off to local women (not the only Roman emperor to do so

                    • by mjwx (966435)

                      Yeah, that's right, France sided with Saddam because

                      When did that happen?

                      Hi. Welcome to Earth.

                      Where is Earth in the galaxy you live in.

                      Hrm .... let's see ... I'm going to go out on a limb here, but, could it be because CHRISTIANS TOOK OVER ROME????

                      The Christians conquered Rome? (HINT: using your logic meaning conversion == conquest, it doesn't and what actually happened is that the emperor and senate converted, not conquered)

                      The rest of your post is a joke, not only do you fail to understand ancien

                    • Re: (Score:1, Flamebait)

                      by c6gunner (950153)

                      When did that happen?

                      Either you're a moron, or a pedant. Either way, you're wasting my time.

                      The Christians conquered Rome?

                      I didn't say that, but, now that I think of it, yes, they certainly did. If the US became 99% Muslim within the next few decades, there would be no question that Islam conquered America. It's irrelevant whether the conquest is violent, cultural, demographic, or what have you. The fact that Christians used force and intimidation to propagate their beliefs amongst the citizens of Rome

              • by c6gunner (950153)

                Think what you want, but I tell you from a country other than the US: the US was definitely admired because all of that stuf fyou mention, and for being a beacon for democracies around the world. That was until the last decade.

                And I tell you from a country other than the US that the Yanks have been made fun of and insulted for decades, all over the world. Funny enough, the start of it seemed to coincide with the end of the cold war. If I were a more cynical person, I might think that people were more than

    • So? That's 5 years of work that can be done. Besides: Do you really think they are actually going to decommission it? I bet on a bailout. :P

    • by physburn (1095481)
      No one even starting planning a next generation space station, except for a few space Hotel Plans. I think we can be pretty sure, that the ISS will get its extension to 2020. It would be too embarrassing to scrap in 5 years, and all the world space programs would be cut back if it was decommissioned.

      ---

      Space Craft [feeddistiller.com] Feed @ Feed Distiller [feeddistiller.com]

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by julesh (229690)

      It's going to be decommissioned in 5 years. Maybe they should be planning the lab for the next generation space station.

      AIUI, there are plans afoot to extend the station's life. I've heard suggestions that it could be in orbit for around 10-15 more years. And as far as I know, there are no plans for a replacement station.

      Plus, there's no reason _not_ to do this. The module is already built. It's designed to be used with the shuttle, so after the last shuttle flight it will be useless if it isn't left up

    • > It's going to be decommissioned in 5 years.

      Not likely.

  • by unamiccia (641291) on Sunday September 06, 2009 @05:33PM (#29334483) Homepage
    I don't get why we're not planning to dock the shuttles to the ISS and leave them up there, too, with their useful engines, robotic arms, and so forth. The space museums would be sad, but someone would undoubtably think up some cool things that could be accomplished with them up there.
    • Re: (Score:1, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      I don't get why we're not planning to dock the shuttles to the ISS and leave them up there, too, with their useful engines, robotic arms, and so forth.

      "And so forth"? You certainly mean their crew, don't you ...?

      The space museums would be sad, but someone would undoubtably think up some cool things that could be accomplished with them up there.

      Yes. Long-term storage of human beings in space.

      • by Architect_sasyr (938685) on Sunday September 06, 2009 @05:55PM (#29334627)

        Yes. Long-term storage of human beings in space.

        Two ships go up, one ship comes down. It shouldn't be hard to leave at least a little bit of equipment up there.

        On the topic of leaving them up their with their robotic arms, I would like to see some sort of small, orbital building yard - for now it doesn't have to do much, but even some sort of recycling processor to deal with random bits of junk that float past would be interesting, and pave the way for a whole new set of interesting technology.

        • Re: (Score:1, Interesting)

          by Anonymous Coward

          Leaving my topic of the humans-a-returning (or not):

          On the topic of leaving them up their with their robotic arms, I would like to see some sort of small, orbital building yard - for now it doesn't have to do much, but even some sort of recycling processor to deal with random bits of junk that float past would be interesting, and pave the way for a whole new set of interesting technology.

          Nice thought, but space debris is so rare an event you have to wait for years for it to even come close. And, if it does,

          • by History's Coming To (1059484) on Sunday September 06, 2009 @07:07PM (#29335087) Journal
            Yeah, even a nudged away tool bag couldn't be retrieved, and orbit-crossing paths will tend to be at very high relative speeds.
            • Why can't ISS be used as a Ship Yard for space craft construction? Aerodynamics in space is gravity oriented, not friction oriented. A craft built in space, for space travel doesn't require an exterior skin for leaving the gravity well. Granted, the craft will look like a Tinker Toy project gone wrong, but If something comes up broken, then another can be brought up. The project logistics cost will be massively reduced because of the "Second Chance Option" of holding a craft in a Parking Orbit while a re
              • We would launch rockets whose end stages would have to match orbits and velocities with the ISS, and then a small team of astronauts would take hundreds/thousands/tens of thousands of hours to assemble the spacecraft, doing spacewalks and controlling robot arms. And then, once it is assembled, you would have to boost it up out of that orbit. Launching it as one piece from the ground, you can time it and angle it right to catch favorable 'slingshot' trajectories to your planet/asteroid/etc. of interest, an
          • What we need is a ninja robotic arm, with the ability to catch swords^H^H^H^H^H^H debris moving at high velocities.

            Well they seem to have already gotten to work:
            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bfdHY26E2jc&fmt=18 [youtube.com]

    • by MLCT (1148749) on Sunday September 06, 2009 @05:50PM (#29334597)
      Nice idea in theory, but the practicalities make it next to impossible. Maintenance, costs, complexity etc. If you fly it up there then you need to keep it in working order, potentially for years - and that would mean costs in flying up spare-parts, engineers, undertaking safety inspections - essentially it would require setting up the first spaceship yard - costs NASA no doubt don't want to be liable for. The alternative is to fly it up and then simply agree not to service it, but at that point its usefulness would be virtually zero, as it couldn't even be sued as an emergency escape as they can't put people inside something that isn't being serviced. Then when the space station is decommissioned (whenever that is) they will be unable to bring it back down to earth so it will be burnt up upon re-entry with the station - a bit of a waste.
      • Seems some use for it could be made in the future. Scrap, airtight or easily-sealable containers, storage bits for a manned mars mission, surely something that doesn't require high reliability could be thought of.

        And they could try boosting it cheaply using LAO or ProSEDS.
        Might be a nice experiment.

      • by c6gunner (950153)

        If you fly it up there then you need to keep it in working order

        You do? Why?

        All you need to do is make sure it's airtight. You can scrap the engines. You can scrap the avionics and flight controls. You can scrap the radio equipment and the computers and pretty much everything in the cockpit. You can feed electricity and air to it from the station, allowing you to scrap the life support system and generators and batteries, or you can keep them as a backup in case the station craps out. He wasn't sugges

        • by Jared555 (874152)

          Also, keep one of two in working order in case there is an failure in the station that puts lives at risk, the shuttle could be used either until the station can be repaired, or a trip can be made to rescue everyone. If the shuttle is in good enough condition, just fly it back to earth.

    • by vlm (69642) on Sunday September 06, 2009 @05:53PM (#29334607)

      I don't get why we're not planning to dock the shuttles to the ISS and leave them up there, too, with their useful engines, robotic arms, and so forth.

      Duct taping the remaining shuttles to the ISS, arkansas style up on concrete blocks, has the following problems:

      1) There's not enough space on the truss to leave them bolted on and still have space for resupply missions to dock.

      2) They will rapidly permanently break down and become more or less useless. Either leave the fuel cells running, in which case they run out of H2 in about a month with no was in space to refuel and no in-orbit liquid H2 transport available (at least they "could" refill the O2 tanks, in theory), or shut them off and let the electrolyte and water exhaust freeze in place, cracking the lines. When the freon leaks out of the coolant system, no way to refill... Most of the onboard systems are like that, limited on-orbit lifetime and no on-orbit maintainability, at all.

      3) So, they're deadweight, whats the loss? Well, they need to boost the station so it doesn't reenter, and boosts are expensive. Plus it adds surface area to speed reentry so you need MORE reboosts but just BIGGER reboosts.

    • Yeah really... It'd be kinda like keeping the old pickup truck out back. Some day some old geezer will go out and charge up the battery and see if it fires up.

    • Because the shuttle's batteries run out after 3 weeks and the ISS can't power them.
    • by Jared555 (874152)

      Since there are so many complaints about this in different locations I am just replying directly to the parent...

      In response to:
      1. Power: The question isn't if the ISS power system can interface with the shuttle, etc. The issue would be if the station could continuously keep multiple shuttles running. The benefits could potentially be using the shuttle as a reserve power/O2 system in the event of failure of the station systems
      2. 'How are the astronauts getting down': The other non shuttle missions that ar

  • I don't know why they didn't open up bidding on the last module slot (for this revised construction proposal) to a hotel chain and start luring consumers to spend the weekend in orbit in luxury. What a missed opportunity, they could have been working on testing sheets and bathrobes for orbital space-worthiness.
  • Not surprised (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Bureaucromancer (1303477) on Sunday September 06, 2009 @05:56PM (#29334633)
    Makes sense, the MPLMs are built like modules anyway, and are going to be useless without the shuttle. Leaving at least one on orbit is the best use possible, marginally usable or not. As for the talk of decommissioning, quite frankly it's not going to happen. It may well get effectively turned over to ESA and the Russians, but giving the station to Russia isn't politically feasible, the Russians aren't going to abandon it any time soon and we can't deorbit the station unilaterally. Actually, I would not be at all surprised to see the other two launched as permanent modules at some point in the future; having a premade pressure hull does save quite a lot over a new build, and some kind of joint ESA/Russian lab would be a nice replacement for some of the stuff cut by the Russians and the abandoned joint capsule project.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by pecosdave (536896) *

      I'm hoping that eventually we can use an Aries V translunar (or transmartian) stage converted into a lab as a Skylab sized addition to the station. Skylab dwarfed any of the modern individual shuttle launched modules. An Aries V stage, if comparable to a Saturn V stage as they should be would be big enough to play a televised 0-G "Spaceball" game in.

      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        Agreed; although it might be better to specialize a bit more and use the lower stage shuttle tank derived structure as a base. The Earth Departure Stage is comparable to the S-IVB that we got Skylab out of, but is slightly smaller in terms of usable space as far as I know. There's not really a lot saved in using the smaller EDI stage as a base if the thing is going to be launched already converted to a station. On the other hand, if we go for a wet workshop (stage is loaded with fuel, burned, then conver
        • by pecosdave (536896) *

          That's a good plan, have one cargo "stage", connect them all together after arrival get life support working, and as long as everything plugged in together the cargo stage can have enough disassembled racks to build everything else.

  • ISS Mafia Lab 1
  • I'd bet money on private corporations "buying-out" ISS or "renting" time/space for things like manufacturing insanely pure insulin crystals (e.g.) in microgravity, or something along those lines. I've no doubt ISS will be useful for many more years to come.
  • by WindBourne (631190) on Sunday September 06, 2009 @10:25PM (#29336265) Journal
    It is amazing that we are not going to add all of the MLM, but the reason is that Raffaello was done differently then the others; It has electrical and HVAC hookups. But this is better than nothing, since it is already going up.

    Personally, I would really like to see us add a Sundancer AND a BA-330. If we put these up in the next 2 years, they will get a nice shake out (similar to how the 2 are running around). If NASA is really concerned about lifetime, then the easy answer is to use these for storage for a time and keep the hatch closed. Though, I would not be surprised if the crew do not push to have space there. Apparently, the regular ISS is VERY noisy. The BA* should be very quiet.
    • Ooops. It was donatello that had the extra electrical and HVAC. I wonder why they are not using it?
  • Has any research with useful, practical applications actually come out of the ISS yet?

    Not saying there hasn't been, necessarily, but if there has, I haven't heard about it.

    There was a joke which went around about the Mars Rover, which I think really personified the problem of the genuine usefulness of space exploration, for me.

    "Scientists today were stunned by the revelation, received from the Mars Rover, that the Martian landscape consists primarily of rocks, apparently similar to those commonly found in t

  • I think that smaller and less active breeds would be much preferable in orbit for all of the obvious reasons.
  • I've been saying this all along, about recycling parts for the space station, to make the life last longer then predicted, and also, maybe send up one way trip shuttles that will be reconfigured or dismantled to use the parts up for other stuf...even maybe a smelt up there to remold iron / steel for other stuff then first designed. The cost is pretty high to travel up there but once up there, it can even go so far as to harvest broken satellites that instead of coming back down to earth, can be smelted down

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