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ISS Airlock Installed 130

Dada writes: "The crews of the space shuttle Atlantis and the International Space Station successfully installed the 'Quest' airlock to the ISS. The Canadian-built space station arm actually worked!"
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ISS Airlock Installed

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  • Well, considering it's basically a US space station with corporate welfare work farmed out to other countries for goodwill (thus the "International" in ISS) I think the Russians should be the ones bitched out here.
  • NASA's major complaint against space tourist Tito, was that they would have to waste manpower baby sitting an inexperienced schmuck and make sure he stays out of trouble and doesn't fuck anything up.

    This is the case with the Russians all the time!

    The "makeshift russian airlock" has now been replaced with a US built one. See the duplication of effort here? Instead of NASA making decisions along the line of "the russians will do [task] because they are experts in that field", the discussion more resembles "How can we find some way to involve the russians, wheather they're needed or not?"

    Space Station Alpha does not need to be the "international" space station. Sending people up there from various nations just to have people from various nations slows progress on the station itself. Keep the int'l politics to the floor of UN headquarters in NYC.

  • They can't even play football right

    Actually, some could argue its the americans who have basterdized our great sport of football. According to the clf's history section [], The first football game was played in 1861 at the University of Toronto. Unless you can provide proof that the americans were playing football before then, I'm declaring that football is Canadian (like basketball and hockey).

    (note to the europeans, what north americans call football is different then you, we call it soccer here).

    The Canadian dollar once worth about USD$0.92 is now down only worth USD$0.64 (source:

    And this is bad because?????

    Having a weaker dollar makes our goods cheaper for Americans, and American goods more expensive to ous. Canada has a multi-billion dollar trade surplus. The result: though the american economy is in bad shape, Canada's economy is showing little signs of a slowdown.

    Furthermore, it's not the Canadian dollar which has lost value, but rather the American dollar that has gained value. Versus currencies from the rest of the world, the Canadian dollar has been holding its own.

    Canada can't get into space without hitching a ride on a more advanced nation's ship.

    We've been sending satelites into space for years, including the first ever communications statelite. With manned missions, we decided to partner with the US, though they seem to be taking most of the credit for themselves. In the end though it doesn't matter as there's no point in duplicating efforts, and that is the point of the ISS.

  • NASA is considering scrubbing the Crew Return Vehicle (Escape pod) project, leaving them with no means of escape. Now let's talk about potential problems.
  • Interesting I note among the MOOSEs features is that it carries radar chaff. Would that be to confuse unfriendly radar in case you are forced to reenter in a hostile area or to make a massive return signal in your general area so you can be located?
  • This American pride makes me sick from time to time:

    "Built by The Boeing Co., the airlock will give station tenants an unprecedented level of self-sufficiency, enabling them to carry out spacewalking work at times when a visiting shuttle isn't docked to the outpost." (embolded by me)

    Next paragraph:
    "...The other took place within a spherical section of the station's Russian-built crew quarters, which can be converted into a makeshift airlock."

    And some other guy said something like: "We only needed Russians because their space launch per pound is cheaper". Straight along lines of this "journalist" :).

    It looks like Americans spend so much time proving their superiority to do anything useful. Will they ever stop to boast themselves and do some real teamwork with other nations in world's interest?

  • You mean like all those uppity Canadians? Thank god!

    (Born and bred in Canada, myself ;)
  • by drsoran ( 979 ) on Sunday July 15, 2001 @08:19AM (#84096)
    This is supposed to be an International Space Station. If everytime a module goes up we have to bash each other, or everytime a problem happens we have to single out what country made it, we're never going to get anything done. I'm really suprised rabid nationalism has lasted for this long. It really doesn't make sense in the 21st century for us to be constantly lambasting each other over the stupidest things. It's one thing to poke fun at each other for a good natured laugh but people actually take some of this shit seriously and harbor resentment towards other nationalities because of it. I don't have any problems with Canadians or any other country that isn't openly at war with my country. We're all states on this big blue planet... we really should learn to cooperate a little better than bickering children.
  • The semi-colon is actually after the comment.

    And to think, I took out the comment to make it clearer. :-)

    ticks = jiffies;
    while (ticks == jiffies);
    ticks = jiffies;
  • What made you think this one was so special that you had to single it out as "actually" working?

    I think that with all the publicity failure gets nowadays, and the rare reporting of success, anything even remotely spectacular that gets reported is considered amazing.

    ticks = jiffies;
    while (ticks == jiffies);
    ticks = jiffies;
  • It's not made in Turkey or Egypt. In fact, it's not made anywhere anymore since the line was shutdown and is now going to be retooled for the LAV-III AFV.

    Remanufactured M-1s and M-1A1s are sold to Turkey and Egypt.
  • by Wyatt Earp ( 1029 ) on Sunday July 15, 2001 @09:36AM (#84100)
    The X-38 hasn't been scrapped. It just had another very sucessful test flight. t. flight/index.html

    "It was an outstanding flight, probably the best one we had," said Alan Brown, spokesperson for NASA's Dryden Flight Research Center. "It went off without a hitch."

    Unlike the space shuttle, the X-38 flies without wings. Instead, it uses the largest parachute ever constructed, with a span of 143 feet and a total surface area of 7,500 square feet.

    Until the X-38 is in place on the space station, Russia will provide a Soyuz space capsule to act as a crew-return vehicle for astronauts."
  • by Wyatt Earp ( 1029 ) on Sunday July 15, 2001 @09:31AM (#84101)
    Because it didn't work and had to have software patches. 07 15fd4/

    "After extensive troubleshooting, the most significant problem, one that intermittently affected operation of the arm's shoulder pitch joint, was traced to a glitch in a diagnostic circuit. Software patches were uplinked to mask out any such false signals and other contingency procedures were developed to handle virtually any arm problem that might develop."

    As it was, it did work and NASA said as much.
    ""Those Canadians really know how to build great hardware, I'll tell you," Helms said of the Canadarm2 space crane."

    There were some questions about the arm, so this one was special and it is new that it actually worked. The mission that is up there now was delayed because the arm was having issues. .d elayed.02/index.html

    "During tests by space station crew members, Russian commander Yury Usachev and U.S. astronauts Jim Voss and Susan Helms, a backup electronics box near the arm's elbow failed to work properly. Efforts to fix the problem with software patches uploaded by ground controllers have failed."
  • So called "Gun Control" (I think that means using 2 hands) increases crime in the United States. The only truly comprehensive study [] of the effects of gun control in the States (that I know of) clearly shows that as states pass "Right to Carry" laws guaranteeing law-abiding citizens the right to carry concealed weapons, violent crime in those areas drops, and continues to drop on a long term. I think this is fairly intuitive. If I were going to rob a bank, I'd really think twice if I thought a lot of people there would be carrying. The same goes for muggings and rape. Same for just about any violent crime.

    After the study was released, most of the so-called "liberals" in the US started screaming about how Lott was a gun-nut. This is pure bollocks. Lott was a univeristy professor who knew very little about guns before he wrote the book. He was teaching an economics or econometrics class (iirc) and wanted to incorporate gun-control. But when he looked for papers to assign to his students, he discovered that there weren't any decent studies. In fact, the most comprehensive took into account a couple hundred of the several thousand cities and counties in the US. So after the class he decided to conduct a comprehensive study of ALL the cities and counties in the US. It showed clearly that right-to-carry laws reduce violent crime. Contrary to popular (and ignorant) oppinion, the "liberal" FUD campaign can't change the truth. Unfortunately, it can change the law.

    Another fairly strong case against gun-control is the UK. Since they have banned guns (or pretty close to it), their crime rates have hit 100-year highs, and their beat cops are starting to carry guns again for the first time in a century. I also found it fairly interesting when I was at London Gatwick airport just over a year ago that they have regular security there carrying MP5 sub-machine-guns. We don't even have that here in the US. I expect that we have special response teams that are similarly armed, but not regular patrols.

    Anyway, sorry about the off-topic post. Gun-control is just an issue that really irritates me because of the ignorance of the vast majority (not necessarly all) of gun-control advocates.

  • Ireland isn't so impoverished any more. They've done a better job of capitalizing on the tech boom then just about anybody. The only large part of Ireland that doesn't have a thriving economy is Northern Ireland. Go figure. With military occupation that fires on peaceful demonstrators and a police force that historically has frequently employed assasination and collusion with paramilitary organizations (and I'm not talking about the IRA) as a means of squelching dissent, I wouldn't want to put a business there either.

    Oops...looks like I'm off-topic again. Sorry.

  • Imagine that gameshow being played in that room!

    "YOU are the weakest link. Goodbye"


  • by dustpuppy ( 5260 ) on Sunday July 15, 2001 @08:23AM (#84105)
    Yes, unfortunately I have to be juvenille, but if you fart in the space station, the air just gets circulated around doesn't it ... not a very pleasant experience for the other astronauts.

    Now that they have the airlock, at least they can have a designated fart zone which they can later vent to outer space - problem solved!!

    Geez, NASA thinks of everything! :-)

  • Hmm...the A1-Abrahms tank is also made in Turkey and Egypt. I don't think the location of the factory has *anything* to do with the general quality of engineering or manufacturing from the country.

    As for the Canada comment, I think that sarcasm is hard to portray in prose. Give him a break...and learn a sense of humor.

    As for the space walks, bravo! Jim Reilly was my physics tutor in university, and there isn't a nicer and more capable man on the planet (or in space ;-)
  • Basketball...a sport Canada has dominated ever since its invention....tee hee...

    Blame Canada!
  • The M1-A1 Abrahms tank is the one with depleted uranium core armor. It is manufactured only in the US. The M-1A Abrahms tank does not have the depleted uranium core armor. It is manufactured in numerous places, including Egypt and Turkey. I used to live in Egypt, where my father worked with General Dynamics on a contract supporting Egypt's M-1A tank facility.
  • by Vic ( 6867 ) on Sunday July 15, 2001 @07:45AM (#84109) Homepage
    The Canadian-built space station arm actually worked!

    Canadians have been putting robotic arms in space for YEARS. What made you think this one was so special that you had to single it out as "actually" working?

    Though I'm sure if something screwed up, you would have been quick to "blame Canada".

  • I think he meant Canada as in British North America... though the French Canadians fought also.

    You're correct that Canada as it is known today didn't exist. But the people who fought the war would later be formally declared Canadians in 1867; our ancestors kicked some American "dumb ass", to use your own word.

    Here's an interesting link:The battle (burning) of Washington []

    Interesting parts as follows:

    The British soon got word that the only troops standing between them and Washington were militia units. The main British force moved into a Washington suburb and after a brief battle the militia units broke and ran, in the words of one American observer: "They ran like sheep being chased by dogs."

    Several hunderd U.S. sailors came ashore to fight but they could not stop the British advance for very long.

    The military problems of Mr. Madison and his cabinet faced on the Canadian frontier were now being repeated at the door of the nations capital.

    Once the battle had commenced Mr. Madison and the Secretaries of War and State decided it would be better to withdraw to a position in the rear.

    Ahead of the President word shot back to Washington that all was not well. The British invasion force was now clearly in on the capital, the presidents wife Dolly Madison dashes of a note to her sister:

    Will you believe it my sister, we have a battle or skirmish near the city. I am still within sounds of the cannons, Mr. Madison comes not. May God protect us. Two messengers come in and asked me to leave the capital, I must stay here and wait for my husband.

    While Mrs. Madison showed great courage at the White House . Mr. madison was tracking down the Secretary of War to find out what steps were in the works to meet the final British assault, he was shocked and disheartened to find out there was no plan.

    The 25th of August 1814, the British approached the heart of Washington, march down Constitution Avenue bearing a flag of truce and demand a surrender. Suddenly from a house window the flag of truce is fired apon.

    The British troops rushed into the house where the shots had been fired from, and put all who were found in the house to the sword and then reduced the house to ashes. They went onto burn and destroy every building connected to the government.

    While Washington burned, the president and his cabinet became fugitives fleeing westward deep into the hills of Virginia. At the White House Mrs. Madison was persuaded to leave also, and soon after the British troops arrived.

    When these British soldiers who had been sent to destroy the President's house entered they found a dinner that had been made for about forty people. They ate every bit of food and drank every bottle of wine, then started to destroy the White House.

    Washington D.C. the capital of the United States was a city on fire, what had started two years earlier as the invasion and conquest of Canada had now turned into a defensive war.

    Indeed, the United States were humiliated.

  • Erm, they needed this airlock... From a BBC news story: "Up until now, whenever astronauts on the ISS have needed to go outside the platform, they have had to go through a docked space shuttle. Unlike the orbiter, the station does not have a proper airlock to allow astronauts to safely make the transition from a pressurised environment to the vacuum of space."

    (From 439000/1439568.stm [])
  • Wrong, every robotic arm used on the shuttles are Canadarm
  • They can't even play football right Actually, some could argue its the americans who have basterdized our great sport of football.

    I am still baffled over the fact that a sport played with a torpedo shaped thing in your hands is called foot ball. As far as I know a ball is by definition a spherical thing.

    And I live in Canada.
  • The airlock!
    The airlock!
    The 2,398,298,456th story airlock!
    High, low,
    Low, high,
    Throw 'em out the airlock!

  • Did you know that 'Igloo' is simply the Inuit word for 'house' or 'home'?
    Most of us live in Igloos...
  • Just a valid point here, but the reason we don't have our own shuttle/etc is NOT because we are 'less advanced' it's because we have 10x less population, and therefore, nowhere near the excess cash needed to run such a program.Remember, Canada might be the size of the US, but our population is much smaller.

  • Quit getting so damn defensive every time some American says something inflamatory.... it makes you look terribly insecure.

    If people want to think Canada is a frozen wasteland, GOOD. Believe me, if many people realized what a paradise it is, we'd be overrun with migrants from the US.

  • Yes. That's it! Keep going.. it's a socialitist dictatorship.. don't move there! don't go to canada! That's what I'm getting at. That's the response you should have.. that way nobody will catch on.

  • Unfortunatly your wrong. I was watching NASA TV, and they were talking about how the airlock actualy is two parts, so they can pump the air out back into the station, then open the door to space. They say this is supposed to save a lot of weight on resupply missions, and a lot of money

    So any farts that are released are kept in the station.
  • ... that the ISS was launched /without/ a way of doing EVAs. I mean, just think of the potential problems...
  • Mandatory link:

    The War of 1812 [] by Three Dead Trolls in a Baggie.

    "And the Americans ran and cried like a bunch of little babies wah-wah-wah"

    Link for the goatse-averse: l

  • I've never heard anyone pronounce the word "canadarm, " though I've read it often enough. I'm just wondering... is it "Canada-RUM" or "Canad-ARM" ? I'm betting on the latter, but I honestly don't know.
  • Could you please email me offlist?

    I have some questions for you that I'd prefer not to post to /.


  • Except it has been gutted and now the hull sits in the middle of the Smithsoninan Air & Space Annex in Dullas. I doubt they'd want to give it up. Besides, the Enterprise really, really wasn't complete. It had no sheilding, no engines, and not much else. It was a glorified glider.
  • Hey, you're all over this story, aren't you? Stop being such a whiny cunt.

    Let me respond to your points:

    1. Anobody who would assume otherwise has his head so far up his ass he's not worth talking to.
    2. Did you go to Western or Churchill? If so, you went to one of very few schools in the COUNTRY that will offer you a decent education. Count your blessings and don't generalize.
    3. Lest you forget what happened in Taber. Besides, Americans aren't "all wack" about their right to bear arms - it's ingrained in their psyche. It's a cultural institution. If I lived in the states, I'd want a gun because everybody else owns one and would probably assume I do.
  • Whoever modded this as a troll, thanks for the laugh. :-)
  • It's not much of a suprise since as I recall the problem with the Canadarm 2 was a backup system anyway, baring any major problems the arm would of worked wthout the fix, but of course in a space environment a piece of equiptment without a backup system is not a good idea, especially with the costs of sending any replacments parts and not being able to get a multi-million job done.

    Of course there were probably a lot of Canadians (including me) that were crossing their fingers ;), but hey I'm sure a lot of Americans do to every time a shuttle launches!
  • You wouldn't do this on the current space station. It is orbiting earth, and has an 'up' and a 'down' (ie, it has a face always pointing towards Earth) and several aspects fo the station depend on this relationship.

    If you start spinning something on the station, the station (or major parts of it)could not twist or rotate (think gyroscope) without severe stress on various joints unless you made it so it does not turn at all as it spins around the earth.

    This sig 80% recycled bits, 20% post user.
  • ... Canada, a nation that hadn't rebelled against the rule of the king ...

    That's what YOU think. We just waited for you guys to spend tons of resources fighting the British, then when they were defeated and weak, we said "Oh yes, we want sovereignty too, may we have it?"

    Given that the Brits had already had enough of "those crazy Americans", they said, "Yes, yes. Get out of our faces!"

    We let you poor suckers fight our war for us! I call that tactical genius! ;-)

  • Bah! The only thing you'll get is Ontario and Quebec. The rest of us will beat the living hell out of you! :)
  • Actually, no. The new airlock recovers most of the air...
  • Canadians have a show up here called "Talking to Americans"
    It was really a one-time special.
    where a guy goes down to the states and asks ordinary people about Canadian people, history and politics, and when the Americans don't know the answers Canadians have a big laugh and we feel better about our country and ourselves because we're not as stupid as the Americans.
    Not only ordinary people, Rick Mercer (spelling?) also asked State governors, and university professors, etc.

    Like asking political students about Prime Minister Tim Horton's "double double" (Tim Horton's is a Canadian fast food chain - American's would likely not know), which Rick claimed was getting support of both sides of congress (in Canada, a bill passes through parliament first, this is where the Prime Minister is involved [he also appoints congress-people]) (Canadian congress has not rejected a bill for a long time (many years), if I am not mistaken),

    Some Americans also saluted "our Eskimo neighbours to the south"...,

    sang the national anthem: Oh Canada! A great big empty land. We look to America For a helping hand. ... La la la la (they actually sang this part) ...,

    respected that the United States may have to bomb the mall in West Edmonton (West Edmonton Mall),

    and were disgruntled that a Canadian corporation owns the mining rights to Mount Rushmore.

    Though they did show some knowledgeable Americans:
    -One guy knew the Montreal Canadians.
    -One young kid knew that Canada has provinces instead of states

    As well, I am pretty sure they picked the minority of Americans that would bite on such mis-information.

  • WTF do you mean the Canadian-built arm "actually" worked? You think only Yanks can build robotics or something? I'll give you a few clues as to the nature of Canada and Canadians:

    (1) We do not all live in igloos. I live in a house, like many throughout the world, that has central heating, running water, electricity and cable internet (for $40 Canuck bux a month, beat that).
    (2) We have education, and it works. And we don't have to pay outrageously for it. I've heard numerous atrocious statistics about education in America, that 70% of high school graduates can't write a simple business letter and so on. Tuition here maxes around $5k/yr (Canuck bux) for post-secondary and earlier education is *free* and generally good (I got a full IB diploma in a *public* school where many teachers had master's degrees).
    (3) Most of the time, our students don't shoot each other, either, because we have a little thing here called "gun control" and we aren't all wack about the right to carry lethal, (and in some states) concealed weapons.

    So you can see that Canada is in fact a fairly modern state, where people can *afford* a good education and where they can survive to get it. So it is only quite natural that we can build a robotic arm that "actually" works, thank you very much.

    And, I know this is gonna be modded flamebait. Fine. But shame on you slashdot for actually posting flamebait on the main page.. I mean people are entitled to their beliefs, racist or otherwise, but posting controversial, racist statements on the main page will only encourage that behaviour.. something I doubt slashdot wishes to do.
  • Let me reply to your replies:

    (1) Fair enough.
    (2) Neither, and I still believe that there are many "decent" schools in Canada.
    (3) Yep, Taber happened. Fair enough. But I still believe that Canadian society is generally much less violent than American society. We don't have as many stories of Billy picking up daddy's gun while daddy's sleeping and shooting the shit out of himself or others, either. Also, the "right to bear arms" was really a point in the constitution to protect state's rights by making state militias possible. It wasn't really intended for personal protection. Also, the argument that you need a gun because everybody else has one is, IMO, pretty wack. If gun control isn't necessary (as is often argued) and everybody can handle a weapon responsibly, then why should I be scared that everybody has guns? And, if I am scared that everybody has guns, why would I wish to contribute to that problem and add to the fear of others? Even if I do have a gun, its effectiveness in protecting me is related to my ability to use it appropriately. I don't just mean being able to aim.. I mean knowing when to use it as well. Pulling a gun will undoubtedly add to the tension in any situation, and if somebody pulls a gun on you, and you whip yours out, it only makes then more likely to pull the trigger.

    Just a few thoughts...
  • > I can see how all the canadian /.'ers out there would be offended by such a laim attemp at humer

    Speak for yourself. Most Canadians couldn't give a shit BECAUSE the American/Canadian humor is more like friendly siblings teasing one another.
  • You mean that Canada is still a soveriegn nation and not the 51st state? That's news to us south of the border :)

    Join us, it is your destiny....
  • haha.. you know that Missle defense thing you folks are working on wouldn't do much against an attack from your neighbour to the north. The lines in the wrong place...
  • So Microsoft finally did one thing right and fixed all them IIS bugs.
  • Bravo! That was very well said. We need a few of you in every country/province (or state)/city/town/etc's government. If that was the case, things like free trade would work a little smoother, all the political bickering would be cut back, and hell maybe there's wouldn't be as much fighting :)
  • Launch a shuttle, with minimal crew, and leave it up there for a few months, until the next one comes, and send it back.

    There were some rumors that NASA wanted to idle a shuttle, this would be a way to do it.

    But yes, NASA needs more funding for these continuing operations.
  • Trying to sell refridgerators to Eskimos?
  • This is the last time, I promise. The karma points dangling in front of me made me do it.
  • A moderator that hasn't seen the boilerplate before won't think it's redundant because to her it will be original. Ditto for a lot of viewers. If you've read this before, scroll onward. The real sin is not redundancy, it's off-topic. This isn't off topic.
  • If a shuttle could be left up there for a couple of months, it would have been done by now and we would never have built the station. The shuttle launches with a fixed amount of liquid oxygen and hydrogen in its tanks. This is combined in the fuel cells to make electricity and waste water (in what is effectively reverse electrolysis). The waste water is pumped thru the Orbiter to pick up waste heat and then vented overboard, carrying the waste heat with it, via the radiators on the inside of the payload bay doors. This process is why opening the payload doors is the first thing that's done upon reaching orbit. Failure to open the payload doors (which has never happened) would be an automatic abort situation because it would get real hot inside, real fast. Basically the orbiter carries enough liquid oxygen and hydrogen for three weeks or less. I think the longest mission so far was 16 days and they still had their emergency reserve of another day or two at that point. Next the obvious question is "Why not carry extra liquid oxygen and hydrogen in the payload bay?" Answer - the Station is in such a god-forsaken orbit to allow Russian participation that the Shuttle payload capability to this orbit is severely reduced. This is the main thing that has driven costs so high - a lot more Shuttle flights are required now than in the original plan just to get the same amount of stuff up there, but at least we got Rusian participation...
  • Actually, I am very much in favor of using extraterrestrial resources to enable vastly cheaper spaceflight efforts. Again, the near-term concept farthest along in this vein is Mars Direct []. See also Gerrold K. O'Neill's work, The High Frontier []...dated, but not refuted. America's and NASA's political interests have diverged from these paths, and I hope they or someone else will return to them.
  • Actually, only the third time, and over something I feel very strongly about...I'm not trolling!!! But I'll be a good little boy and try to be original from now on....
  • Really, it's a sad situation


  • by cybrpnk ( 94636 ) on Sunday July 15, 2001 @07:54AM (#84149)
    The Space Station is SO big that the current crew of three is run ragged trying to keep the systems maintenance going - there is NO TIME for ANY science at present. That fact is putting NASA in danger of having to cancel the whole thing []....

    This won't change until we get a crew escape vehicle (currently the Russian Soyuz, a 30-year-old design) that can carry more than three people back. Guess what - there isn't even a funded plan to build such a vehicle!

    What about using two Soyuz capsules? That's the obvious solution but the Soyuz has a limited lifetime on orbit and has to be exchanged fairly regularly. That's why Tito was able to get to space as a tourist was a Soyuz changeout mission and they really only need a crew of two to fly that. The problem is that to have crew escape for 6 (ie, two Soyuz) then you have to fly twice as many changeout missions and the Russians are stressed out trying to keep up with the changeout missions they are currently assigned. Plus in order to dock two Soyuz capsules at once would require another docking node, and nobody wants to pay for building that and taking it up - $1 billion at least, $500M to build it and $500M to launch it on a Shuttle mission that isn't available - they are all booked on previously scheduled construction flights. Plus if you had two Soyuz capsules docked it would tremendously complicate Shuttle ops around the station - mission rules call for keeping clear of the Soyuz capsules both spatially on orbit and schedulewise during their changeouts. It could be done, but the problems just snowball when you look at the two Soyuz option...

    When I started working on Station in the mid-80s, the dreams were high. We were going to provide ultra-pure water, on-orbit X-ray machines to analyze fragile protein crystals grown in zero-G that would never survive reentry, animal cages and discection capabilities (imagine handling mouse litter and blood drops in orbit!), freezers and microscopes and video links, centrifuges to grow wheat in lunar gravity levels and corn in Martian gravity levels - plus all the solar cells and heat radiators to run all of this stuff - run by astronauts living off of a closed life support system that would be a dress rehersal for a Mars mission.

    Well, the ugly reality of $10,000 per pound to orbit reared it's ugly head, the Cold War ended and the project had to include the Russians, the mission orbit was changed to let Russian rockets barely get there at the expense of halving what a US Shuttle could get there from a Florida launch, the life support system is basically scuba tanks of air and there's no lab equipment to speak of or crew time to run it if there was any. I guess the only thing left to do is turn a module into a film backdrop for recording fantasy dreams....

    I hate to say it, but I can hardly wait for NASA to declare the Space Station a rousing sucess, bring the last crew home and deorbit the damn thing. Only then can we get on with establishing a lunar base or doing something like Zubrin's Mars Direct [] where we escape the tyranny of having to drag up every single pound of stuff we use at hideous cost and start using extraterrestrial resources instead.

  • Because they're working on those big black dot patches that will teleport them into another spot.

    The only problem with the dot patches is that they keep exitting onto roads and train tracks. ACME space research is looking into it...
  • by leifw ( 98495 )
    The Canadian-built space station arm actually worked!
    Eh? What are you saying abut [sic] Canadians, hoser? Eh?
  • the canadian arm installed on ISS, seems to be missing a finger. A Nasa employe was heard mumbling something about canadain engineers, comics and four fingers...

    Sources in the NASA have corroborated this story, but other sources imply, that the NASA engineer in question had personally detached the middle finger of the arm after some sort of gesture he perceived upon uttering a derogative remark towards "kanucks".


  • Apologies, I just can't resist.

    But I hear the astronauts have trouble understanding the controls as they are labeled with strange markings, "haute", "bas", "gauche", "droit", "ouvrez", "fermez", WTF?

    I'd guess these wouldn't be the same guys that had no problem with meters and feet (in mouth?) while putting a lander on Mars?


  • by Wag ( 102501 ) on Sunday July 15, 2001 @07:59AM (#84154)
    And do they get a discount if they use it more than 60mins a month?
  • Amen to that. Canadian expertise in space robotics, is well respected in the engineering world. I wish some of these kids would not show there immaturity and/or ignorance by these posts in a public forum.
    My 2 bits ... :P
  • It's a joke, son! A joke, I tell ya ...
  • No, Canadians and Americans are good friends - we just like to tease each other.

    Oh, and Canada will be the 51st state in a few years when we Americans run out of natural resources.
  • Not where I live. In fact, there's parts of Texas that get more snow than we do on the West Coast (about 1/2" last year).
  • I am sincerely proud of our continuing success in space. It looked a little scary for a while when they were trying to get this thing set up and there was a screw missing or something. That reminded me too much of IKEA. It's fun to have the station's biggest appendage.
  • heh, how is this _not_ -1
  • Provinces on a big blue planet?

    (knee jerk post)

  • Uhhh...

    Ignorant American person, who do you think built the robot arms on the current shuttle fleet? You know, the Canadarm? Made in Canada? Worked without a hitch over the entire shuttle program?


  • Ah. Troll.

    Give me a break buddy. "We should just turn Canada into a State"? What makes you think you have the right to force your will on another country? No, let me guess, something to do with a large army, nuclear weapons, and country music no doubt.

    Go back to polishing that gun rack in your pickup.

  • We did it eh? I toold yoo we wouldnt muck it up eh? ;)
  • Reminds me of a line in 'armaggedon' where the Russion cosmonaut bangs on the equipment to fire it and say "American components, Russian components, ALL MADE IN TAIWAN!"

    No sense blaming anyone because I bet a lot of things are made oneplace else and assembled at another place.

  • One of these days I'll pick it up, again. As I said, it's not thrown out. (That would be a waste)

    On a side note, but a more underlying one... Purity can be good, but must be tempered with some sense of reality. In my day job of engineering I try to walk that balance. On the one side, you try to make sure your work has sound theoretical underpinnings, and would hold water in the textbook fashion. On the other side, there's Einstein's quote about mathematics and reality, and the need to realize that a 'theoretically perfect' engineering solution probably wouldn't work in the real world.

    I suspect this is as true in politics and other pursuits as it is in engineering. If Zubrin hates waste, he can hate a non-Shuttle-C space station all he wants, until it's on-orbit. As soon as it's up there, no matter how much the process may have been hated, it's a waste not to use it where appropriate.

    I agree that the current ISS staffing and mission is completely absurd. But it's the most expensive collection we've ever put up, and to let it fail/fall has political repercussions that would probably kill USA non-military manned space activity in my lifetime. (I agree the long term may be different, but I have to be concerned about the progress I get to see.) We should focus on what the best use we can make of what is up there.

    I also thought the X33 was a rather interesting design point. From what I can see, NOTHING in the way of SSTO would possibly survive the committee of public opinion, considering what I've seen in the* newsgroups. Everyone has their pet project ideas, and the only thing they hate worse than any of the others is anything contracted by NASA or done by current big-aerospace.

    Really, it's a sad situation.
  • I'd love to see a Big Can added to or positioned near the ISS. Almost as good would be the TransHab or even the plain old Hab module. But for my 'final assembly' suggestion, we need a can that can be split and resealed. Perhaps simplified if it's a 5psi O2 environment like Apollo, and you would still need an airlock to get in.

    I liked the X33 design point. It just seemed that a lot of factors worked together for it, it's just that too many of them were so innovative. The thing that bugged me about the Delta Clipper was having to launch with your landing fuel. I just don't really like the concept of landing fuel at all on a planet with an atmosphere, much less sacrificing launch capacity for it.

    On a newsgroup, there was a fairly good analysis about the differential cost of space travel and government contracts. Essentially, if government contractors get more efficient, the government gives them less money for a launch. Therefore they're better off with a bigger operation, so it's counter to their best interests to improve launch cost incrementally. And a true breakthrough is going to take too much money to survive today's bottom-line quarterly-statment mentality.
  • by dpilot ( 134227 ) on Sunday July 15, 2001 @01:09PM (#84168) Homepage Journal
    it seemed to be only half about going to Mars. The other half seemed to be another diatribe against the space station. Maybe I didn't read far enough, but I haven't thrown the book away, only set it aside. Zubrin seemed to have as big an anti-space-station blindspot as those he accused of having a must-use-space-station blindspot.

    My frequent watchword in my posts is, "Be careful what you ask for," and I invoke it here, too. If the space station is declared a success, and then de-orbited in less than 10 years, everyone will see the truth just like they saw that Nixon's "Peace with honor" was nothing but bugging out of Viet Nam. (I'm not debating what we should have done, just trying to properly name what we did.)

    Whether you like it or not, we're into the ISS for a pile of money, and it's reputation is going to rub off on all manned spaceflight. Shutdown and deorbit the ISS in less than 10 years, and you may as well shut down manned space in the USA.

    Some of you applaud that goal, thinking robot science is better. Well, there's little point in running a NASA-like organization for robot science. If NASA manned space is shut down, I suspect NASA itself would be effectively shut down, and then we'd wander for the better part of a decade trying to figure out a way to do robot space science. Not that it's that hard, but that we don't have mechanisms or organizations in place to do it.

    Besides, you won't energize generations of kids to go into science based on robot missions.

    I'd rather see us find more sensible missions for the ISS we have up there, and adapt it to them. For instance, why do we constantly fold our robot science probes up into tiny cylinders, and then get mad when they don't unfold right. (Antennas, anyone?) Imagine taking a standard B-size truss, bolting a standard outer-planet antenna on it, bolt one of a standard series of engines on, bolt on the custom science package, give it a dynamics test (spin-test for balance, essentially) and GO. Zubrin wanted direct launch to Mars, bypassing the space station. But it's THERE, and is no longer a serial expense, so why not use it? That doesn't mean orbital assembly necessarily. But I suspect we could go a long way toward assembling a Mars mission built out of a few smaller spacecraft docked together, using near-ISS as a staging place. Perhaps the ISS isn't the best orbit for this, but at least it's not polar.
  • Well, we're maybe more like the slightly geeky, skinny younger sibling. Our older brother/sister is sometimes pretty nice, but as often as not says deeply hurtful things and doesn't seem to care how much their punches on the arm hurt us. Not to mention the bargains: "eat these worms and I'll give you a dollar... don't eat them and I'll pants you at school"...

    Of course our space arm worked! That's one of our "niches" in space so far, and we do it damn well. Oh, and thanks to the rest of the world for building shuttles and stations to put the things on ;-)

  • Hey, We've got Nuclear weapons too! (shhhhh, don't tell anyone though) Canada's too good to be just another American state. and I can't believe we lost #1 place to Norway and #2 to Australia! (in the 'best place in the world to live ratings) sheesh.
  • the air is filtered if you fart no one knows the methane is filtered so quickly that you dont have time to smell it. farting is a natural part of life if it just stayed there it would make a very explosive situation very quickly. and airlock pump the air back into the vehicle befor they open, if there was air in the air lock no matter how miniscule the door could no be opened. the positive pressure would keep it shut.
  • Actually, the Americans probably would have built it on time and on budget. But it is supposed to be international so we couldn't do it all.
  • That means nothing. She doesn't even have much power in Britain. Explain to me why it makes us un-free.
  • Uh, she was Canada's first Queen. She was the one who signed the Dominion of Canada into being. She meant nothing to the Brits.
  • I believe they found that the problem wasn't actually with the Canadian Arm but the computer controlling it which is not Canadian.
  • Twenty-one of 22 spacewalks performed at the station to date have been staged from shuttle airlocks. The other took place within a spherical section of the station's Russian-built crew quarters, which can be converted into a makeshift airlock.

    How well would you sleep tonight knowing that your bedroom could also be used as a "makeshift airlock?"

  • It's not the software that was the problem. A chip failed. The backup system was still working, but they wanted to run the arm with full redundancy so they changed the software as a workaround.

    It was already discussed here: 3&mode=thread 6&mode=thread

  • "The Canadian built space station arm actually worked!"
    What is that supposed to mean? Of course it worked! Admittedly, NASA has had a few difficulties with space station components, but all have worked more or less as intended. When you're spending several thousand per kilogram to send something up into space, you're damn well gonna make sure it works before sending it up.
    Incidentally, did anybody ever tell you that all the shuttles manipulator arms all came from Canada? I'm sure whatever company it is up there has the knowledge from making those for our birds.
    Also, our A1- Abrahms main battle tank is made in Canada, as are Fords Crown Vics, and a few other cars. They all work very well.
    Sure, our neighbors to the north may base their national pride on the notion that they aren't the USA (despite the presence of sears, mcdonalds, burger kings, shopping malls, SUV's, and many other things that make it seem like a slightly colder (and occasionally french speaking) New Hampshire, but let's not knock their manufacturing capabilities.
  • Maybe we could leave the Enterprise up there. No, seriously. The Enterprise is a test shuttle that has flight controls, but is missing a few other key parts. They used it to test the glide back to earth, by releasing it off the top of the 747 they use to get them back to cape canaviral. Maybe finish off the shuttle, send it up, and leave it there for escape purposes, cause it sure as hell can hold six people, even seven. and hold a soyuz or two to boot.
  • Congress just recently put back $400 million into NASA's budget so NASA could complete work on the X-38 CRV (crew return vehicle). So now, with the Italians looking like they'll be building the new Habitation module (so it can sleep 7 people), and the money back in for the CRV, a full-complement of 7 people looks like a reality.

    Also, keep in mind that this is currently only the SECOND crew on the ISS, and they're basically still in the "shakedown" phase where they hash out bugs/problems in preparation for real science.

    Granted, I'd rather see NASA focus on Mars as a goal (much as Zubrin calls for) and I dislike all absurd bureacracy in the agency, but Pulling together 16 nations (two of which used to be bitter rivals) to build a huge earth-orbiting outpost IS a worthwhile goal. I dont like the idea of LEO space stations for research, as I see them as a waste of time. But I do love to see the entire world work towards a single goal, simply because it's unprecedented in the history of mankind, I watch to see the ISS fly over to make me feel like the future isn't some apocalyptic end where we nuke ourselves into oblivion due to political differences.

  • The proper definition of irony is the polar opposite of Alanis Morrisette's definition, who, coincidentally, is Canadian.
  • by zhensel ( 228891 ) on Sunday July 15, 2001 @07:53AM (#84186) Homepage Journal
    Well, there were some questions about the maple syrup driven hydraulics used in the arm.
  • "his won't change until we get a crew escape vehicle (currently the Russian Soyuz, a 30-year-old design) that can carry more than three people back. Guess what - there isn't even a funded plan to build such a vehicle!"

    This is what the XP38 shuttle was supposed to be. Since it's been scrapped, there is no way (besides what you proposed, having more than 1 Soyuz standing by) to have more than 3 crew, as they'd have no way to escape the station.
  • GREAT!!! Now we have something to throw trolls out of!

  • I think they should reconsider using one of the crazy personal space rescue [] systems from the 60's. It looks cheap to build, and it would probably be a blast to ride!
  • by Zarhan ( 415465 ) on Sunday July 15, 2001 @08:26AM (#84202)
    This won't change until we get a crew escape vehicle (currently the Russian Soyuz, a 30-year-old design) that can carry more than three people back. Guess what - there isn't even a funded plan to build such a vehicle! Only, that the X-38 just completed a test flight. See flight/index.html for details. You must be confusing this with the X-33 that was cancelled... (Altough that may be picked up again by the USAF, as well).
  • This won't change until we get a crew escape vehicle (currently the Russian Soyuz, a 30-year-old design) that can carry more than three people back.

    Why don't they just lower a long, long ladder down to earth, ala Bugs Bunny or the Road Runner?

  • Oh shut up... The fact is: it's human nature! :) It's perfectly natural for people in a given region to band together and blame everyone else. We won't come together as a planet until the day that someone/something outside this planet rears their ugly "heads".

    Quite, but on the other hand, it's only fun as long as you don't mean it. From the moment one of the parties feels disgruntled you don't have fun but an argument instead. That still is no problem, if you are open to strike agreement again.

    Now I know the Americans have an ego from here to the whitehouse but are generally very friendly, and Canadians seem like very conscient, caring and goodharted people, so WWIII will prolly not occur in ye good olde Canada just yet.

    So, my point is, give credit where it is due, even if you had a laugh over something :) And that doesnt mean giving credit every single time something works, because that's just stupid. Nationalism and racesism is the most dangerous drug every conceived, so don't get blindsighted by it. Have a laugh, but keep your respect. Fuck. This sounds like a lecture, sorry bout that.

    All the best

BLISS is ignorance.