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GJames

ISS service extended!

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Excellent! Gives us more time to build the giant booster to push it up to L5, and start the first space museum.

Oh yeah, and the 4+ additional years the station has been given for research is pretty dang neat too.

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I certainly wouldn't like to see it extended beyond what is safe...

Obviously the station is a considerable investment, and we want to get the most out of it, but it does worry me somewhat.

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I certainly wouldn't like to see it extended beyond what is safe...

Obviously the station is a considerable investment, and we want to get the most out of it, but it does worry me somewhat.

What's unsafe about it?

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I certainly wouldn't like to see it extended beyond what is safe...

Obviously the station is a considerable investment, and we want to get the most out of it, but it does worry me somewhat.

I wouldn't worry about that, spaceships tend to be very hardy. Their lifetime is calculated based on extremely strict parameters and they almost always survive for much longer. The Opportunity is still driving around today, nearly 10 years after landing while it was originally estimated to last for about 90 days.

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What's unsafe about it?

Its old and parts are starting to fail. Eventually the upkeep wont be worth it. Whats the point of constantly replacing broken parts? I say let the thing burn and build a new one. Out with the old in with the new.

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What's unsafe about it?

Space hardware typically has a limited shelf life. It's not like KSP where you can put something in space and it stays there forever. Mir, for example, went way beyond what was safe. After a while, key components are going to fail, with no proper way to replace them. Seals go brittle, lubricants wear out, fluids boil off and get contaminated, mechanical parts break or fatigue, cracks appear, solar panels lose efficiency, batteries go flat...

Zarya has been in space for 16 years already, which is the age of Mir when it was deorbited. It will be 26 years old in 2024, which is pretty old for a functioning spacecraft.

Edited by Nibb31

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Its old and parts are starting to fail. Eventually the upkeep wont be worth it. Whats the point of constantly replacing broken parts? I say let the thing burn and build a new one. Out with the old in with the new.

Sure, if you got the US$ 150,000,000,000 to spare, go ahead. Of course, if things like Skylon become reality, you may get away with a mere 100 billion dollars, basically pocket change.

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Shame I take it it will delay Russia plans for OPSEK :huh:

And Skylab II. But the ISS is still interesting, especially considering its potential to now be reached by new spacecraft like Dragonrider and Dream Chaser (Skylon?).

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And Skylab II. But the ISS is still interesting, .

OPSEK I hoped would be a far more practical step in the right direction. ISS role is too broad.

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And Skylab II. But the ISS is still interesting, especially considering its potential to now be reached by new spacecraft like Dragonrider and Dream Chaser (Skylon?).

"Skylab II" is a moniker for one of the variants of the Deep Space Habitat project. ISS extension is a separate budget, so it should affect the SLS program. Crazyewok's comment was because OPSEK uses the Russian ISS modules, so it can only start when the ISS reaches its end of life.

OPSEK I hoped would be a far more practical step in the right direction. ISS role is too broad.

The ISS has only just been completed and the science results are only starting to roll in. Its main purpose is teaching us how to build stuff, work, and live in space. Those are fundamental steps that might look broad and boring to you, but they are absolutely crucial if we ever want to go any further.

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The ISS is 15 years old. The oldest modules predate the smartphones and flat HD TV screens. Remember 15 years ago? We all used ladline telephones. When we wanted to re-watch a TV show we used VHS. Remember VHS? TV's where bigger than a microwave. Working in the Unity module is like that.

I hope they don't exceed the warranty, the Mir was a wreck in her final extended years.

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Those are fundamental steps that might look broad and boring to you, but they are absolutely crucial if we ever want to go any further.

Please don't patronise me.

IM fully aware of certain issues we need to work out. I just disagree with how we are going about. Main issue is the abandonment of the centrifugal module which in my opinion was one of the most important things. And yes I know we need to learn the basics of metallurgy in zero G if we are to assemble things in orbit. Yes the ISS has its uses (even if not being used to its full potential) but I DO disagree with extending its mission at the expense of others!

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The ISS is 15 years old. The oldest modules predate the smartphones and flat HD TV screens. Remember 15 years ago? We all used ladline telephones. When we wanted to re-watch a TV show we used VHS. Remember VHS? TV's where bigger than a microwave. Working in the Unity module is like that.

So it's like the majority of all workspaces, factories and probably even laboratories out there?

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The ISS is 15 years old. The oldest modules predate the smartphones and flat HD TV screens. Remember 15 years ago? We all used ladline telephones. When we wanted to re-watch a TV show we used VHS. Remember VHS? TV's where bigger than a microwave. Working in the Unity module is like that.

So? Seriously, in the real world stuff generally lasts a long time and works just fine if built well in the first place. The consumerism driven "MUST UPGRAD3 NA0" mentality is irrelevant there.

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So it's like the majority of all workspaces, factories and probably even laboratories out there?

I work in a research lab, and this is very true. One of the workhorse bits of kit we have quite a few of is the Stanford Research Model 830 Lock-In Amplifier, most of them are not much younger than the ISS core modules. If one breaks, do you know what most of my colleagues would buy to replace it? Another 830. Similarly the General Radio 1616 bridge. General radio ceased to exist in about 2002, but that bridge has never been bettered.

There's a lot of scientific equipment where the technology behind it is well understood, and can't be much improved upon. The newest kit is not necessarily better than the older one. Don't get me wrong, computers have revolutionized how we take, store and analyse big data sets, and digital storage oscilloscopes are very useful, but old kit is far from useless.

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The issue isn't really that the equipment is 'outdated', it's that it's been in use for so long, in such a demanding environment. The effects of undergoing 100-odd degree thermal cycles five times a day, and of stuff like vacuum welding, inevitably take their toll after a few decades.

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The place will probably last for a while, it'll probably fair better than Mir since it wasn't built during a time of high tension and oppressive rule (I doubt that would make for excellent build quality), plus it has three space agencies working on it. Also, even after the Cold War, Russia couldn't maintain Mir because of the ISS. So, if the ISS is maintained well enough, I see no reason as to why it can't keep going.

Although, I can't help but feel that it is probably futile. With the way the space agencies are going, the ISS' contributions might not mean anything in the long term.

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As much as I like the I.S.S., I kind of think its time is past. What we need now is a large rotating wheel to experiment with artificial gravity for potential missions beyond Earth's SOI. It could even be privately funded.

Why worry about the effects of zero-gravity when you can bring gravity with you?

Edited by Mitchz95

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Why worry about the effects of zero-gravity when you can bring gravity with you?

Because providing that gravity causes all sorts of problems, from the engineering issues of providing it, from the massive amount of parasitic weight it entails, from the operational constraints it places on your spacecraft, to the (currently unknown) medical effects...

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Remember 15 years ago? We all used ladline telephones. When we wanted to re-watch a TV show we used VHS. Remember VHS?

Work on the LHC was begun in 1998. The MO of modern science is testing 50 year old theories on 10-20 year old equipment.

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I'm glad they're extending it. It represents a lot of invested blood and treasure, it makes sense to work it for as long as the engineers feel it's safe to do so. The limiting factor thus far isn't the reliability of the station, it's the availability of funding to support it. Obviously that balance will tip the other way at some point, in which case I agree with the poster who said burn it and move on.

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There is still some room for extension of the station (I mean physical extension, i.e. adding more modules). Some more modules will be sent up in the next couple of years, and we have at least another 10 years to add more. What will you like to see added? Centrifuge lab is noted, but I would really like to see see some habitat module, building on what we've learned about living in space (IIRC, the beds are actually inside the "Unity" Node 1 module. It would be fascinating to see how a dedicated living space would help the astro/cosmonauts' health.).

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