NASA gets OK to keep space station running to 2024 – Computerworld


""I really see the International Space Station as the first step in exploration," said David Weaver, NASA's associate administrator for the Office of Communications, during a teleconference. "We're getting a significant amount of research on the space station. It lets us look back at the Big Bang. It gives us clues on dark matter. The space station is really hitting its stride. We're doing a lot of science there. It's a pretty productive time." Extending the life of the space station, which took 13 years to construct and recently marked 15 years in orbit, is a much better scenario for scientists around the world than abandoning the orbiting lab and letting it fall out of orbit and crash into the ocean. The space station, which is about the length of a football field and carries several robotic arms, has a talking robot and a humanoid robot. It also has been the site of about 1,500 scientific experiments and is expected to receive dozens more when the next commercial cargo mission launches."  Gaudin


Well, thank God!  I can't imagine who thought it was a good idea to let this magnificant accomplishment just fall into the sea.  pl

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10 Responses to NASA gets OK to keep space station running to 2024 – Computerworld

  1. oth says:

    This also has the political benefit of kicking the “What to do next with NASA” can out a decade. It will take all of our manned budget to keep it up there.
    NASA wanted to get rid of it because it’s in the way of the next moonshot or marshot.

  2. Jose says:

    oth – The Chinese will beat us there, they have money we have ObamaCare. lol

  3. The Twisted Genius says:

    Thank God, indeed! With commercial space flight on the verge of really taking off (no pun intended) and the Chinese embarking on a serious effort to reach for the moon and beyond, it would have been sheer lunacy (again, I’m not trying to do this) to drop the ISS into the ocean prematurely. The fallen angels among us may sourly wail about a frivolous waste of taxpayers money, but this risen ape finds it exhilarating and well worth the costs.
    BTW, the next launch of Orbital Science’s Antares rocket to resupply the ISS is scheduled for tomorrow from Wallops Island. Chalk one up for Virginia.

  4. Babak Makkinejad says:

    You probably would want to consider building a space-station at L5 – you could fund it, at least partially, by selling subscriptions to any and all as well as governments.
    It could be a great Keynesian jobs program.
    US could license her technology to other countries that wish to develop independent launch capabilities; sort of like the way Russia is licensing her space technology to China.

  5. Fred says:

    Given our prediliction for gambling we should have an annual lottery for a ‘free ride’ there. I’d be happy to shell out a few dollars for a raffle ticket.

  6. The Twisted Genius says:

    That is a lottery ticket I would buy. Much to SWMBO’s chagrin, I would jump at the opportunity to go into space if it ever came my way.

  7. Jose says:

    Babak, I was once a member of the National Space Society which was based on the L-5 Society…lol
    I really wish we could do it, but we are broke. Millions of people are dependent on government handouts for their survival, so it will be a long time before we can do anything big. Really wish we could have built at least one of those station stations instead we rebuilt Afghanistan, Iraq, and brought fairness to American Society. Priorities…lol

  8. Oth,
    Not exactly true. Last I checked, ISS is taking up about half of NASA’s manned spaceflight budget: $3B goes to ISS (plus $500M going to commercial crew for ISS), and then another $3B gets spent on SLS and Orion development.
    You can do manned exploration even with $3B of $6B manned spaceflight budget going to ISS–you just can’t do that using the traditional technical approaches NASA has taken.

  9. Pat,
    Yeah this seems like a really good deal. It gives us more time to actually use ISS as a research facility, and lets us get more bang for the buck from commercial crew and cargo. Once commercial crew is flying, we can up the number of US Operating Segment astronauts from 3 to 4, with the 4th being almost entirely dedicated to science (effectively doubling the amount of research the ISS can do). With this announcement instead of just 3 years of that high of productivity, we get 7 years, nearly doubling what we ought to be able to get out of our ISS investment.
    The previous NASA administrator had wanted to splash ISS in 2016 to free up more money for NASA to fly big NASA-operated rockets. This seems like a much better use of NASA’s limited funds.
    Admittedly, I’m biased. My company is involved in commercial efforts involving the ISS, so having it around longer directly helps us.

  10. And the Chinese now exploring the MOON with a rover!

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