October 23, 2021

Beyond Going Long

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The damage to the International Space Station is much more serious, and people will have to leave

We have heard a lot about the problems of the International Space Station recently, and according to some, it may have been the inventions of the Russians looking for an excuse to leave the project. But the reality is sad, and according to the American astronaut who participated in the construction of the International Space Station, the damage is serious, reach futurism.

The station began to collapse

It was clear to everyone that the International Space Station would not last forever. We knew that one day the day would come when we would leave this huge project. The Russian Federation will probably be the first to do this, without which it makes no sense to keep the old station alive.

Cosmonauts Bill Shepard, Yuri Gidzenko and Sergey Krikalev during the first flight to the then-new International Space Station. Source: NASA

The Russians recently discovered about half a dozen cracks in their part of the station. American astronaut Bill Shepherd, who flew into space up to 6 times and spent a total of more than 159 days in it, by Insider He said the damage was severe and that there may have been cracks in the station that had not yet been discovered.

“As far as I know, Russian engineers and NASA engineers have analyzed it and they don’t yet know why these cracks appear.” added Shepherd, who was involved in building the station as part of the shuttle flights. In addition to four such flights, he also reached space on the Russian Soyuz ship.

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NASA is already looking for an alternative

At the same time, Shepherd added that the fissures are not yet a threat. However, according to Russian sources, it will almost certainly begin to increase over time and perhaps even increase, Writes RIA Novosti. This is how the International Space Station begins After more than 20 years of continuous human existence Shows visible signs of wear and aging.

The International Space Station in 2006 after the installation of new solar panels and the departure of the space shuttle Atlantis. Source: NASA

In addition to the number of cracks, their problems include, for example, air leaks, damage to bathrooms, or a mysterious rise in temperature, Reported by Space Daily . portal. like extra writes RTRussians expect after about 2025 “a breakdown of problems”.

Although NASA still advocates leaving the International Space Station abroad, it is well aware of how mortal it is. This is also evidenced by the fact that she is demanding compensation in the private sector. Refers to CNBC. NASA unveiled the CLD (Commercial LEO Destinations) project this year alone, and wants to reallocate $400 million to four companies to begin development of the new station.

American astronaut Robert L. and European astronaut Christer Vogelsang in 2006 during the construction of the International Space Station. Source: NASA

SpaceX will also play a role

How do NASA reports Through its website, it has already handed over the contract for the construction of the initial module, which will first connect to the International Space Station, to Axiom Space. Plans to build a space station connected to the International Space Stationwhich detaches after being removed and remains in orbit.

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However, the contract was awarded in 2020 under another program and Axiom Space received $140 million. At the moment, flights to this station will be provided by SpaceX via a Falcon 9 rocket and the Crew Dragon spacecraft, which Just a few days ago, he received his first all-civilian mission into space.

A plan to build a commercial space station by Axiom Space, which NASA also wants to use. Source: Axiom Space

Phil McAllister, director of commercial spaceflight at NASA, Express CNBCThat this project had a very strong response from the industry and received a large number of proposals. “This strong response demonstrates that our plan to decommission the International Space Station by the end of the decade and transition to robust and feasible commercial space destinations.” Dodal McAllister.