Tag Archives: ISS

NASA administrator in talks about commercializing ISS

In a wide-ranging news article today, NASA administrator Jim Bridenstine revealed that the agency is in discussions with many private corporations about the possibility of privatizing ISS.

Bridenstine declined to name the companies that have expressed interest in managing the station, and said he was aware that companies may find it “hard to close the business case.” But he said there was still seven years to plan for the future of the station, and with the White House’s budget request “we have forced the conversation.”

Bridenstine’s approach to ISS’s future seems reasonable to me. At some point the federal government needs to face the station’s future, and now is a better time to do it then later.

The article however confirmed my generally meh opinion of Bridenstine. First, he reiterated his born-again new belief in human-caused global warming, a belief that seemed to arrive solely for him to gain the votes to get him confirmed in the Senate.

Second, he said this about LOP-G, NASA’s proposed international space station that would fly in lunar space.

Known as the Lunar Orbiting Platform Gateway, the system would be built by NASA in partnership with industry and its international partners, he said.

“I’ve met with a lot of leaders of space agencies from around the world,” he said. “There is a lot of interest in the Gateway in the lunar outpost because a lot of countries want to have access to the surface of the moon. And this can help them as well and they can help us. It helps expand the partnership that we’ve seen in low Earth orbit with the International Space Station.”

But the first element of the system wouldn’t be launched until 2021 or 2022, he said. [emphasis mine]

The highlighted words illustrate why Bridenstine seems like a lightweight to me. LOP-G might be flying near the Moon, but nothing about it will provide anyone any access to the lunar surface. Not only will it not be operational in any manner for more than a decade, at the soonest, but it doesn’t appear designed to make reaching the lunar surface any easier. Instead, it mostly seems designed to justify SLS and Orion, and provide that boondoggle a mission.

Still, Bridenstine has in the past been generally in favor of commercial space, and that position appears to be benefiting NASA’s commercial crew partners. Prior to Bridenstine’s arrival the decisions of NASA’s safety panel acted to repeatedly delay the launch of the manned capsules being built by SpaceX and Boeing. Now that safety panel seems to have seen the light, and is suddenly more confident in these capsules. I suspect Bridenstine might have had some influence here.

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UAE astronaut to fly to ISS on Soyuz?

According to a story in the Russian press a tourist on a flight planned for 2019 could be replaced by an astronaut from the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

The Russians and the UAE have signed a cooperative agreement, so this is possible. It could also be that the UAE has offered more money and thus moved up the queue. It could also be that this is premature. There have been many such stories in the past decade, but the Russians have not flown a tourist to ISS since 2009.

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NASA inspector general weighs in on ISS’s future

The inspector general for NASA, Paul Martin, is testifying today before Congress on ISS. His prepared statement [pdf] includes several blunt assessements concerning the station’s future.

First and most important, he has doubts that transitioning the station to private ownership will work.
» Read more

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Dragon returns successfully from ISS

Capitalism in space: A reused Dragon capsule successfully splashed down on Saturday, returning after a month-long cargo mission to ISS.

The successful splashdown Saturday marked the conclusion of SpaceX’s 14th resupply mission to the space station under the space transport company’s more than $3 billion, 20-launch cargo contract with NASA. It was the third round-trip cargo flight with a reused Dragon capsule.

I await the first time one of these capsules completes its third flight into space. That will be significant.

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Source of yellow water in Russian section of ISS identified

The yellow water found in Russian section of ISS earlier this week was caused by the ordinary crust deposits that formed on the inside of a water-heating unit, what the Russians have labeled a “samovar” and we would probably call a teapot.

Limescale crust inside a ‘samovar’ whose service life had expired was the cause for the appearance of yellow water admixtures in the Russian segment of the International Space Station (ISS), First Deputy CEO for Space Systems’ Flight Operation and Tests at Energia Rocket and Space Corporation Vladimir Solovyov told TASS on Tuesday. “A household cause is behind the emergence of the yellow admixtures in the water. Routine limescale crust had formed in the water-heating unit, which had reached the end of its service life. There is nothing terrible in that as we are regularly confronted with such things on Earth. The problem is solved quite easily, we will just promptly replace this unit, which cosmonauts normally call ‘samovar’ with a reserve one,” Solovyov explained.

Anyone who has used a teapot to boil water for years will eventually have to replace it because of the development of a crust on its inside surface. This is what has happened here. It appears the Russian article today was in response to panicked news reports earlier in the week about the appearance of the yellow water and the need for the Russians to use water from the American segment while they pinned down the cause, a procedure that is quite routine.

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SpaceX launches Dragon to ISS

SpaceX successfully launched a reused Dragon capsule into orbit yesterday, once again using a reused first stage.

To show you how routine this has become, I myself completely forgot the launch was happening yesterday, and spent that time doing my monthly bills. Oy.

They did not attempt to recover the first stage, using it instead to do re-entry flight tests as it landed in the Atlantic Ocean. I suspect they have decided that it is not cost effective to recover used first stages, and would rather dump them in the ocean than pay the cost to recover, test, and store them.

The leaders in the 2018 launch standings:

10 China
7 SpaceX
4 Russia
3 Japan
3 ULA

China and the U.S. continue to be tied in the national standings.

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Further launch delays for Russia’s next ISS module & space telescope

The race to be last! Russia today announced that the launch of both its next ISS module as well as a new space telescope will be delayed until 2019.

The ISS module, Nauka, is years behind schedule, and is presently being cleaned of contamination in its fuel system that was found several years ago.

“Repairs of the MLM Nauka are taking longer than expected, and the deadlines are yet unclear. This means it will not be brought to Baikonur any time soon, and the launch will be postponed until 2019,” the source said.

It was reported earlier that the mission would be delayed for six months. “The delivery of the MLM Nauka to the Baikonur cosmodrome has been moved from September to late 2018. Hence, the module’s launch to the ISS has been provisionally delayed for another six months,” the source said. The launch was scheduled for September 2018 with the possible alternative date in March 2019.

The article also notes delays for Spekr-RG high-energy space telescope until 2019. The article might also describe delays for another satellite, though the writing is unclear.

Nauka was first built in the 1990s as a backup for ISS’s first module. In the early 2000s Russia decided to reconfigure it and fly it to ISS, with its launch scheduled for 2007. This means its launch is now going to be twelve years behind schedule.

It sure does appear that Russia’s Roscosmos is competing with NASA to see which government agency can delay its missions the longest. In fact, for fun, let’s put together the standings!

  • Nauka: 12 years behind schedule (originally scheduled for 2007, now 2019)
  • James Webb Space Telescope: 9 years behind schedule (originally scheduled for 2011, now 2020)
  • SLS/Orion: 8 years behind schedule (originally scheduled for 2015, now 2023)

Stay tuned. This race to the bottom is far from over. NASA could still win, especially because it has more than one project in the running.

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Trump to propose transitioning ISS to private hands post 2024

It appears that the Trump administration will propose in its 2019 budget, to be released today, to cease funding ISS in 2024 but to aim at a full transition to private control so that the station is not de-orbited when federal funding ceases.

The approach the administration has chosen is one that would end NASA funding of the ISS in 2025, while offering support for the development of commercial successors. “In support of enabling a timely development and transition of commercial capabilities in LEO where NASA could be one of many customers in the mid-2020s, the Administration is proposing to end direct Federal support for the ISS in 2025 under the current NASA-directed operating model,” the document states.

The 2019 budget proposal will offer $150 million “to enable the development and maturation of commercial entities and capabilities which will ensure that commercial successors to the ISS – potentially including elements of the ISS – are operational when they are needed.” The document says “increasing investments” above that $150 million will be included in future years’ budget requests.

The end of federal funding for the ISS would not necessarily mean the end of the station, or at least some parts of it, according to the document. “[I]t is possible that industry could continue to operate certain elements or capabilities of the ISS as part of a future commercial platform,” it states.

Not surprisingly, there are already hints that there will be massive opposition to such a plan, as it will shift power (and responsibility) from the government to private contractors. Some in Washington will not want the government to lose that power. And some private contractors are simply unwilling to shoulder the responsibility for figuring out how to make money from the station, something that is certainly possible since the development costs will have been fully paid for by the taxpayer.

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Russia’s next ISS module, Nauka, delayed again

Russia is apparently going to have to delay the launch of its next ISS module, Nauka, into 2019.

Nauka was initially built in the 1990s as a back-up module for one of Russia’s first ISS first modules, Zarya. It has undergone numerous concept changes, and even more numerous delays, including the most recent and worst, where it was discovered that they had to scrub clean the module’s fueling system because they had become contaminated.

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Longest Russian spacewalk replaces ISS antenna, though issues remain

On the longest Russian spacewalk ever, two Russian astronauts today replaced an antenna on ISS, though it appears the installation had issues that might require an additional spacewalk.

NASA’s Mission Control reported that the antenna was still working. Nevertheless, Russian space officials were convening a special team to see whether further action would be necessary. The antenna is used for communications with Russia’s Mission Control outside Moscow.

The trouble arose toward the end of the more than 8 hour spacewalk — the longest ever by Russians and the fifth longest overall — after Commander Alexander Misurkin and Anton Shkaplerov successfully replaced an electronics box to upgrade the antenna. The pair watched in dismay as the antenna got hung up on the Russian side of the complex and could not be extended properly. The antenna — a long boom with a 4-foot dish at the end — had been folded up before the repair work.

Misurkin and Shkaplerov pushed, as flight controllers tried repeatedly, via remote commanding, to rotate the antenna into the right position. Finally, someone shouted in Russian, “It’s moving. It’s in place.” NASA Mission Control said from Houston that the antenna wound up in a position 180 degrees farther than anticipated.

In checking other reports about this spacewalk, it remains unclear whether the antenna will work in the present configuration. I should also note that while the AP report above calls this a “critical” piece of equipment, the antenna that was replaced has sat unused on ISS since for about 17 years because it was meant to work with Russian geosynchronous communications satellites that were never launched.

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Russia considering $100 million tourist spacewalks

Roscosmos is considering offering future space tourists the chance to do their own spacewalk for $100 million price tag.

“We are discussing the possibility of sending tourists on spacewalks,” Vladimir Solntsev, the head of Russian space company Energia, told Russian tabloid Komsomolskaya Pravda. “Market analysts have confirmed this: wealthy people are ready to pay money for this,” Solntsev told the paper.

He said the cost of such a trip could be around $100m (€80m), “possibly less for the first tourist”. The tourists will be able to “go out on a spacewalk and make a film, (or) a video clip”.

The article also reiterates Russia’s plan to put tourist accommodations in its next ISS module.

While the original news source for this story, Pravda, is generally not very trustworthy, I tend to believe this. It is definitely doable, and would give the Russians another way to make money, faced with the reality that they will soon be losing NASA as a customer for flying its astronauts to ISS. It also demonstrates that Russia recognizes that it will not be able to charge tourists the $75-$90 million or so per ticket it has been charging NASA. NASA was over a barrel, and thus the Russians could jack up the price. Tourists however will have the option of walking away, and thus the price per ticket will have to come down. For Russia to get the same money, they will need to offer more.

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Problem with new ISS robot arm hand

Update: Software patch fixes robot arm latching mechanism. (Hat tip reader jburn.)

Less that a week after astronauts did a spacewalk to install a new latching end effector on the end of one of the station’s robot arms NASA has decided to do another spacewalk to put the old “hand” back on.

Hints of an issue cropped up during the previous spacewalk when two of the six Expedition 54 astronauts—NASA’s Mark Vande Hei and Scott Tingle—replaced the end effector, called LEE-B, but ground teams were unable to communicate with the mechanism. “The spacewalking crew demated and remated the connectors and ground teams were able to power up the arm to an operational state on its secondary communications sting leaving the arm operational but without a redundant communications string,” a NASA statement reads.

After several days of troubleshooting, NASA and the Canadian Space Agency—which built the 57.7-foot (17.6-meter) long Canadarm2—said the decision was made to use the upcoming spacewalk to re-install the old LEE-B to restore the redundant capability with the arm. The space agency said if Canada and its robotics specialists find a way to solve the issue, the Jan. 29 spacewalk could be delayed.

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Scientists demonstrate first space navigation on ISS using pulsars

The stars are ours! Scientists using an x-ray telescope installed on ISS have demonstrated it is possible to pinpoint the location of a spaceship and thus navigate through space using pulsars.

In the SEXTANT demonstration that occurred over the Veteran’s Day holiday in 2017, the SEXTANT team selected four millisecond pulsar targets — J0218+4232, B1821-24, J0030+0451, and J0437-4715 — and directed NICER to orient itself so it could detect X-rays within their sweeping beams of light. The millisecond pulsars used by SEXTANT are so stable that their pulse arrival times can be predicted to accuracies of microseconds for years into the future.

During the two-day experiment, the payload generated 78 measurements to get timing data, which the SEXTANT experiment fed into its specially developed onboard algorithms to autonomously stitch together a navigational solution that revealed the location of NICER in its orbit around Earth as a space station payload. The team compared that solution against location data gathered by NICER’s onboard GPS receiver. “For the onboard measurements to be meaningful, we needed to develop a model that predicted the arrival times using ground-based observations provided by our collaborators at radio telescopes around the world,” said Paul Ray, a SEXTANT co-investigator with the U. S. Naval Research Laboratory. “The difference between the measurement and the model prediction is what gives us our navigation information.”

The goal was to demonstrate that the system could locate NICER within a 10-mile radius as the space station sped around Earth at slightly more than 17,500 mph. Within eight hours of starting the experiment on November 9, the system converged on a location within the targeted range of 10 miles and remained well below that threshold for the rest of the experiment, Mitchell said. In fact, “a good portion” of the data showed positions that were accurate to within three miles. “This was much faster than the two weeks we allotted for the experiment,” said SEXTANT System Architect Luke Winternitz, who works at Goddard. “We had indications that our system would work, but the weekend experiment finally demonstrated the system’s ability to work autonomously.”

I think everyone who is interested in interstellar space travel has assumed since the discovery of the first pulsars that they would end up serving as the future north star for interstellar travelers. This experiment shows us how it will be done.

Well read science fiction fans should recognized the literary reference in the tagline.

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Russia to launch luxury hotel room module to ISS?

Capitalism in space: Roscosmos is considering a plan to launch a hotel module to ISS where it could house tourists for profit.

According to a detailed proposal seen by Popular Mechanics, the 20-ton, 15.5-meter-long module would provide 92 cubic meters of pressurized space. It would accommodate four sleeping quarters sized around two cubic meters each and two “hygiene and medical” stations of the same volume. Each private room would also have a porthole with a diameter of 228 millimeters (9 inches), while the lounge area of the module would have a giant 426-millimeter (16-inch) window.

The external structure of the tourist module looks like the Science and Power Module, NEM-1, which Russia is currently building for the International Space Station. The second NEM module had originally been on the books in the station’s assembly scenario, but the Russian government funded only one module. It will serve primarily as a science laboratory and a power-supply station for the ISS.

Now, Russia’s prime space station contractor, RKK Energia, came up with a scheme to pay for the second NEM module through a mix of private and state investments. To make profit, the NEM-2 would be customized for paid visitors.

Makes sense to me. Russia doesn’t really have the money right now to fund a big deep space exploration program. Better they aim for profits in space, as that will keep them in the black and provide them the capital they presently lack.

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Soyuz launches new crew to ISS

The Russians today launched a new crew to ISS using their Soyuz rocket.

Since the capsule only has to fly to ISS in low Earth orbit, it did not use the Fregat upper stage that failed in another recent Soyuz launch.

This launch probably clinches Russia’s lead over SpaceX for the most successful launches in 2017. At the same time, the U.S. overall will still win handily, with its most total launches in this century.

28 United States
19 Russia
17 SpaceX
15 China

I will be publishing a complete table of the launches with analysis, as I did last year, once the year is complete.

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Russia astronauts have found bacteria living on the outside of ISS

Russia astronauts have found bacteria that was not intentionally brought into space living on the outside of ISS.

They are being studied on Earth but most likely they don’t pose any sort of danger, Russian cosmonaut Anton Shkaplerov told TASS on Monday. According to him, during spacewalks from the International Space Station under the Russian program, the cosmonauts took samples with cotton swabs from the station’s external surface. In particular, they took probes from places where the accumulation of fuel wastes were discharged during the engines’ operation or at places where the station’s surface is more obscure. After that, the samples were sent back to Earth.

“And now it turns out that somehow these swabs reveal bacteria that were absent during the launch of the ISS module. That is, they have come from outer space and settled along the external surface.”

I suspect it is a bit of hyperbole to say the bacteria came from outer space. It more likely came from either the station itself, or later spacecraft docking with the station. At the same time, the article is vague about what has been discovered. For example, it says nothing about the bacteria itself.

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Beer on Mars

Capitalism in space: Budweiser’s goal to eventually brew beer on Mars will take its next step with the launch to ISS of a beer experiment in December.

To get the ball rolling, the famous beer brand is partnering with the Center for the Advancement of Science in Space, which manages the ISS U.S. National Laboratories, and Space Tango, a payload development company that operates two commercial research facilities within the National Laboratory.

Working with Budweiser’s innovation team, the group will send two barley-based experiments to the ISS as part of the next SpaceX cargo supply mission, scheduled for December 4. Budweiser’s barley seeds will stay in orbit for around a month before returning to Earth for analysis.

Seems right to me.

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Sierra Nevada declares Dream Chaser glide test a success

Capitalism in space: Sierra Nevada has declared Sunday’s glide test of its Dream Chaser engineering prototype a success.

I have embedded a video of the flight below the fold. It is especially fascinating to watch the vehicle make small maneuvers as it begins its runway appoach.

» Read more

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NASA forces retraction of astronaut vision study due to privacy issues

NASA has forced the retraction of an important science paper researching the damage to vision for astronauts on long spaceflights because of a concern the privacy of the astronauts might be violated.

According to the first author, the paper included information that could identify some of the astronauts that took part in the study — namely, their flight information. Although the author said he removed the identifying information after the paper was online, NASA still opted to retract it. But a spokesperson at NASA told us the agency did not supply the language for the retraction notice. The journal editor confirmed the paper was retracted for “research subject confidentiality issues,” but referred a question about who supplied the language of the notice back to NASA.

…According to first author Noam Alperin of the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine in Florida, the paper “Role of Cerebral Spinal Fluid in Space Flight Induced Ocular Changes and Visual Impairment in Astronauts” showed that visual damage caused by long space flights resulted from tiny shifts in the volume of spinal fluid — not vascular changes, as many experts had previously thought.

Protecting the health privacy of the astronauts is something NASA and the doctors that work with them are legally required to do. However, in this case the paper had been scrubbed of this information a long time ago. To force its retraction now when the actual. research was valid and important and the privacy of the astronauts was now protected seems an over reaction to me. Then again, NASA might be under legal pressure from the astronauts themselves, and thus forced to act.

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Freon leak on U.S. part of ISS?

A news report today says that an accident in the U.S. portion of ISS caused a freon leak.

The report also said there was a leak of ammonia, and that he crew is not in danger from either leak.

The report is also very vague and sparse with information, and appears to come from the Russians, since it also says that the leaks suggest “systemic problems in the operation of the station’s U.S. segment.”

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Russia to up ISS crew back to three

In order to integrate the new Nauka module, expected to launch in 2019, the Russians plan to increase their crew size on ISS back to three in late 2018.

[L]ong before the Nauka’s arrival, the Russian crew members aboard the ISS will have their hands full with various chores preceding the docking of the 20-ton spacecraft, which will increase the size and mass of the Russian Segment by almost a third. Moreover, once the module is in place, Russian cosmonauts are expected to labor into the 2020 to fully plug all the systems of the new room into their home in orbit. The total time required to integrate Nauka is expected to reach 2,000 work hours, including 11 spacewalks!

The preparations for the addition of the long-awaited module were scheduled to begin less than a year from now on Sept. 8, 2018, with the launch of the three members of Expedition 57 crew aboard the Soyuz MS-10 spacecraft. The launch will mark the first time since October 2016 that a Soyuz will lift more than one Russian cosmonaut.

Nauka is more than a decade behind schedule, which puts it in the same league as SLS and Orion. But then, Nauka, like SLS and Orion, is a government-built project, so no one should be surprised that it has taken so long. The goal isn’t the exploration of space. The goal is to create jobs, even if they don’t accomplish anything for decades.

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NanoRacks successfully deploys its largest commercial smallsat from ISS

Capitalism in space: NanoRacks today successfully deployed its largest commercial smallsat yet from ISS.

NanoRacks Kaber Deployment Program allows for a larger EXPRESS class of satellites to be deployed from the International Space Station, up to 100 kilograms. NanoRacks deploys these Kaber-class satellites currently through the Japanese Experiment Module Airlock, and will shift deployments to the NanoRacks Airlock Module when the Company’s commercial Airlock becomes operational (planned for 2019).

The key here is that NanoRacks is making money providing launch services to smallsats in partnership with ISS and others. They act as the go-between between the smallsat companies and the NASA bureaucracy, thus earning money by simplifying NASA’s generally Byzantine approval and launch process for private satellite companies.

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During its landing in April a manned Soyuz capsule became partially depressurized

During its landing in April a Soyuz capsule carrying three astronauts returning from ISS became partially depressurized at about five miles altitude.

The partial loss of pressure did not put the crew in jeopardy, Stafford said. A valve normally opens once the capsule descends to an altitude of five kilometers to allow outside air into the capsule. The crewmembers were also wearing pressure suits, as is standard procedure on Soyuz landings.

The incident occurred when a buckle from the parachute system hit a welding seam in the capsule as the parachute deployed.

There is a reason the Russians require astronauts to wear pressure suits while in a Soyuz capsule. During the return to Earth in 1971 of three cosmonauts from the first Russian space station, Salyut 1, the capsule depressurized and the three men died of suffocation.

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Russians successfully launch Progress to ISS

After a last minute scrub earlier this week, the Russians this morning successfully used their Soyuz rocket to launch a Progress freighter into orbit, bringing supplies to ISS.

It will take the freighter two days to rendezvous with ISS.

This launch extends the Russian leader over SpaceX for the most launches in 2017 to 17-15.

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Private company to build its own ISS airlock

Capitalism in space: The private company NanoRacks has raised the funds necessary to build its own ISS airlock and install it in 2019.

“The reason we want our own airlock is this airlock is going to be five times bigger than the current airlock, and it’s going to be far more commercial,” Manber said in a Sept. 27 presentation at the International Astronautical Congress in Adelaide, Australia. In addition to satellite deployments and experiments, he said the module will be commercial “real estate” on the station, with the ability to mount payloads on its exterior. “It’s getting us more into the real estate business and space station operations,” he said.

Manber said the module was on track to launch in 2019, carried to the station in the trunk of a SpaceX Dragon cargo resupply spacecraft. A formal manifesting of the payload on a resupply flight is now being finalized, he said, while the airlock itself is being manufactured.

What this suggests to me is that ISS might not go away in 2024, but instead slowly shift to private ownership and operation, all for profit. This deal appears to lay the groundwork for this shift.

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NASA to extend use of private module on ISS

Capitalism in space: NASA has decided to extend the life of Bigelow’s module BEAM on ISS beyond its original two year test.

NASA’s original contract with Bigelow was to keep BEAM on ISS for two years and then jettison it, but NASA has concluded that BEAM has value as a storage compartment and wants to keep it there. NASA said the new contract would overlap the originally contracted test period, for a minimum of three years, with two options to extend for one additional year. A decision on whether to jettison it at that point or continue using it will be made thereafter.

The agency said that not only would NASA use it for stowage, but Bigelow will be allowed to use it “as a test-bed for new technology demonstrations.”

Using it makes a lot more sense than jettisoning it (the typical government way). This will also allow them to study the longevity in space of an expandable module.

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Dragon successfully returns from ISS

Capitalism in space: SpaceX’s last new Dragon capsule today returned successfully from ISS, splashing down in the Pacific.

I had originally described this Dragon capsule as the first reused capsule. It is not. That capsule returned to Earth in July. Thank you to SCooper, one of my readers, for noting my mistake. It is now corrected.

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Soyuz returns three astronauts to Earth from ISS

The successful return from ISS today of three astronauts by a Soyuz capsule marked the end of Peggy Whitson’s record-breaking nine-month mission.

When she launched to the International Space Station as part of the Expedition 50 and 51 crews on the Soyuz MS-03 mission, her tenure aboard the Station was due to end after approximately six months, landing with the same two crewmembers she launched with.

But a realignment of the Russian crew manifest and a desire on the part of Roscosmos to reduce Russian Station personnel from three to two until the launch of their new Mini-Research Module resulted in an ability, unplanned at her launch, to allow Dr. Whitson to remain aboard the ISS for nine months instead of six. Her planned six month stay, assuming it lasted the entire duration, would have seen Dr. Whitson break an important record for NASA – that of the most cumulative time in space for any NASA astronaut in history. Dr. Whitson broke that record on 24 April 2017, when she accumulated 534 days off Earth – breaking the record set by Jeff Williams in 2016. With the conclusion of her current mission, Dr. Whitson will have amassed a cumulative time of 665 days 22 hours 54 minutes in orbit, more than shattering Jeff Williams’s record and placing her 8th on the list of total time in space for a single person.

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