Wednesday 31 August 2011

ISS Alert: Astronauts May Have to Abandon Station this Fall

This is where screwing up the US space program gets you.

ISS Alert: Astronauts May Have to Abandon Station this Fall
Astronauts may need to temporarily abandon the International Space Station if last week's Russian launch accident prevents new crews from flying there this fall. Until officials figure out what went wrong with Russia's essential Soyuz rockets, there will be no way to launch any more astronauts before the current residents have to leave in mid-November. The predicament comes just weeks after NASA's final space shuttle flight.
Suffredini said flight controllers could keep a deserted space station operating indefinitely, as long as all major systems are working properly. The risk to the station goes up, however, if no one is on board to fix equipment breakdowns.
As long as nothing goes wrong, all is well. Or well-ish. But once you trim things down too much... things fall apart. The centre cannot hold.

1 comment:

Chris Phoenix said...

It's been pointed out that they can still get uncrewed Soyuz capsules up to the station, just by launching them and accepting the increased monetary risk.

To the extent that the current astronauts' stay is limited by the lifespan of the Soyuz that's attached to the station, they can replace it at will and keep the astronauts up there as long as health issues will allow.

Also, this makes it obvious what's wrong with having one human-rated rocket in the world. Every nation that wants to put people in space should throw money at SpaceX to develop Dragon into a crew capsule ASAP.