#248 - Space Stations Special
This week Chris and Matt chat about Space Stations.
“If we adopt the same collaborative mindset and practices that got to the moon and back, and that built the International Space Station, we can alleviate poverty—and do much more.”
― Ron Garan Mission Specialist on the 2008 STS-124 mission to the International Space Station He returned to ISS on April 4, 2011, for a six-month stay as a member of Expedition 27
So much happening with the International space station thought we’d do a Space station special. 2021 Is also the 50th year of space stations existing.
What is a Space Station?
a spacecraft capable of supporting a human crew in orbit for an extended period of time, and is, therefore, a type of space habitat.
It lacks major propulsion or landing systems.
Stations must have docking ports to allow other spacecraft to dock to transfer crew and supplies.
First-generation space stations, such as early Salyut, Almaz, and Skylab, were single piece stations and not designed for resupply.
Second generation Salyut 6 and 7, and Tiangong 1 and 2 stations, are designed for mid-mission resupply.
Third generation stations, such as Mir and the International Space Station, are modular space stations, assembled on-orbit from pieces launched separately. Modularised design methods can greatly improve reliability, reduce costs, shorten the development cycle, and meet diversified task requirements
The ISS grew out of previous space stations.
There were 9 inhabitable Space stations before it (only 8 actually inhabited).
The Russians had seriously been leading the way with stations such as Salyut, Almaz and Mir. The US had had some success with Skylab
The Nine -
Salyut 1 was the first Space Station 50 years ago - April 19, 1971
Salyut 1 was modified from one of the Almaz airframes and was made out of five components: a transfer compartment, the main compartment, two auxiliary compartments, and the Orion 1 Space Observatory
3 stage Proton-K Launch (same as the core of the ISS, Zvezda)
Salyut 1 was visited by Soyuz 10 and Soyuz 11.
The hard-docking of Soyuz 10 failed and the crew had to abort this mission. had soft-docked but had not been able to enter due to latching problems
The Soyuz 11 crew achieved successful hard docking and performed experiments in Salyut 1 for 23 days. However, they were killed by asphyxia caused by failure of a valve just prior to Earth reentry, and The crew, Georgy Dobrovolsky, Vladislav Volkov, and Viktor Patsayev,are the only people to have died above the Kármán line.
Salyut 1's mission was later terminated, and it burned up on reentry into Earth's atmosphere on October 11, 1971..
Salyut 2, 1973 A military Almaz Station. Failed to ever be crewed, 2 weeks before it failed and burnt up
Skylab was the first United States space station, launched by NASA, occupied for about 24 weeks between May 1973 and February 1974. It was operated by three separate three-astronaut crews: Skylab 2, Skylab 3 and Skylab 4. Major operations included an orbital workshop, a solar observatory, Earth observation, and hundreds of experiments.
Unable to be re-boosted by the Space Shuttle, which was not ready until 1981, Skylab's orbit decayed and it disintegrated in the atmosphere on July 11, 1979, scattering debris across the Indian Ocean and Western Australia.
Salyut 3, or Almaz 2 june 1974,
was occupied by Soyuz 14 - Pavel popvich and Yuri Artyukhin
Soyuz 15 failed to dock
Salyut 4 1974 - civilian.
Soyuz 17 and Soyuz 18 both made stays at the station.
Salyut 5 June 1976, was also known as Almaz stations (military)
Soyuz 21 visited but mission ended when they were being poisoned on the station so did and emergency landing
Soyuz 23 failed to dock
Soyuz 24 - visited and cleaned air and did experiments
Salyut 5 carried Agat, a camera which the crews used to observe the Earth. The German Kristall furnace was used for crystal growth experiments aboard the station
Salyut 6 was the first space station to receive large numbers of crewed and uncrewed spacecraft for human habitation, crew transfer, international participation and resupply, establishing precedents for station life and operations which were enhanced on Mir and the International Space Station
the first "second generation" space station, the station had two docking ports, allowing two craft to visit simultaneously
32 people and 6 people doing EVAs
10 short duration crews, 25 - 40
6 long durations stays Soyuz 26, 29, 32, 35, T-3.T-4 all visited and did pretty long stays. 96days-185days
1982-1991 - 12 crewed and 15 uncrewed launches in total
Salyut 7 was part of the transition from monolithic to modular space stations, acting as a testbed for docking of additional modules and expanded station operations. It was the eighth space station of any kind launched. Salyut 7 was the last of both the second generation of DOS-series space stations and of the monolithic Salyut Program overall, to be replaced by Mir, the modular, expandable, third generation.
Literally Peace or World – was to signify the intentions of the Soviet Union to bring peace to the world.
First third generation Space station.
continuous human presence in low Earth orbit, 9 years and 357 days
Too much to talk about
Is the culmination of many nations work on space stations, with Russian expertise very much a huge factor..
It is a multinational collaborative project involving five participating space agencies: Roscosmos (Russia), NASA (United States), JAXA (Japan), ESA (Europe), and CSA (Canada)
Nasa were working on the Freedom space station, the Russians were working on Mir-2 and the Europeans were working on Columbus MTFF (man tended free flyer)
Involving five space programs and fifteen countries the International Space Station is the most politically and legally complex space exploration programme in history
It is the largest artificial object in space and the largest satellite in low Earth orbit, regularly visible to the naked eye from Earth's surface
It maintains an orbit with an average altitude of 400 kilometres (250 mi) by means of reboost manoeuvres using the engines of the Zvezda Service Module or visiting spacecraft
The ISS circles the Earth in roughly 93 minutes, completing 15.5 orbits per day
17,130 mph (5 times faster than blackbird Sr71, 8 x Concorde)
The station is divided into two sections: the Russian Orbital Segment (ROS) is operated by Russia, while the United States Orbital Segment (USOS) is run by the United States as well as many other nations
continuously occupied for 20 years and 273 days (since nov 2000)
The most expensive man-made object Its final cost will be over $150 billion (£100 billion). Assuming 20,000 person-days of use from 2000 to 2015 by two- to six-person crews, each person-day would cost $7.5 million, half the cost of skylab.
About 250 people from 19 countries have visited the ISS.
Most consecutive days in space 340 days Scott Kelly and Mikhail Kornienko
Longest single spaceflight by a woman: 289 days, Peggy Whitson's 2016-17 mission, who has racked up 665 days in space, mostly on the ISS.
Biggest crew 13 people, during NASA's STS-127 shuttle mission aboard Endeavour in 2009. happened a few times since
FREE FALL AND MICROGRAVITY Gravity at the altitude of the ISS is approximately 90% as strong as at Earth's surface, but objects in orbit are in a continuous state of freefall, resulting in an apparent state of weightlessness. This perceived weightlessness is disturbed by five separate effects:
Drag from the residual atmosphere.
Vibration from the movements of mechanical systems and the crew.
Actuation of the on-board attitude control moment gyroscopes.
Thruster firings for attitude or orbital changes.
Gravity-gradient effects, also known as tidal effects. Items at different locations within the ISS would, if not attached to the station, follow slightly different orbits. Being mechanically interconnected these items experience small forces that keep the station moving as a rigid body
Zvezda was initially manufactured in 1985 as a component for Mir-2, but was never launched and instead became the ISS Service Module
"Zarya" can have a lot of meanings: "daybreak", "dawn" (in the morning) or "afterglow", "evening glow", "sunset" (in the evening). But usually it means "dawn".
The first iss residents wanted to call it alpha, but the russians rejected the idea saying that Mir was alpha and that it should be called beta. Alpha was used as the call sign for the early mission, however.
The ISS is made up of 16 pressurized modules: five Russian modules ( Zarya, Nauka, Zvezda, Poisk and Rassvet), eight US modules ( BEAM, Leonardo, Harmony, Quest, Tranquility, Unity, Cupola, and Destiny), two Japanese modules (the JEM-ELM-PS and JEM-PM) and one European module (Columbus).
The ISS is currently maintained in a nearly circular orbit with a minimum mean altitude of 370 km (230 mi) and a maximum of 460 km (290 mi), in the centre of the thermosphere,
inclination of 51.6 degrees to Earth's equator. This orbit was selected because it is the lowest inclination that can be directly reached by Russian Soyuz and Progress spacecraft launched from Baikonur Cosmodrome at 46° N latitude without overflying China or dropping spent rocket stages in inhabited areas
The station's altitude was allowed to fall around the time of each NASA shuttle flight to permit heavier loads to be transferred to the station. After the retirement of the shuttle, the nominal orbit of the space station was raised in altitude (from about 350 km to about 400 km)
Atmospheric drag reduces the altitude by about 2 km a month on average. Orbital boosting can be performed by the station's two main engines on the Zvezda service module, or Russian or European spacecraft docked to Zvezda's aft port
Maintaining ISS altitude uses about 7.5 tonnes of chemical fuel per annum] at an annual cost of about $210 million
Zvezda uses gyroscopes (reaction wheels) and thrusters to turn itself around. Gyroscopes do not require propellant; instead, they use electricity to 'store' momentum in flywheels by turning in the opposite direction to the station's movement.
The USOS has its own computer-controlled gyroscopes to handle its extra mass. When gyroscopes 'saturate', thrusters are used to cancel out the stored momentum. In
February 2005, during Expedition 10, an incorrect command was sent to the station's computer, using about 14 kilograms of propellant before the fault was noticed and fixed. When attitude control computers in the ROS and USOS fail to communicate properly, this can result in a rare 'force fight' where the ROS GNC computer must ignore the USOS counterpart, which itself has no thrusters
The ISS has a pressurized volume of approximately 1,000 cubic metres (35,000 cu ft), a mass of approximately 410,000 kilograms (900,000 lb), approximately 100 kilowatts of power output, a truss 108.4 metres (356 ft) long, modules 74 metres (243 ft) long, and a crew of seven. Building the complete station required more than 40 assembly flights. As of 2020, 36 Space Shuttle flights delivered ISS elements. Other assembly flights consisted of modules lifted by the Falcon 9, Russian Proton rocket or, in the case of Pirs and Poisk, the Soyuz-U rocket.
The first module of the ISS, Zarya (Functional Cargo Block), was launched on 20 November 1998 on an autonomous Russian Proton rocket just like the first space station 30 years before.
It provided propulsion, attitude control, communications, electrical power, but lacked long-term life support functions
Two weeks later, a passive NASA module Unity was launched aboard Space Shuttle flight STS-88 and attached to Zarya by Jerry Ross and Jim Newman during EVAs
10 December (Flight Day 8, Entrance into the ISS) a historic day as the International Space Station was opened for the first time on orbit.
Commander Bob Cabana and Russian Cosmonaut Sergei Krikalev opened the hatch to the Unity Node of the new International Space Station. The other members of the crew started unstowing gear and turning on the lights. At 4:12 pm EST, Cabana and Krikalev opened the hatch into Zarya. Jerry Ross and Jim Newman assembled a S-band communications system in Unity, and Krikalev and Nancy Currie replaced a problematic battery discharging unit in Zarya
Unity has two Pressurised Mating Adapters (PMAs), one connects permanently to Zarya, the other allowed the Space Shuttle to dock to the space station
Mir was still occupied and so ISS remained unmanned till 2000
On 12 July 2000, Zvezda was launched into orbit.: it maintained a station-keeping orbit while the Zarya-Unity vehicle performed the rendezvous and docking via ground control and the Russian automated rendezvous and docking system
Zvezda added sleeping quarters, a toilet, kitchen, CO2 scrubbers, dehumidifier, oxygen generators, exercise equipment, plus data, voice and television communications with mission control. This enabled permanent habitation of the station
The first resident crew, Expedition 1, arrived in November 2000 on Soyuz TM-31,
The crew of three were on board the International Space Station for four and a half months, from early November 2000 to mid-March 2001. Bill Sheppherd, Yuri Gidzenko and Sergei K. Krikalev
In their first weeks on board, the Expedition 1 crew members activated critical life support systems and computer control, as well as unpacked supplies left behind for them by previous supply missions. At this time the station did not have enough electricity to heat all three pressurized modules, so Unity was left unused and unheated
Expedition 1 arrived midway between the flights of STS-92 and STS-97 space shuttle construction flights
Over the next two years, the station continued to expand. A Soyuz-U rocket delivered the Pirs docking compartment.
The Space Shuttles Discovery, Atlantis, and Endeavour delivered the Destiny laboratory and Quest airlock, in addition to the station's main robot arm, the Canadarm2, and several more segments of the Integrated Truss Structure.
The expansion schedule was interrupted by the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster in 2003 and a resulting hiatus in flights. The Space Shuttle was grounded until 2005
Assembly resumed in 2006 with the arrival of STS-115 Atlantis, which delivered the station's second set of solar arrays. Several more truss segments and a third set of arrays were delivered on STS-116, STS-117, and STS-118.
As a result of the major expansion of the station's power-generating capabilities, more pressurised modules could be accommodated, and the Harmony node and Columbus European laboratory were added
These were soon followed by the first two components of Kibō. In March 2009, STS-119 completed the Integrated Truss Structure with the installation of the fourth and final set of solar arrays. The final section of Kibō was delivered in July 2009 on STS-127, followed by the Russian Poisk module
The third node, Tranquility, was delivered in February 2010 during STS-130 by the Space Shuttle Endeavour, alongside the Cupola,
May 2010 by the penultimate Russian module, Rassvet. Rassvet was delivered by Space Shuttle Atlantis on STS-132 in exchange for the Russian Proton delivery of the US-funded Zarya module in 1998.
Leonardo, was brought to the station in February 2011 on the final flight of Discovery, STS-133
The Bigelow Expandable Activity Module (BEAM was berthed to the station on April 16, and was expanded and pressurized on May 28, 2016.
The NanoRacks Bishop Airlock Module is a commercially funded airlock module launched to the ISS on SpaceX CRS-21 on 6 December 2020
Nauka ('Science'), also known as the Multipurpose Laboratory Module-Upgrade (MLM-U), launched on 21 July 2021, 14:58 UTC. In the original ISS plans, Nauka was to use the location of the Docking and Stowage Module (DSM), but the DSM was later replaced by the Rassvet module and moved to Zarya's nadir port. Nauka was successfully docked on 29 July 2021 to Zvezda's nadir port, replacing the Pirs module
Where it was all made
The U.S. components Destiny, Unity, the Integrated Truss Structure, and the solar arrays were fabricated at the Marshall Space Flight Center and the Michoud Assembly Facility.
The Russian modules, including Zarya and Zvezda, were manufactured at the Khrunichev State Research and Production Space Center in Moscow.
The European Space Agency (ESA) Columbus module was manufactured at the EADS Astrium Space Transportation facilities in Bremen, Germany, along with many other contractors throughout Europe.
The other ESA-built modules—Harmony, Tranquility, the Leonardo MPLM, and the Cupola—were initially manufactured at the Thales Alenia Space factory in Turin, Italy
The Japanese Experiment Module Kibō, was fabricated in various technology manufacturing facilities in Japan, at the NASDA (now JAXA) Tsukuba Space Center, and the Institute of Space and Astronautical Science.
The Mobile Servicing System, consisting of the Canadarm2 and the Dextre grapple fixture, was manufactured at various factories in Canada (such as the David Florida Laboratory) and the United States, under contract by the Canadian Space Agency.
The mobile base system, a connecting framework for Canadarm2 mounted on rails, was built by Northrop Grumman.
How to get there
A wide variety of crewed and uncrewed spacecraft have supported the station's activities. Flights to the ISS include 37 Space Shuttle missions, 75 Progress resupply spacecraft, 59 crewed Soyuz spacecraft, 5 European ATVs, 9 Japanese HTVs, 20 SpaceX Dragon and 13 Cygnus missions.
There are currently 8 available docking ports for visiting spacecraft:
Harmony forward (with PMA 2 / IDA 2)
Harmony zenith (with PMA 3 / IDA 3) (currently has Dragon Enedeavor Crew-2 attached)
Poisk zenith (currently has the MS-17 Progress attached)
Rassvet nadir (currently has the MS-18 Soyus MS Yu.A.Gagarin attached)
Forward ports are at the front of the station according to its normal direction of travel and orientation (attitude). Aft is at the rear of the station, used by spacecraft boosting the station's orbit. Nadir is closest the Earth, Zenith is on top. Port is to the left if pointing one's feet towards the Earth and looking in the direction of travel; starboard to the right
Next up is Boeing Starliner to dock on 3rd August to Harmony.
When compared to terrestrial environments, the noise levels incurred by astronauts and cosmonauts on the ISS may seem insignificant and typically occur at levels that would not be of major concern to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration – rarely reaching 85 dBA. But crew members are exposed to these levels 24 hours a day, seven days a week, with current missions averaging six months in duration. These levels of noise also impose risks to crew health and performance in the form of sleep interference and communication, as well as reduced alarm audibility
There have been no persistent mission-related hearing threshold shifts among US Orbital Segment crewmembers (JAXA, CSA, ESA, NASA) during what is approaching 20 years of ISS mission operations, or nearly 175,000 work hours. In 2020, the MMOP Acoustics Subgroup received the Safe-In-Sound Award for Innovation for their combined efforts to mitigate any health effects of noise
The low altitudes at which the ISS orbits are also home to a variety of space debris
including spent rocket stages, defunct satellites, explosion fragments (including materials from anti-satellite weapon tests), paint flakes, slag from solid rocket motors, and coolant released by US-A nuclear-powered satellites. These objects, in addition to natural micrometeoroids, are a significant threat.
Objects large enough to destroy the station can be tracked, and are not as dangerous as smaller debris
Ballistic panels, also called micrometeorite shielding, are incorporated into the station to protect pressurised sections and critical systems. The type and thickness of these panels depend on their predicted exposure to damage. The station's shields and structure have different designs on the ROS and the USOS.
On the USOS, Whipple Shields are used. The US segment modules consist of an inner layer made from 1.5–5.0 cm-thick (0.59–1.97 in) aluminium, a 10 cm-thick (3.9 in) intermediate layers of Kevlar and Nextel,] and an outer layer of stainless steel, which causes objects to shatter into a cloud before hitting the hull, thereby spreading the energy of impact.
On the ROS, a carbon fibre reinforced polymer honeycomb screen is spaced from the hull, an aluminium honeycomb screen is spaced from that, with a screen-vacuum thermal insulation covering, and glass cloth over the top
Debris Avoidance Manoeuvres (DAMs) are not uncommon, taking place if computational models show the debris will approach within a certain threat distance.
Ten DAMs had been performed by the end of 2009
Usually, an increase in orbital velocity of the order of 1 m/s is used to raise the orbit by one or two kilometres. If necessary, the altitude can also be lowered, although such a manoeuvre wastes propellant.
If a threat from orbital debris is identified too late for a DAM to be safely conducted, the station crew close all the hatches aboard the station and retreat into their Soyuz spacecraft in order to be able to evacuate in the event the station was seriously damaged by the debris. This partial station evacuation has occurred on 13 March 2009, 28 June 2011, 24 March 2012 and 16 June 2015
NAUKA - Nauka is Russia's primary ISS research module
The launch of Nauka, initially planned for 2007, was repeatedly delayed for various reasons. By May 2020, Nauka was reported to be planned for launch in the second quarter of 2021 after which the manufacturer's warranties of some of Nauka's components, such as engines, would have expired.
Nauka was finally launched on 21 July 2021 along with the European Robotic Arm, Several problems occurred after the launch, including loss of telemetry and issues with the main propulsion system, lots of correction burns later, the Pirs modulus was undocked, days after schedule
24th july The Pirs module undocked from the ISS entered the atmosphere over the Pacific at 14:01 UTC in a 17 minute burn. Self-destruct came afterwards at 15:04 UTC and the module and the trash that was inside it burned up as it entered the atmosphere over the Pacific Ocean, the first ISS module to be decommissioned and destroyed
On 29 July 2021, upon arrival at the station Nauka experienced problems with the TORU and Kurs systems and had problems locking on to its target causing the module to go off course. After intervention from Novitsky and Dubrov Nauka successfully automatically docked and was attached to the station at 13:29 UTC to Zvezda's nadir port, making the first major expansion of the Russian ISS segment for over 20 years.
A few hours after docking while the crew were performing leak checks in preparation for hatch opening, the module's onboard computers experienced a software glitch due to which a direct command was mistakenly implemented that fired onboard thrusters in the Nauka module, causing the ISS to rotate out of orientation unexpectedly.
NASA and Roscosmos ground controllers worked to remotely fix the glitch issue, while at the same time instructing the crew to close all window shutters and stand-by for computer reboot. Controllers initially attempted to counteract the inadvertent thrust through the use of thrusters on the Zvezda service module, a job later transferred to the Progress MS-17 vehicle. After 44 minutes, Nauka burned through its remaining fuel and Mission Control Moscow disabled the engines, transferring the Nauka module's control from flight mode to "docked with the ISS" mode and transferring control back to Progress MS-17 and Zvezda, regaining attitude control of the station. The glitch had pushed the ISS 45degrees out of orientation.
Because of the glitch, all activities were temporarily scrubbed and the launch of Boeing Orbital Flight Test 2 was delayed 96 hours while the crew continued checkouts of Nauka, Evacuate Zvezda, purge stuff with helium and check there are no hydrazine and other noxious gas leaks.
A commission (Bill Nelson, and international contractors) delivered their final report and the chief engineer identified the root cause of the glitch which was a direct command sent to Nauka from the ground before the Kurs and Toru were deactivated leading to the thruster firings
A total of up to 11 spacewalks will be required in order to fully outfit and commission Nauka, with the first of these set to be performed in September 2021. Along with this, Progress MS-17 cargo freighter will assist the crew in many of these operations like providing equipment for these operations, undocking the module's nadir port docking adapter and in many other ways
The European Robotic Arm (ERA), which launched attached to the outside of Nauka. The first spacewalk will also involve removing external covers and launch restraints, following which the ERA will be activated and fully checked out from the ground. ERA needs to be fully operational in order to proceed with the next phase of operations – which is transferring Multipurpose Laboratory Module outfittings to Nauka
Boeing Orbital Flight Test 2
planned repeat of Boeing's first Orbital Flight Test of its Starliner spacecraft that was affected by software problems. The uncrewed mission is part of NASA's Commercial Crew Program and is currently scheduled for launch on 3 August 2021 at 17:20 UTC
The Starliner OFT-2 mission is planned to last six days, during which the Starliner spacecraft will demonstrate rendezvous and docking capabilities with the International Space Station (ISS), followed by undocking and landing in the western United States.
This is the first planned docking of Starliner after the December 2019 flight failed to rendezvous with the station due to an anomaly with the spacecraft's Mission Elapsed Time (MET) clock. The mission is planned to use the hardware, Starliner, and Atlas V originally planned for use on the crewed flight test
The capsule will carry approximately 270 kg (600 lb) of supplies including flags from historically black colleges and universities and pins of Rosie the Riveter
The second Atlas V N22 is the booster,
Boeing modified the design of the Starliner docking system after the OFT-1 flight. A hinged re-entry cover for additional protection during the capsule's fiery descent through the atmosphere was added, like in the SpaceX design.
Prior to its launch, the Crew Dragon Endeavour, which docked to ISS at "Harmony" forward port for its Crew-2 mission, undocked at 10:45 UTC and relocated to "Harmony" zenith port on 21 July 2021, 11:35 UTC.[
On 29 July 2021, the Atlas V was rolled out to the pad until being immediately ordered to roll back following the thruster misfiring of the Nauka module that docked at the space station earlier that morning. This caused the mission to be delayed to 3 August 2021.