SPACE

20 years of the International Space Station: It is aging and needs to be repaired, and the United States has no successor



Naija Tech News (NTN) on 08, and in content, 20 years of the International Space Station: It is aging and needs to be repaired, and the United States has no successor, Nasa, space, United States .

Since 2000, despite various inherent dangers in space, humans have lived on the International Space Station for 20 years and completed various scientific experiments.

20 years of the International Space Station: It is aging and needs to be repaired, and the United States has no successor

Pictured: In 2017, astronauts of Expedition 54 and 55 missions prepare to launch from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan to the International Space Station

Small but continuous air leaks are increasing. The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) says this will not endanger the lives of astronauts, absolutely not. But if you are on a spacecraft 400 kilometers above the ground, any leakage is a bad problem.

Astronauts isolated the Russian cabin on the International Space Station. But a few weeks later, they still could not find the exact location of the leak. Last month, an astronaut did a small reconnaissance work. He opened a tea bag and watched the tea slowly drifting towards a tiny gap in a weightless space environment, and the slowly leaking air kept hissing. the sound of.

The International Space Station has been too long. It leaks from time to time and needs constant repairs by astronauts . The toilet is broken and the battery needs to be replaced. In addition, it must avoid tiny meteorites in orbit: this year alone, the International Space Station had to make three maneuvers to avoid being hit by meteorites. Sometimes it wins the lottery. For example, in 2016, a piece of space debris broke a window of the International Space Station.

Despite the inherent dangers of no air, radiation, and orbital debris flying around several times faster than bullets, the astronauts managed to live on the International Space Station for 20 years.

On November 2, 2000, NASA astronaut Bill Shepard and Russian colleagues Yuri Gidzenko and Sergei Krikalev became the first group Astronauts who have lived and worked on the space station for a long time have continued this way ever since. This month, NASA launched a series of commemorative activities for the 20th anniversary of the scientific work of the International Space Station, including 3D printing of human organs, cultivating protein crystals, and studying the effects of the space environment on the human body.

The International Space Station is not only the greatest engineering feat of mankind, but also a cooperative way for astronauts to learn to live and work in space and prepare to land on the moon and Mars.

20 years of the International Space Station: It is aging and needs to be repaired, and the United States has no successor

Pictured: In 2011, during a spacewalk lasting 6 hours and 34 minutes, NASA astronauts Steve Bowen and Alvin Drew installed a power extension cable and moved The malfunctioning ammonia pump was removed, and a camera and other equipment were installed. The International Space Station has been in continuous use for 20 years, and continuous maintenance remains a challenge.

But as the International Space Station continues to age, people are worried about what will happen next and whether the United States will fall into a disadvantaged situation similar to 2011, when the NASA space shuttle was retired without a reserve, which made it have to rely on Russia. Send astronauts into space. It was not until earlier this year that as part of NASA’s commercial astronaut program, SpaceX successfully launched the Crew Dragon spacecraft that ended this disgraceful chapter.

The concern now is whether the International Space Station needs to land back to Earth one day before the successor is ready. It will be a well-coordinated but spectacular crash into the ocean.

NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine has been admonishing in recent weeks that the US Congress needs to better fund the work of the International Space Station and plan for the future.

“We think of the Apollo era. Although we like it very much, it has come to an end,” he said at a recent Senate hearing. “Before the space shuttle appeared, we had a vacancy for about 8 years. In aerospace After the aircraft was retired, we had a gap of eight years before the commercial astronaut program was implemented. We want to ensure that the United States has no gaps in low-Earth orbit.”

The next space station used by American astronauts may be owned and operated by companies like Axiom instead of NASA. Axiom is building a commercial space station, which it said will be based on the traditional foundation of the International Space Station, but with lower assembly costs and easier maintenance.

From the outside, this new space station looks a lot like the International Space Station, with a living cabin, solar array, and docking station. But the interior is completely different. It has “the largest glass observation deck ever built for space.”

“We want our customers to have this sense of excellence, comfort, and luxury,” said Mike Suffredini, co-founder of Axiom, who was responsible for the NASA International Space Station project for ten years. “We even research how to cook food on the rails… to make the food more delicious.”

The interior design of the new space station was in charge of the French architect and designer Philippe Starck. Stark is known for designing furniture, yachts, and company headquarters. His vision for the Axiom space station is to “create a nest, like a comfortable and friendly egg, whose materials and color schemes will be inspired by the nascent universe.”

In other words, this is a far cry from the International Space Station.

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