Nasa fears loss of ISS

2011-08-31 10:26

kalahari.com

  • NASA
    The USA accelerated the space race in 1958 by forming NASA. Eager readers will learn about the... Now R441.00
    buy now
Washington - The possible first-ever evacuation of the space station, if a Russian spacecraft is not launched in November, would risk the loss of the international orbiting lab, a Nasa official warned.

"There is a greater risk of losing the ISS when it's unmanned than if it were manned," Michael Suffredini, the ISS programme manager for the US space agency, said in a conference call with reporters.

"The risk increase is not insignificant," he added.

Russia on Monday delayed its next manned mission to the ISS by at least a month after an unmanned cargo vessel using a similar rocket part crashed into Siberia instead of reaching orbit on August 24.

The station crew normally consists of six - currently three Russians, two Americans and one Japanese - working six-month rotations.

Last chance

Neither Nasa nor the Russian space agency will allow the astronauts aboard the space station to remain beyond a mandated six-month limit because of the risk posed by exposure to radiation.

And mid-November is considered the last chance to bring the Soyuz space capsule safely back to the steppes of Kazakhstan because of the lengthening night.

Crew safety and the "very big investment" that the Russian and US governments have made in the ISS would guide future decisions, Suffredini said during the call on Monday.

"We prefer not to operate in that condition without crew on board for an extended period of time," he said.

"But assuming the systems keep operating we can command the station from the ground and operate it on orbit indefinitely," Suffredini added.

The ISS, which orbits 350km above Earth, is a platform for scientific experiments bringing together space agencies from Russia, the US, Europe, Japan, and Canada.

Launched in 1998, it was initially expected to remain in space for 15 years until an agreement was reached to keep it operating until 2020.

An evacuation of the ISS was planned after the Columbia shuttle disaster killed seven astronauts in 2003, but Nasa later decided to keep staff on board the station at all times.

Russian officials expect the next manned launch of its Soyuz craft to take place in late October or early November - it had initially been scheduled for September 22.

A crew comprising Russians Andrei Borisenko and Alexander Samokutyaev and Nasa astronaut Ron Garan went up to the ISS in March to honour the 50th anniversary of the first voyage of space pioneer Yuri Gagarin.

But this month's failed launch was a spectacular blow for Russia after it had become the sole nation capable of taking humans to the ISS after the July retirement of the US space shuttle programme.
Read more on:    nasa  |  space
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
12 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/News
 

Puppy goes crazy over iPad game

Violet the puppy loves playing Cat Fishing 2 on the iPad!

 
 

For chic geeks...

Printable solar panels will bring exciting new opportunities!
Now there’s a special lane for texting while walking
LOL! 7 brutally honest texts from parents
This lock means keys are something of the past!

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Pre-order your iPhone 6 at kalahari.com

Hurry and pre-order your own iPhone 6 now at SA’s favourite online store!

Bargain box – 60% off

Reduced prices, very limited stock. While stocks last. Hurry and shop now!

Mind blow low prices on electronics

Get either the Prestigio multiphone or Proline tablet 7” tablet for only R699. Offers valid while stocks last. Shop now!

30% off Barbie toys

Save 30% on all Barbie toys and accessories. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Baby extravanganza month at kalahari.com

Celebrate baby month with a wide range of awesome baby products. Offers valid while stocks last. Shop now.

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

As the Moon moves out of restless Gemini into sensitive Cancer today you are able to relax your active mind and be more receptive...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.