The International Space Station (ISS)

MrRING

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Mystery Sound Startles Space-Station Crew
By VLADIMIR ISACHENKOV, Associated Press Writer

MOSCOW - A small piece of space junk slammed against the hull of the international space station, causing no apparent damage but startling the two men inside with its grinding, metallic sound, a Russian official said Thursday.

Officials said U.S. astronaut Michael Foale and Russian cosmonaut Alexander Kaleri were safe after the incident, which apparently did not disrupt their plans for a modest Thanksgiving dinner.

A spokesman for the Russian Space Forces, a military branch that monitors Russia's satellites but also keeps track of the space station, said in a telephone interview that the orbiter had collided with a piece of debris.

The spokesman, who spoke to the Associated Press on condition of anonymity, said the space forces had detected an object along the station's orbit, and had determined that it was very small and would pose no danger to the craft.

Foale said that he heard something that "sounded like a metal tin can kind of being expanded and compressed. It was a noise that lasted about a second. It sounded like an impact or something."

Russian Aerospace Agency spokesman Sergei Gorbunov said the sound might have come from some of the station's equipment rather than a collision. He said an ensuing check found no trace of impact.

"The check made by the crew found no changes either in the equipment section or the atmosphere of the station, which would have changed instantly if the station's skin were punctured," Gorbunov said on NTV television.

Valery Lyndin, a spokesman for Mission Control outside Moscow, said "all the station's systems are working normally" after the sound was reported early Wednesday. An inspection of the station's surface by outside cameras found no signs of damage, he told The Associated Press.

Foale and Kaleri continued their normal maintenance and research activities. Their Thanksgiving Day schedule included a light workload schedule and a meal that featured turkey and chicken and rice.

Thousands of pieces of debris from spacecraft orbit the Earth, and the Space Forces monitor them to make sure there is no threat to the station or satellites. If a piece of debris is big enough to threaten damage, spacecraft are directed to safer orbits.


http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&u=/ap/20031128/ap_on_sc/russia_space_noise_3
 
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KeyserXSoze

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Knock knock...

http://www.theledger.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20040402/APA/404020850
Published Friday, April 2, 2004
Metallic Sound Is Heard by Space Crew

By MARCIA DUNN
AP Aerospace Writer

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. The two men aboard the international space station heard a strange metallic sound again Friday, four months after being startled by it the first time.

Cosmonaut Alexander Kaleri was talking to flight controllers in Moscow when he heard a loud drumlike noise coming from the instrument panel of the station's Russian-built living quarters.

Kaleri and astronaut Michael Foale first heard the mystery noise - described as a flapping sheet of metal - back in late November. Neither the crewmen nor flight controllers were ever able to identify the sound, although engineers suspected space junk may have damaged something on the exterior.

Kaleri said Friday morning's noise came from about the same place as before and sounded the same.

"I had the headset on, so I didn't hear it very clearly. But it sounded sort of like a drum. It sounds sort of like a sheet of something being bent," the cosmonaut reported.

Russian flight controllers told Kaleri that they would try to figure out where the noise was coming from, and speculated that perhaps one of the systems inside the station was the source of the problem, rather than something on the outside.

NASA officials, however, said all systems appeared to be operating properly.

"It's very strange," Russian Mission Control said. "I doubt that it would be a coincidence that you're hearing the same thing coming from the same place."

During a spacewalk in February, Kaleri and Foale were supposed to check the exterior of the space station where the noise originated last November. But Kaleri's spacesuit overheated and became damp, and the spacewalk had to be cut short, so the men did not have time to inspect the area.

Kaleri and Foale's six-month space station mission is almost over. Their replacements are due to arrive in another 2 1/2 weeks.
If I was sitting in the space station, and I heared a knock, I would get the fear :eek!!!!:
 

Pietro_Mercurios

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http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/4965532.stm

Send-off for Europe's space lab
2 May 2006

The European element of the International Space Station is set to be shipped to Cape Canaveral, Florida, where it will be launched into orbit.

Officials and politicians gathered in Bremen, Germany, where the Columbus Laboratory is being readied, to give the module its official send-off.

Columbus is due to be carried to the space station on an upcoming US space shuttle mission.

The ceremony was attended by Germany's Chancellor, Angela Merkel.

At the end of May, Columbus will be flown from Bremen airport aboard a Beluga transport plane to the US space agency's Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

On Tuesday, representatives from space agencies, industry and politics were joined by Chancellor Merkel to bid farewell to the 13-tonne space laboratory.

...
 
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Why oh why do I get the feeling that something, somewhere, is going to go wrong... :roll:
 

Philo_T

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That's real good foresight there, guys. Build a component so large that it can only get into orbit on the shuttle.

(Of course, I think the whole circular argument that we need a space station to justify the shuttle to justify a space station is pretty dumb too. Von Braun's original roadmap was a more sensible approach. Build an infrastructure, one step at a time.)
 

Kondoru

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ah, but we must make NASA feel wanted....
 
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Yeah. Pat 'em on the head and give 'em a $20billion biscuit. Good Nasa...hmmm, where's me gun (reminded of old shep :lol: )....bugger, I just couldn't do it....
 

feen5

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I have to say i'm a little bit taken aback by the attitude to NASA on this board. Fine they make mistakes (but as the saying goes let he who is without sin cast the first stone) and when mistakes are made they do involve large sums of money but thats the nature of the buisness. What would you like? To have no space agency at all? Great we shall take all the money from NASA and oh lets see plough it into war in Iraq and Iran, yeah thats a great idea we can antagonise more and more countries and finally get down to having world war 3 quicker.
Ok so i'm being a bit facetious but frankly so are a lot of other posters on this thread. There are a lot of people who pour the lifes work into maybe only two or three projects that are at the cutting edge of Human achievement and push the boundries of human knowledge for everyone. I hate to see people gloating over failures. Some of these scientists may never get another chance to complete their work if it goes wrong the first time.
What would you like. To give up all space exploration? No Voyager, Pioneer, Apollo, Mir, Hubble, Cassini etc etc.. sure we might as well give up altogether and go back to living in caves and burning people because they say the world is round.
 
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Erm...Nasa have screwed up a lot. Nobody here wants space exploration to end. However, Nasa has a monopoly. I would like to see space be open to commercialisation. The competition would increase our space tech dramatically.
 

feen5

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I believe i did say that the have made mistakes but even their mistakes have not been complete failures. The probe collecting solar wind particales that crashed into the desert floor in Utah, wa not completely lost. They were and still are obtaining samples from the probe. Balancing out other mistakes you have the value for money that other projects have given. The mars probes that are still running and obtaining info many months after they were expected to last. The insight and scientific wonder that voyager and pioneer probes gave. Can anyone say that Hubble (despite its initial problem) was not worth every penny spent on it. Its very easy to pick on institutions like NASA and i'm just trying to redress the balance here a little.
As for the commericalisation that will come as it always does in market based economies. Like everything else you need money to carry out these projects and up until recently the only ones that had this money were the superpowers. Now days most projects are not funded by one country but by many different countries and organisations. Every shuttle mission doesn't just carry out work for the USA. Many space missions carry experiments from all over the world. And if a cheap reliable way of getting into space occurs than individuals and corporations will soon carry out their own space missions but by then you will probably be giving out about Corporations in space and asking what their agenda is.
 
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If memory serves, NASA is funded by the government and offers commercial room on its flight at a complete loss. Indeed, this has stopped a lot of commercial organisations from being able to compete in the market place. Don't get me wrong - space needs dedicated scientists and commercialisation needs to be somewhat controlled. But look at this way. When Nasa land men on the moon again, it will have been 50 years since the last time. Think about it. 50, bloody, years. No wonder conspiracy nuts don't think we got to the moon last time!
 

feen5

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And the main reason why men were put on the moon in the first place was not for scientific puposes but to beat the dastardly russkies there. You also have to take into account the Government interferance in NASA projects. Is it NASA's fault that the shuttle was built despite the fact that it was not the best design for the job they were told what to build because of who would be getting the lucrative contracts. Is it NASA's fault that they themselves want far more robotic exploration of space (which is both safer and cheaper) but cannot do this because GWB wants Men back on the moon and even going to Mars. Are they supposed to tell GWB to F off and suddenly find their funding cut to the bone. I think you can lay a lot more of your NASA bashing at the feet of succesive governments (though that can probably be said of nearly all government funded organisations).
 
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Nationalised industries are always a poor substitute for a commercially owned venture. While I do not like GWB, I'm glad he's upped funding. I agree with spending more on manned exploration of space. One of the finest things about human nature has been our ability to explore - hell, 'to boldly go' if you will :lol: .

While I enjoy a bit of NASA bashing, I do not despise them or wish their demise. I only wish that the prospect of exploration be opened up further.
 

feen5

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Fair Enough Gadaffi but i will disagree with you on the man missions. For the romantic view of space exploration then manned missions are the way to go. But why waste huge amounts of money sending Humans to Mars and the Moon when robots will carry out exactly the same missions at a fraction of the cost. For the price of sending say 3 people to Mars you could have regiments of robots and probes exploring not just Mars but every corner of our solar system. NASA actually wanted to do this rather than sending men to Mars. I say send the robots first and develop more technolgy to make manned space exploration safer and cheaper. (Though i would gladly advocate putting by a few hundred million to blast GWB into orbit around Jupiter. :D
 
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Well...I'd kinda like old GWB to end up in the interstellar wastes. Don't want any future descendents of man attempting to clone any of his remains.

I fully understand and appreciate the robotic arguement. I really do. But...but, hell, waste the money. More people in space. :lol:
 

crunchy5

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GadaffiDuck said:
Well...I'd kinda like old GWB to end up in the interstellar wastes. Don't want any future descendents of man attempting to clone any of his remains.

I fully understand and appreciate the robotic arguement. I really do. But...but, hell, waste the money. More people in space. :lol:

Agreed, but whats the rush, robots first for say another thirty to fifty years or so then when they've done all the maps and surveying and maybe found the water, send the humans. Perhaps on a quicker journey with a new fancy propulsion method and a habitat waiting for them.
 
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Anonymous

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Sorry. Personal greed. I would love to get into space. I would love people to get into space. Get in there and see. Land on planets. Screw up, die - send more, colonise. C'mon, stop all this safety first. Adventure, experience, living on the edge.

Gosh, I feel the adrenalin surging. :shock:
 

headnspace

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send more people to space!

i agree with GadaffiDuck. Keep sending people to space!

As more commercial uses of space arrive (see "tourism", not "mining" or "science" anytime soon), more people will get a chance to experience spaceflight. In another hundred years or so, companies might even have lunar vacations for the "average" tourist.

too bad, though, it could be today if politicians got out of NASA's way. . .
 

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Cosmonaut prepares for golf stunt

Nasa says the golf shot does not threaten the ISS
A Russian cosmonaut is preparing to hit a golf ball during a spacewalk outside the International Space Station (ISS).
Flight engineer Mikhail Tyurin will knock a lightweight ball off a tee above the ISS's Russian docking port.

A Canadian golf club maker is paying the Russian space agency an undisclosed sum for Tyurin's time.

Nasa held up the stunt for months while safety experts checked possible flight paths to make sure the ball would not head back towards the space station.

"I play ice hockey and my understanding is that it is very similar," said Mr Tyurin, who has been taking many practice swings to brush up his technique ahead of the shot, which will be carried out during a spacewalk on Wednesday.

Responding to discussion over the safety, the flight engineer replied: "No question it's safe."

Nasa flight director Holly Ridings added: "Of course the crew is taking this very, very seriously so they've been doing a lot of practice."

"There is absolutely no re-contact issue with the space station."

Federal law bars the US space agency from getting any money for its involvement.

Mr Tyurin, who has been aboard the station since September, isn't expected to smack the ball, just tap it with the club. The ball itself weighs just 4.5g (0.16 ounce) instead of the standard-issue 45g (1.6 ounce) ball.

The Russian has to make the shot one-handed because his bulky spacesuit prevents him from bringing his hands together.

Station commander Michael Lopez-Alegria, who is accompanying Tyurin during the spacewalk, will help set up a camera to film the shot for an upcoming television commercial.

Tyurin's drive is expected to be one for the record books, though not everyone agrees on how long the ball will fly. Nasa figures it will fall into Earth's atmosphere and be incinerated within three days.

Toronto-based club maker Element 21 Golf - which is paying for the orbital golf shot - is betting on three years.

During the Apollo 14 moon mission in 1971, US astronaut Alan Shepard hit a golf ball with a six-iron from the lunar surface and boasted that it travelled "miles and miles" in the low-gravity atmosphere.




http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/6164988.stm
 

Kondoru

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Is this known as the Triumph of Capitalism?
 

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Russian fires off space golf shot

Tyurin has only played golf twice before


The tee-off in space
A Russian cosmonaut has made golfing history by firing a tee shot from a precarious perch outside the International Space Station (ISS).
Flight engineer Mikhail Tyurin stood on a ladder by the docking port and hit a light-weight ball using a gold-plated six-iron club.

A Canadian golf club maker has paid the Russian space agency an undisclosed sum for the stunt.

Experts disagree on how far the ball will travel in space.

The sponsor, Element 21 Golf, says it will fly for three years, while the US space agency (Nasa) says it will more probably fall into the Earth's atmosphere and burn up within three days.

Although a likely record breaker in terms of distance, it is not the first golf stroke in space.

US astronaut Alan Shepard took a shot while on the surface of the Moon as commander of Apollo 14 in 1971.

'Excellent shot'

Mr Tyurin's tee-time was delayed for nearly two hours by a kink in the cooling line to his spacesuit. He then spent 16 minutes setting up the shot.

I've been practising... I think I'm in good enough shape

Mikhail Tyurin

The cosmonaut, who has only played golf twice in his life, tapped the ball using only one arm due to the confines of the bulky space suit.

"OK, there it goes," said Mr Tyurin. "It went pretty far. It was an excellent shot."

Station commander Michael Lopez-Alegria, who is accompanying Mr Tyurin, set up a camera to film the shot for a forthcoming television commercial.


Nasa says the golf shot does not threaten the ISS

The stunt is one of several that the Russian space agency has permitted as a way of raising money.

Pizza Hut has been allowed to put its logo on a rocket and paying tourists have been brought to the station.

The plan was stalled for months while Nasa - barred by US law from raising private funding - made sure the ball would not come back and hit the station.

But Nasa flight director Holly Ridings said it was safe. "There is absolutely no re-contact issue with the space station," she said.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/6164988.stm
 

petrosio

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That is so cool, I never realized it had grown so much.
 

rynner2

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BlackRiverFalls said:
Wow, that has got big.
...as the actress said to the bishop. ;)
 

Trevp666

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Didnt I see somewhere that the plan for the ISS is to disassemble it in orbit and re-use a lot of components for a mars mission or something?
 

ramonmercado

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Could it be an Alien mold? Remember Lord Running Clam, a sentient Slime Mold from Ganymede in Clans of the Alphane Moons by PKD?

ISS threatened by possible ‘mold and bacteria contamination’ inside cargo spacecraft
http://rt.com/news/mold-bacteria-contamination-iss-886/

Mission control has instructed the crewmembers of the International Space Station (ISS) to open the hatches of the recently docked ATV-4 unmanned cargo spaceship and carry out disinfection procedures, over fears of mold and bacteria contamination.

The ATV-4 (the fourth Automated Transfer Vehicle) was launched from the Kourou space center in French Guyana on June 5, and docked with Russia’s Zvezda ISS module on Saturday.

The hatch opening was initially planned for Monday, but was delayed. According to NASA TV, the delay was over a possible “mold and bacteria contamination” on three bags inside the cargo ship.

“The level of contamination poses no risk to the crew members, however, teams want to make sure the problem is taken care of in order to protect the atmosphere aboard the space station,” website Spaceflight101 reported before the opening of the hatch.

US astronaut Karen Nyberg (L), Russian cosmonaut Fyodor Yurchikhin (C) and European Space Agency (ESA) Italian astronaut Luca Parmitano.(AFP Photo / Maxim Shipenkov)

Russian cosmonauts have taken samples from the cargo ship for analysis.

The European Space Agency stressed that the spacecraft was in good technical condition.

The ATV-4 contains 6.5 metric tons of fuel, water, oxygen and equipment, and is scheduled to remain docked with the ISS until October 28.

The spacecraft will then be de-orbited and ultimately sunk in the non-navigational waters of the Pacific Ocean.
 

ramonmercado

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More ISS news: How Does Your Garden Grow? Bit worried about the trees, could turn into Triffids.

Cosmic bloom? Early blossom for cherry tree after space trip
Published time: April 11, 2014 10:18
http://rt.com/news/cherry-tree-space-japan-796/

Cherry tree in bloom, grown from a cherry pit that spent time onboard the International Space Station (ISS), at the Ganjoji temple in Gifu city, central Japan. (AFP Photo / Chujo-Hime-Seigan-Zakura Preservation Societ)

A four-year-old cherry tree grown from a pit that orbited the Earth for eight months aboard the ISS has burst into blossom in Japan far earlier than usual with very interesting flowers, a riddle that is perplexing local scientists.

The ‘extraterrestrial’ cherry tree was expected to blossom in six years, in 2018, as normally it takes at least 10 years for similar sorts of tree to bear their first buds.

However, in April the ‘space cherry tree’, already grown to around 4 meters tall, suddenly produced nine flowers, reported local media. The blooms’ form was also unusual as each had only five petals, while on the parent tree from which it was taken there were about 30 petals.

The wonder pit was one of around 265 seeds that were harvested from the fruit of the famous 1,250-year-old ‘Chujohimeseigan-zakura’ cherry tree in the compound of an ancient Ganjoji temple. The tree is a variety of the ‘yamazakura’ wild cherry species, and until now, the attempts to grow any sapling from its fruit have been unsuccessful.

The cherry seeds were sent to the ISS in November, 2008 with Japanese astronaut Koichi Wakata, now commander of the ISS. They were returned to Earth eight months later in July, 2009. A selection of seeds was soon successfully planted by Japanese botanist Takao Yoshimura near the ancient Buddhist Ganjoji temple in Gifu, central Japan.

"We are amazed to see how fast it has grown," Masahiro Kajita, chief priest at the temple, told AFP.

"A stone from the original tree had never sprouted before. We are very happy because it will succeed the old tree, which is said to be 1,250 years old," he added.

Meanwhile, the rest of space-traveling cherry pits were planted in Kochi Prefecture in south-western Japan and Yamanashi in central Japan, and they have already come into bloom as well.

The project, organized by Tokyo-based Japan Manned Space Systems (JAMSS), was aimed at letting children gather the stones and learn how they grow into trees and live on after returning from space, said Miho Tomioka, a spokeswoman for the project's organizer.

She said they, also along with children, who planted the seeds, were expecting the tree to blossom about 10 tears after planting in 2018 when the children who were planning these very trees come of age.

Japanese astronaut Koichi Wakata holding a pack of cherry sheeds in the International Space Station on April 13, 2009 (AFP Photo / JAXA)Japanese astronaut Koichi Wakata holding a pack of cherry sheeds in the International Space Station on April 13, 2009 (AFP Photo / JAXA)

Meanwhile, the scientists are puzzled by the ‘unearthly’ cherry tree wonder. According to Kaori Tomita-Yokotani, a researcher at the University of Tsukuba in the Kant? region of Japan, she is baffled by the “cherry mystery.”

"We still cannot rule out the possibility that it has been somewhat influenced by its exposure to the space environment," she said.

Plant physiologist Tomita-Yokotani says it is difficult to find an explanation to this rapid growth of the tree, adding that from a scientific point the researchers “can only say they don't know why [this rapid growth happened]."
 

rynner2

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So when these cherry trees produce fruit, what will happen to people who eat it?! :shock:
 

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Its a flowering cherry, a typical item of ingenious Japanese nonfunctionality
 
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