Feeds

back to article Russian cargo ship drops off spacesuit puncture repair kit at the ISS

A Russian cargoship docked with the International Space Station without a hitch this weekend, carrying nearly three metric tons of supplies for the crew. Here's a video of the launch to the ISS: The Progress 52 docked with the station's Pirs compartment 260 miles (418km) over the Pacific Ocean roughly six hours after it was …

COMMENTS

This topic is closed for new posts.
Joke

UNIVERSAL PARCEL SERVICES

WE ATTEMPTED DELIVERY

You were:

..... Out

x... Not available

We were:

x... Unable to gain entry

..... Did not get a response

We have

..... Let your package with a neighbour

x... Returned the package to the depot for you to collect

Your nearest Universal Parcel Service depot is at Alpha Centauri, and is listed in the Ultra Violet pages.

Have a nice civilisation.

Regards,

UPS

26
0

Metric

Whats with all the pounds i thought everything is metric.

6
1
Silver badge

Re: Metric

Unless they meant pounds sterling? Wonder what volume of what could cost almost a grand on the ISS. Probably depends on if the urine recyc is working or not.

0
0
Anonymous Coward

Re: Metric

Yeah, that's what I thought. If they're going to confuse us flipping from metric tonnes to pounds, can we at least have a decent conversion equation in elephants per second, or perhaps wildebeest per orbit?

And how come they get all these goodies in 6 hours when it takes Tesco two weeks to deliver to the Scottish Highlands? About time some Russian bought Tesco.

4
0
Silver badge

Re: Metric

El Reg made a huge song and dance about going SI for everything except aircraft altitude and one other thing (I forget what, but it wasn't ISS cargo). It seems El Reg has forgotten what really was one great leap for commentkind. Shame, Reg, shame.

1
0
Silver badge

Title is too long

"1,212 pounds of propellant, 42 pounds of oxygen, 62 pounds of air, 926 pounds of water and 3,395 pounds of spare parts, maintenance equipment and experiment hardware."

Looking forward to the weight v mass debate but can this please be put into something relevant like kilos or elephants (indian or african, it doesn't matter as long as you specify which each time).

11
1
Silver badge
Happy

Combined Operational Load Bearing External Resistance Treadmill (COLBERT)

And the award for this year's most contrived acronym goes to...

3
0
Boffin

Does the ISS vent CO2? Or is the replacement air just to replace that lost in airlocks etc?

How much does the air in this room weigh? is a classic problem solving question to ask budding young scientists in interviews. (They normally massively underestimate)

0
0
ql
Bronze badge
Pint

Mass (or is it weight) of air

According to the WView weather software I'm running, the air currently weighs 1.171 kg/m^3

Beer, for Astro Luca's fantastic twitter pics from the ISS

0
0
Headmaster

My understanding is that they use CO₂ scrubbers to absord the carbon dioxide from the air. I always thought they used disposable chemical scrubbers based on lithium hydroxide, but the Interwebs tell me that these days they use molecular sieves to filter the carbon dioxide out. These can then be regenerated by heating them: the CO₂ is released. This is then reacted with hydrogen produced by the electrolysis systems to produce O₂ and methane. The methane is vented overboard and the oxygen reused.

However there's always going to be losses, which will cause the partial pressure of oxygen to slowly decrease in the station's atmosphere (people consume less O₂ then you think), and it'll need to be topped up at intervals. I don't know whether they ship up a full air mix and then do something exotic to balance the proportions or whether they ship oxygen and nitrogen separately.

0
0
Silver badge
Coat

Air

Or is the replacement air just to replace that lost in airlocks etc?

That they're also sending a spacesuit puncture repair kit should be a clue.

0
0
Bronze badge
Joke

Air Mixture / Source

I think that would depend on who is gathering the air.

NASA: pre-measure everything and get each components to within 5 ppb of what is on the space station, spending millions of dollars for each pound of air

Russia: Take an air compressor and just grab the air outside of the launch facility

Japan: Pump the air out of the vaginas of school girls

Europe: build a facility dreamed up by a fashion designer on top of the Swiss alps to get 'only the freshest, hippest' air.

China: Get a few hundred children to breath into gas canisters and throw some lead or melamine for good measure.

0
0

The CO2 problem interests me

Chazmon touched a interesting question up there. I always wondered, how the life support works on habitats, isolated for longer terms, like space stations and nuclear submarines. I mean, I know how to maintain breathable atmosphere for a few hours, like in minisub or bathyscafe, using common chemicals,but I doubt you can do it for months.

I searched the Internet, but to no avail. Do they have some closed system up there, using plants or algae? Or is there some really smart device, into which you pump electricity and it dismantles CO2 into oxygen and ...carbon, I guess? Can anybody give me a link?

Many thanks in advance.

1
0
Silver badge
Joke

Re: The CO2 problem interests me

The CO2 is just vented outside and new air is pumped in from the atmosphere in Studio 51.

3
0
Gold badge
Unhappy

Re: The CO2 problem interests me

"Chazmon touched a interesting question up there. I always wondered, how the life support works on habitats, isolated for longer terms, like space stations and nuclear submarines. I mean,"

Submarines typically have a very large power source they can use to desalinate see water, electrolyze it and extract water that way, so O2 and water not big problems on big boats, more trouble on diesel electrics.

Space is more trouble. Despite decades of saying they want to go to the universe NASA still does not have a full closed cycle life support. system. The biggies are urine and sweat. IIRC urine recylc is getting better but the adsorb CO2 onto molecular sieve compounds then expose them to vacuum to boil off. This is in fact an improvement on the old one use filter cartridges.

BTW NASA standard consumables for a 'naut is 5Kg/person/day. maybe 3.5Kg of that is water. So water re-cycyling would (for long missions) save serious amounts of up-mass.

Short answer for space "badly."

0
0
Anonymous Coward

Re: The CO2 problem interests me

> desalinate see water

Nothing to with the pope, I hope.

1
0

Re: The CO2 problem interests me

Honestly the O2 generator is rarely used, at least on a 688. They more often burn O2 candles which are leftovers from the early days of coal mining. The O2 generators are generally seen as unsafe and unreliable, nicknamed “the bomb” and located directly under crews mess, having only seen it run on a small handful of occasions (probably less than 6 times) in a 5 year period vs. routine use of the O2 candles, though I would hope newer boats use better tech than that.

0
0
Bronze badge

Re: The CO2 problem interests me

Ohio-class SSBN/SSGN submarines use a combination of CO2 scrubbers and electrolyzed oxygen from the sea-water (Although a lot of that is diverted to the missiles, the crew still get some). There are also emergency compressed air tanks to last for quite a while so a rescue can be effected if the sub loses power (Happens more often than you'd think, just ask the crew of the Kursk)

The Ohio-class is over-kill for its mission, but that's what you get from Cold-war era paranoia matched with the ungodly budget of the US government. To be fair, a lot of technology used for the life support was originally researched for the space program (or maybe it was the other way around)

0
0
Bronze badge

Re: The CO2 problem interests me

Here's a starter description of the ISS's life support system:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ISS_ECLSS

Here's the NASA overview of the ISS life support:

http://www.nasa.gov/centers/marshall/pdf/104840main_eclss.pdf

Basically, there's multiple systems at work. The US has contributed a fancy CO2 scrubber and air monitor; both the US and Russia have contributed water-cracking systems prone to failure; and there are back-up oxygen candles and chemical CO2 scrubbers.

As for the purpose of bringing up pure oxygen and air instead of just oxygen, that's a side effect of the life support and leakage on the station. The station is filled with an oxygen-nitrogen atmosphere like on Earth. The main life support systems attempt to recycle oxygen, but there are inevitable inefficiencies because not all astronaut-consumed oxygen is exhaled as CO2 and water. Some oxygen also ends up in the urine (which is recycled) after the body gets done using combining oxygen with food throughout the body, but some oxygen gets bound up elsewhere: feces, flesh, hair, nails, etc. that aren't recycled. So, because of those oxygen recycling losses, the composition of the ISS's atmosphere would tend to get nitrogen-rich without adding some pure oxygen to make up the losses. Hence, the delivery of pure oxygen.

But there are also nitrogen losses through leaks and airlock operation. The life support system could keep pressure at its set point, but this would result in the atmosphere getting oxygen-rich. Or the life support system could keep the oxygen percentage steady, but this would result in a pressure drop. Or you could bring up some canned air to make up the nitrogen losses.

You could also use pure nitrogen, but since you're going to also need to replace lost oxygen, you might as well bring up canned air.

0
0
Silver badge
Trollface

Then the airlock opens with a hiss ...

"Helloo.... Snowden?!"

4
0
Bronze badge
Alien

Re Deep space exploration

If the issue is sweat and urine then it looks like some form of long term hibernation chamber needs inventing.........someone cue the Mel Gibson icon

0
0
Bronze badge

"an old astronaut treadmill [...] had been on the ISS since November 2000"

Ah, so, the ISS now officially has a man-cave!

1
0
Bronze badge

What, the Russians didn't offer an extended warranty on the original treadmill? SquareTrade should have been all over this!

0
0

Of course there was someone in...

Their spacesuit has a hole in it.

It's like waiting in your pants in your hotel room for the trouser delivery service to provide replacement pair after splitting the seat. You ain't going anywhere. It sucks to be David Bannister.

0
0
This topic is closed for new posts.