back to article HAPPY 15th BIRTHDAY, International Space Station! NASA man reveals life on-board

The first section of the International Space Station lifted off atop a Russian rocket 15 years ago. Today, NASA says it's confident the habitat is safe to stay in orbit until 2028, and possibly much longer. "All of the primary structure looks good until 2028," Dan Hartman, deputy program manager for the ISS, told The Register. " …

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This is good.

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Puny US gallons

An American gallon may weigh "about 8 pounds", but a proper British gallon weighs 10lbs

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Re: Puny US gallons

But either of those only apply in the dumbed down world of old measures. Those of us who speak modern know that 1 litre of water is 1 kg and that's the same whatever country you happen to be in.

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Windows

Google Earth to visit?

Like the impressive sub. video. I guess training operatives / weight of equipment etc ...

Highly impractical, probably impossible (in the near future) but - WOW - If only....

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I believe there is very little of any science going on there - this is just a cover for keeping this program and station afloat. The real reason is this erroneous belief that humans should be exploring space - no, they should not, robots are much better for this.

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To boldly go......

I have always believed in the notion of man going into space ever since as a seven year old I read the news of Yuri Gargarin's launch.

It may be true that primary exploration can be carried out better by robots but eventually man will and should leave this planet to explore space 'in person'. I have always wished I could be one of them and if I was offered the chance to launch tomorrow, I would be there ready and waiting.

As for suggesting the ISS does no real science, I suggest you change to a better smoking material.

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Re: To boldly go......

OK, so please tell me what, apart from effects of weightlessness on human body, was discovered there?

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Re: To boldly go......

Hmm, if only you had access to some global network of public human knowledge that you could search. Ah well, failing that, try this link:

http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/research/experiments_category.html

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Re: To boldly go......

Yes, they do conduct experiments. I asked what discoveries (hopefully important ones) have been made there.

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Re: To boldly go......

Well for one thing, we now know what to do to avoid a fluid problem in the eyes, develop systems to support extended duration missions in space.

Oh and lets not forget about repair but you can lob thaty in with the construction item in the ledger.

Reality is yes we can send bot's/probes off to view, but at some point we must leave this place as the Earth moves out of the goldilocks zone or do you propose we try and sort this out all at the last minute like a b-grade scifi flick.

Kinda like greenies who want something done about carbon emmissions yet bag nuclear power.

After all the Internet is just here to allow governments to rule and control our lives...... :-)

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Re: To boldly go......

The ISS has been up there 15 years in an environment that is in terms of human history , completely new to us. Given the relative difficulties in getting there in the first place the hundreds of experiments that have been carried out so far is remarkable.

If we take an arbitrary beginning for human efforts at research in an environment that Homo Sapiens has been in and is comfortable with for a couple of hundred thousand years, how many major discoveries were made each 15 years over the last four thousand?

Not too many I think!

The great thing about space is the potential for new industries and the expanding abilities of the human race, man would never have got anywhere without the urge to go and see what is over the next hill, stifling that by having a short sighted non- risk taking mentality is selling the whole planet short.

The more we go there the better we get at it and the further we can set our sights, although we can achieve a great deal with robots there is no substitute for a human eye on the job.

At the end of the day as I am sure you know Slawek; robot originates from a Polish/Russian word for worker.

Best of all the ISS and other efforts like it stimulate the human imagination and provide encouragement to go further.

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Re: To boldly go......

" I have always wished I could be one of them and if I was offered the chance to launch tomorrow, I would be there ready and waiting."

Join the queue! (And have an upvote for the sentiment!)

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So they've got the toilets working properly now?

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IIRC, there's never been a problem with the toilets. The related problems you might be thinking of was to with water recycling. If the cost of getting all that water up to ISS was waaaay lower there'd never have been a "toilet" problem as recycling would not have been attempted (or would have been waaay less efficient.

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Alien

Personally, i agree that the ISS moneyy should have been spent on robotic exploration...

And technologies to get into orbit at a lower price per unit of weight. Oh well....

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Collaboration

Not to mention peaceful and collaborative work from 69 nations or anything...

But that is pretty good going for 15 years. Different ideologies, philosphies and so on

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Anonymous Coward

Yes ... but is there REALLY an ISS

I don't believe that there really is an ISS. I think that they hired Stanley Kubrick to fake the launch and subsequent habitation of the space station. Soon, he'll be making a film called The Dulling and it'll have clues in it pointing to the mass cover-up.

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Pint

hindsight, 20-20, check.

Yes, there are probably better ways to spend the few measly dollars that Congress annually deigns to provide to NASA. Congress allocated 3x as much for "security theater" (a.k.a. DHS) than for NASA in 2013. A well funded space effort could, and would, likely do things differently.

Given the constraints of having to guess what next year's budget will be, or who's going to be in The White House, or how do we survive the cuts when we have to let most of our best people go because the pols can't think of the Next Big Thing leads to waste and inefficiency. Add to that, the fact that everybody from The President down to the most junior member of Congress thinks he can, and wants to, micromanage NASA while cutting their budget and you have a sure fire way of wasting time and money

One thing that should be remembered is that NASA is an agency that has historically been assigned difficult but one-off tasks and has never been encouraged, or allowed, to pursue long-range projects. Their imperative has always been politically driven. Quick, put up a satellite. Quick, put a man on the Moon. Quick, build a shuttle. Quick, build a space station. They have met these goals quite admirably and are experts at putting together a mission plan on scratch paper in fifteen minutes usually without sacrificing crew safety.

Small wonder money gets wasted when you've got to figure out how much of a tiny budget to spend on manned or robot exploration and you can't forget all the aeronautics, human factors, education and other work ongoing.

The manned vs robots argument is an old one that IMHO (ok, not so humble) is trumped by the fact that the human race apparently needs something to explore and settle or it goes off against itself. Robots are doing wonderful things but nothing that a bunch of shaved apes can't do better, faster and more thoroughly. When a robot gets stuck it has to wait, sometimes days, for a human to run the sims and figure out how to get out of the sand trap. A human just gets out, does some spadework (literally), puts down a set of traction mats and goes back about his business - usually at 60mph (not 0.6km/day).

I'm not surprised that the ISS is 15 going on 30. After all, these are the same kind of guys that put together the Voyager spacecraft. So, the beer is for all those hard workers and happy birthday ISS.

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But exploration by bunch of "shaved apes" is 50-200 times more expensive and if a robot gets stuck, it is cheaper to forget it and send another, better one. Keeping a bunch of human guinea pigs floating 200 miles above the ground has very little to do with science and space exploration.

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All's relative

"Take water. A gallon of the stuff weighs about eight pounds"

Maybe. But 1 litre of it only weighs 1 kilogram... ;-P

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