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'Follow Our Dreams': 20 Years Since Zarya Launched the International Space Station Era (Part 1)
By Ben Evans, on November 11th, 2018 [AmericaSpace]

Twenty years ago, this month, the grandest engineering endeavor in human history got underway with the dawn of the International Space Station (ISS). Photo Credit: NASA

Twenty years ago, this month, a new era began. On 20 November 1998, a Russian Proton-K rocket—descendent of a family of heavylift boosters which had already launched a half-dozen Soviet space stations and numerous scientific and technological research modules into low-Earth orbit—blasted off from Site 81 at the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, laden with the first component of the International Space Station (ISS). Measuring 41 feet (12.5 meters) in length and 13.5 feet (4.1 meters) wide, the Zarya (“Dawn”) module would provide power, storage, propulsion and guidance for an infant station which, in time, would grow to become the largest artificial satellite ever launched into space and the grandest and most complex engineering accomplishment in human history.

Mounted atop the Orbiter Docking System (ODS) in shuttle Endeavour’s payload bay in December 1998, the first two elements of the International Space Station (ISS), the US-built Unity Node (lower) and the Russian-built Zarya (upper), bring the dreams of a dozen nations together at last. Photo Credit: NASA

Within hours of emplacement into a 250-mile-high (400 km) orbit, inclined 51.6 degrees to the equator, Zarya’s twin solar arrays were deployed and the module lingered for two weeks, ahead of the launch of shuttle Endeavour with the first U.S.-built ISS element, the Unity node. Fundamentally, the purpose of Zarya—also known as the Functional Cargo Block, or “FGB” in Cyrillic letters—was to act as a junction between the station’s Russian Orbital Segment (ROS) and U.S. Orbital Segment (USOS). However, the union of East and West which began in space that cold November day, twenty winters ago, had come about only after many years of political and economic difficulty and on more than one occasion had teetered on the brink of collapse.

Its story began on 25 January 1984, when then-President Ronald Reagan formally declared that the United States would build a permanent space station, “and do it within a decade”, perhaps tapping into his predecessor John F. Kennedy’s vaunted goal of landing a man on the Moon by the end of the 1960s. Reagan had already discussed the concept at length with the NASA administrator at the time, Jim Beggs, and declared that the nation should “follow our dreams to distant stars, living and working in space for peaceful economic and scientific gain”. Within weeks, in April 1984, former NASA flight director Neil Hutchinson was appointed as the first space station program manager at the Johnson Space Center (JSC) in Houston, Texas, and it was under his leadership that the first blueprints emerged for what America’s next space station might look like.

The “Power Tower” concept, unveiled in April 1984, was the earliest incarnation of what later became Space Station Freedom. Image Credit: NASA

Those early designs were impressive in their scope and capability. With a total pressurized volume of 31,000 cubic feet (878 cubic meters), the station would be assembled, module by critical module, in low-Earth orbit, by a succession of shuttle crews. The “power tower” design in April 1984 envisaged a station with a long, central keel, a cluster of modules at one end and a giant set of articulating solar arrays and a satellite servicing bay at the other end. Contracts for preliminary design and definition studies were awarded in early 1985 and expectations were strong that construction would begin by 1992.

By the time shuttle Challenger was lost in the spring of 1986, the station’s design had changed again, this time featuring a pair of keels and shifting the cluster of modules to a central truss to make the center-of-gravity positioning more suitable for quiescent microgravity research. At around the same time, the number of U.S. pressurized scientific modules was reduced from two to one, as the European and Japanese space agencies came aboard with their own home-built modules. In September 1986, this “dual-keel” station was costed at $14.5 billion and, with the shuttle fleet grounded, no one anticipated the launch of its first element anytime before 1994. The cost caused concern in Congress and NASA was obliged to investigate other station designs, ranging from a Skylab-like monolith to a gradual, phased assembly of a dual-keel facility, the latter of which decreased the cost marginally to around $12.2 billion.

Rescoped version of Space Station Freedom, following the March 1991 redesign. Image Credit: NASA/Tom Buzbee

In August 1988, on the eve of the shuttle’s return to flight after Challenger, and in his final months as president, Reagan announced that the station would be called “Freedom”. A month later, NASA signed ten-year contracts to kick off its development and a Space Station Intergovernmental Agreement allocated resources between the U.S. and its European, Japanese and Canadian partners. Under the language of the agreement, NASA would receive 97 percent of resources in the U.S. lab, with the remainder allocated to Canada, in return for having its robotic assets on station. Europe and Japan would each retain 51 percent of their modules, with the United States taking 46 percent and Canada 3 percent of the rest. In terms of crewing, it was expected that Freedom would initially have a long-duration staff of four, rotating through 90-120-day increments. At a later date, station crews would expand to eight people: six Americans and two international astronauts from Europe, Japan or Canada.

Politics conspired heavily against Freedom in its early years, as harsh budgetary realities hit home. Congress reduced NASA’s Fiscal Year 1988 allocation for the station from $767 million to $525 million and virtually halved what the space agency had requested for 1989. Further cuts occurred in 1990, by which time the troubling realization reared its head that Freedom was 23 percent overweight, offered only 66 percent of the electrical power for its scientific requirements and was becoming excessively complex. An external maintenance task team estimated in September that between 2,282 and 3,276 hours of Extravehicular Activity (EVA) would be required, per year, to assemble and maintain Freedom, a far cry indeed from the 500 hours initially planned by NASA.

In the words of President Ronald Reagan, America’s new space station was expected to provide a gateway to explore deeper into the cosmos. Image Credit: Great Images in NASA

Further redesigns took place over the following months, in response to continuing budgetary cuts, and in March 1991 NASA unveiled its new plan for Freedom, with slimmed-down laboratory and habitation modules—40 percent shorter in length—as well as simplified radiators and attitude-control systems and a smaller number of shuttle flights to build. The massive solar arrays and trusses would be prefabricated and tested on the ground, contributing to a halving of the predicted number of EVA hours. “We’ve cut costs, simplified the design and reduced the complexity of the project,” explained former shuttle astronaut Bill Lenoir, then serving as NASA’s associate administrator for spaceflight. “At the same time, Freedom will be a quality facility, providing a research laboratory unsurpassed in the world for life sciences and microgravity research and a stepping stone into the future.”

Under the provisions of the new plan, construction would begin early in 1996, allowing the station to be “man-tended” by mid-1997, with astronauts performing research for about two weeks at a time, whilst a shuttle was docked. By the turn of the millennium, it was expected that Freedom—by then equipped with U.S., European and Japanese modules, Canadian robotic assets and three sets of solar arrays, with an output totalling 65 kilowatts—would be permanently occupied by a staff of four astronauts. There were also discussions to add another U.S. module and a further set of solar arrays to boost electrical power to 75 kilowatts, which would comfortably allow the crew size to expand to eight.

In June 1992, newly-inaugurated NASA Administrator Dan Goldin stood before the National Space Club, frustration clear in his voice as the delays dragged on. The United States, he said, had “waited long enough” for a space station, that the nation “must have a permanent presence in space” and that “we need Space Station Freedom…and we need it now.” Despite much pessimism, the development test article for the station’s propulsion module was successfully static-fired in December 1992, prompting Dick Kohrs, head of the station program at NASA Headquarters in Washington, D.C., to observe that “Freedom is no longer a paper station.” And yet 1993 would bring America’s dream of having its first space station since Skylab closer to cancelation than ever before.

Source: 'Follow Our Dreams': 20 Years Since Zarya Launched the International Space Station Era (Part 1)

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'A Vote For Our Future': 20 Years Since Zarya Launched the International Space Station (Part 2)
By Ben Evans, on November 18th, 2018 [AmericaSpace]

The Russian-built Zarya module (lower) and U.S.-built Unity node (upper), pictured during assembly operations on STS-88 in December 1998. Photo Credit: NASA

Twenty years ago, on 20 November 1998, Russia’s Zarya (“Dawn”) module—the first component of the International Space Station (ISS)—was launched from Site 81 at the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, atop a mighty Proton-K booster. Less than nine minutes later, the 41-foot-long (12.5-meter) cylindrical module had separated from the final stage of its launch vehicle and settled perfectly into low-Earth orbit. Its function in those early days of the ISS program would to be to provide power, storage, propulsion and guidance for an infant space station which, in time, would grow to become the largest artificial satellite ever launched from Earth and the grandest and most complex engineering accomplishment in human history.

If 20 years ago marked a moment of triumph, then it is bitterly ironic that just five years previously, in 1993, the station effort hung on a knife-edge of cancelation. As outlined in last week’s AmericaSpace history article, the program began under President Ronald Reagan in 1984 and was initially named “Space Station Freedom”, a co-operative venture between the United States and the respective space agencies of Europe, Canada and Japan. In spite of the potential technological leaps offered by the station, it quickly became mired in complexity and drifted substantially over-budget throughout the late 1980s and early 1990s. When a new president, Bill Clinton, entered office in January 1993, he planned to cut NASA’s budget by 15 percent over five years to reduce the federal deficit. Although Clinton wanted Freedom to succeed and honor the United States’ commitment to its international partners, he desired a configuration with significantly reduced development, operational and utilization costs. In February 1993, NASA was directed to redesign Freedom for the final time.

Over the next few months, three options crystallized to produce plans for a dramatically slimmed-down station. At the same time, Russia was being increasingly courted as a potential future partner in the program and in April 1993 John Gibbons, head of the Office of Science and Technology Policy, noted that the United States, Europe, Canada and Japan were giving “full consideration” to the use of Russian assets in a consultancy role in the Freedom redesign process. For Russia’s part, the nation had already delayed the launch of its next-generation Mir-2 space station until at least 1997, following funding problems in the wake of the collapse of the Soviet Union, and it was clear that both sides needed each other’s involvement to allow their respective space programs to survive.

The Zarya module roars into orbit atop a Proton-K booster from Baikonur on 20 November 1998. Photo Credit: NASA

In June 1993, three options were submitted to the White House Advisory Committee on the Redesign of the Space Station, all of which—in the words of NASA Administrator Dan Goldin—were “technically viable” and provided “complete and accurate costs”. Option A used a combination of Space Station Freedom hardware and flight-qualified systems from other sources, to be assembled in four phases. Option B was derived from mature Freedom designs and made maximum use of current systems to enhance payload accommodations for its scientific users. Finally, Option C was a single-launch space station, with a seven-deck “core” module. In all three cases, Russia’s Soyuz-TM spacecraft would provide assured crew return capability. Also that June, an amendment to remove Space Station funding from NASA’s appropriation bill, effectively killing the project, failed by just one vote in the House of Representatives. The station had hit rock-bottom and the only direction now, it seemed, was upwards.

By August, Goldin announced the selection of Boeing as prime contractor and in January 1995 a $5.63 billion contract was signed to design and build the new station. In the meantime, Russia was formally brought into the program, which was renamed the “International Space Station”, and by the spring of 1994 the bones of the new outpost took shape. It would utilize about 75 percent of the hardware planned for Freedom, thus maintaining the United States’ and its partners’ initial investment, but redesigned to be less expensive and more capable. Its hardware would include an Integrated Truss Structure (ITS) to support solar arrays and radiators, U.S. laboratory and habitation modules, European and Japanese laboratories, a Canadian robotic arm and Russian-built science power platform, service module and—crucially—the Functional Cargo Block, which was later named “Zarya”, and which would become the first ISS element to fly.

Original plans envisaged Zarya to be launched via a Proton-K rocket from Baikonur in November 1997, after which a shuttle crew would arrive to deliver a U.S.-built connecting module, known as “Node-1”. Next would come Russia’s service module in early 1998, providing crew quarters and life-support systems, to be followed by the bulk of the rest of the station components. Construction was estimated to require 55 months, with the final assembly mission in mid-2002, after 13 Russian launches and 16 shuttle flights. From its inception in early 1994 to its completion in mid-2002, it was anticipated that the ISS would cost in the region of $17.4 billion.

Mounted atop the Orbiter Docking System (ODS) in shuttle Endeavour’s payload bay in December 1998, the first two elements of the International Space Station (ISS), the US-built Unity Node (lower) and the Russian-built Zarya (upper), bring the dreams of a dozen nations together at last. Photo Credit: NASA

A House of Representatives amendment to cancel the project in June 1994 failed and Goldin declared this milestone as “a vote for America and for the American people and a vote for our future”. By early August, another amendment to terminate the ISS came to nought. In the meantime, in December 1994 the construction of the Zarya module got underway at Khrunichev State Research and Production Center in Moscow. Early the following year, NASA Space Station Program Manager Randy Brinkley and the Russian Space Agency’s Deputy of Piloted Spaceflight Boris Ostroumov signed government-level protocols for the U.S. purchase of Zarya at $190 million. And in August 1995, Boeing reached agreement with Khrunichev to complete and deliver Zarya into orbit. The module was structurally complete by December 1996, targeting launch late the following year. Elsewhere, Node-1—later to be renamed “Unity”—was also taking shape and was delivered to the Kennedy Space Center (KSC) in Florida in June 1997.

However, a third critical element in the early phase of construction had fallen behind schedule. Russia’s Zvezda (“Star”) service module, with its required crew quarters, life-support and propulsion systems, had fallen eight months behind schedule, moving from an original launch date target of March 1998 to no sooner than December. “We knew from the outset that building an International Space Station was going to be tremendously challenging,” said Dan Goldin at the time. “Space exploration is not easy or predictable. We will work through this schedule issue and we undoubtedly will face additional problems in the future, but we are well on our way to the realization of this world-class facility.” In order to mitigate the impact of the service module delay on the rest of the ISS construction sequence, plans were implemented to build a stand-in Interim Control Module (ICM) for reboost capability, if needed. In May 1997, the Zarya launch was rescheduled for no sooner than June 1998, followed by the delivery of the Unity node by the crew of shuttle mission STS-88 in July.

Sergei Krikalev (left) and STS-88 Commander Bob Cabana became the first humans to board the International Space Station (ISS) in orbit. Photo Credit: NASA

Notwithstanding this disappointing delay, progress continued. By October 1997, the two Pressurized Mating Adapters (PMAs)—a pair of interfaces, to be installed at either end of Unity—had been delivered to KSC for integration and Russia “reassured” its international partners that the service module would be ready to fly in December 1998. It was a promise that Russia would fail to keep, although Zvezda itself was making good strides towards launch, having passed a general designers’ review in Moscow with flying colors in September 1997. Elsewhere, Zarya was completed in January 1998 and transported to Baikonur in June for launch. By this time, however, Zvezda had slipped yet again and proud NASA declarations that 1998 was the “Year of the Space Station” seemed overly premature. In May, the partners were forced to confront the uncomfortable reality that Zvezda would not fly in December, after all, and the launch of Zarya was correspondingly pushed back to November and STS-88 to December. A new date for Zvezda was then pencilled-in for April 1999. NASA tried to downplay the seriousness of the delays, but the events underscored how dependent the partners were upon the newly in-from-the-cold Russia.

As 1998 entered its final months, all seemed to finally be on track. The STS-88 crew—Commander Bob Cabana, Pilot Rick Sturckow and Mission Specialists Jerry Ross, Nancy Currie and Jim Newman—had been training for over two years and were joined in July by veteran Russian cosmonaut Sergei Krikalev, who had previously been announced as a member of the first long-duration ISS expedition. As circumstances transpired, Krikalev and Cabana would become the first humans to board the new space station. And as Zarya speared perfectly to orbit on 20 November 1998, the arrival of humans on the ISS, and the dawn of a new era in international co-operation in space, drew inexorably closer.

'A Vote For Our Future': 20 Years Since Zarya Launched the International Space Station (Part 2)

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Роскосмос.Приветственное слово Дмитрия Рогозина на конференции посвященной 20-летию МКС
19.11.2018 15:24

Генеральный директор Дмитрий Рогозин выступил на открытии научно-практической конференции «Космонавтика: открытое пространство международного сотрудничества и развития», которая проходит в «Центре космонавтика и авиация» на ВДНХ.
 Дорогие друзья!

Двадцать лет назад, 20 ноября 1998 года с космодрома Байконур стартовала ракета «Протон-К», и на околоземную орбиту был выведен первый элемент международной космической станции (МКС) — функционально-грузовой блок «Заря». Еще через две с половиной недели — 7 декабря — шаттл «Индевор» поднял в космос американский модуль «Юнити» и пристыковал его к российскому модулю. После чего наш космонавт Сергей Константинович Крикалев и американский астронавт Роберт Кабана открыли люк и вошли внутрь станции.

Так 20 лет назад началась история МКС — Международной космической станции, которую без всякого преувеличения можно назвать восьмым чудом света, ибо она таковым и является — глобальным, самым крупным и амбициозным научным и техническим международным проектом, участниками которого стали ученые, инженеры и специалисты 14 государств.

20 лет, как мы помним, «немалый срок». А если мы начнем отсчет проекта с рождения идеи и первых российско-американских консультаций — а они начались в конце 80-х — начале 90-х годов прошлого века — то это будет период, сравнимый с общественно-исторической и научно-технологической формацией. Когда шли первые концептуальные обдумывания, напомню, что еще даже мобильных телефонов не было, а интернет делал свои первые робкие шаги.

Но зато был блистательный опыт — советские научные станции «Салют» и «Мир», который проработал в три раза дольше проектного срока. И, кстати, также был реализован с международным участием. Была прекрасная американская научная станция «Скайлэб». И, конечно, было бы крайне печально, если бы опыт, наработанный на этих станциях, не получил своего развития. И хорошо, что с обеих сторон созрело понимание, что в одиночку развивать такие проекты сложно. А вместе — веселей и эффективней во всех смыслах: и в плане технологических и научных обменов, и в плане финансовом.

Немало пришлось вложить труда и настойчивости в реализацию этого проекта ученым и конструкторам с обеих сторон. Я бы хотел назвать, безусловно, Юрия Николаевича Коптева, который в те годы возглавлял Российское космическое агентство, Юрия Павловича Семёнова, бывшего тогда Генеральным конструктором НПО «Энергия», главу Национального управления США по аэронавтике и исследованию космического пространства Дэниела Голдина. Ну и, конечно, Виктора Степановича Черномырдина и Альберта Гора которые поддержали предложения наших ученых и конструкторов, и, благодаря исторической дальнозоркости которых, этот грандиозный проект — детище человеческого гения, творчества, ума, трудолюбия, и в немалой степени взаимопонимания и доверия состоялся!...

...Россия и Соединенные Штаты — крупнейшие космические державы. В первые годы освоения космического пространства между нашими странами было жесткое соперничество. Своеобразная гонка престижа, как часть соревнования общественно-политических систем и их технических и технологических возможностей. В этой гонке мы шли, что называется, «ноздря в ноздрю». Первыми людьми, совершившими орбитальный космический полет, стали российские космонавты Юрий Гагарин и Герман Титов. А третьим Землю облетел по ее орбите американец Джон Гленн, военный летчик, участник Второй мировой войны.
Наши космонавты в 1969 году первыми в мире произвели стыковку на орбите космических кораблей Союз-4 и Союз-5. А через полгода в юго-западном районе моря Спокойствия на поверхность Луны шагнул отважный Нил Армстронг, произнеся свое знаменитое: «Маленький шаг для человека, но — огромный для человечества».
Вхождение в космос — это был действительно огромный шаг, и понимание его масштабов и значения для человечества побудило наши страны преодолеть антагонизмы и недоверие «холодной войны», шокировав планету в 1975 году уникальным проектом «Союз-Аполлон». Это было хорошее и знаковое начало. Думаю, не погрешу против истины, но люди, которые занимаются космосом, умеют заглядывать за горизонт лучше иных политиков...

Что такое Международная космическая станция сегодня? Сегодня это 14 состыкованных воедино модулей. Семь — собраны в США, пять российских, и по одному — Европейского космического агентства и Японии. Вместе с солнечными батареями размер станции составляет половину Красной площади. И сейчас на орбите со всем этим хозяйством управляются три человека. Это наш российский космонавт Сергей Прокопьев, представитель NASA женщина-астронавт Ауньён-Ченселлор Серина Мария, и представитель Европейского космического агентства гражданин Германии Александр Герст. С большим удовольствием от имени участников конференции передаю привет всему экипажу с пожеланиями успешного выполнения программы космического полета и его благополучного завершения.

За 20 лет на станции работали 57 международных экспедиций. Это 231 космонавт из 18 стран мира. Были проведены сотни исследований Земли и космоса, солнечной системы, эксперименты по изучению физико-химических процессов в условиях космоса; эксперименты в области медицины и космических биотехнологий. Научную ценность этой работы трудно переоценить. Необходимо отметить существенный вклад в формирование программ научно-прикладных исследований и экспериментов научного сообщества стран-участников МКС, в том числе Российской академии наук, в первую очередь Института космических исследований и Института медико-биологических проблем.

20 лет работы станции показали, что несмотря на все противоречия и происки недоброжелателей, экономические сложности и социальные перемены, специалисты множества государств, объединенные одной мирной задачей, могут работать, делиться опытом, преодолевать сложности и находить компромиссы. А главное — все участники проекта показали свою готовность ко взаимопомощи при решении задач самой невероятной сложности.

Не обошлось в эти годы, к сожалению, и без событий печальных. Мы помним трагический для всех нас день 1 февраля 2003 года, когда после завершения миссии при входе в атмосферу Земли потерпел крушение космический корабль Шаттл «Колумбия». Тогда погибли 7 астронавтов.

Мы отдаем долг храбрости и мужеству всех космонавтов и астронавтов, отдавших жизнь в деле изучения и освоения космоса.

1. Ричард Хасбанд — командир экипажа;
2. Уильям МакКул — второй пилот;
3. Калпана Чавла — бортинженер;
4. Дэвид Браун — специалист полета;
5. Майкл Филипп Андерсон — командир полезной нагрузки, исследователь;
6. Лорел Кларк — медик, специалист по зоологии;
7. Илан Рамон — первый космонавт Израиля, специалист по полезной нагрузке.

Почтим их память, друзья!

К сожалению, надежность техники не бывает равной единице. 11 октября этого года на старте 57-й экспедиции на МКС в результате аварии первой ступени ракеты Алексей Овчинин и Ник Хейг вынуждены были прервать свою экспедицию. Хочу отметить мужество и высокий профессионализм этого экипажа, а также выучку участников эвакуационно-спасательной операции. Подчеркну, мы верим в надежность нашей техники, но еще больше мы верим в надежность наших людей. И задача наша — сделать так, чтобы свести вероятность подобных ситуаций к абсолютному минимуму, предусмотрев при этом все возможности для спасения жизни космонавтов...

...Да, иногда с дивана околокосмических экспертов нам часто приходится слышать возражения относительно целесообразности развития пилотируемой космонавтики. Надо ли вообще засылать людей на орбиту, держать их там по полгода, если это небезопасно, если это дорого. В конце концов, потому что есть роботы, которыми можно управлять с Земли, и даже программировать их на принятие самостоятельных решений.

Да, действительно, наша отрасль — одна из лидеров по части роботостроения. И мы ни в коем случае не намерены отказываться от применения новейшей робототехники, тем более при изучении и освоении пространств дальнего космоса.

Однако, как безусловную максиму мы принимаем, что управлять предметом своего творения, проводить фундаментальные научные исследования может только человек. И никакие суперкомпьютеры его не смогут заменить. По одной простой причине. Потому что человек — это не просто лаборант, который обслуживает исследовательские машины. Он — творец, исследователь. Было много случаев, когда космонавтам приходилось принимать нетривиальные решения и при проведении исследований, и при работе в открытом космосе, а порой и переводить корабль в ручное управление. А кроме того, человек в космосе сам является объектом исследовании, как субъект отношений с великой тайной Вселенной.

...Как бы там ни было, но стремление открывать тайны, проникать в неизведанное, творить — это то свойство, которое делает нас людьми, существами разумными и деятельными. Если вдуматься, то вся история человечества — это бесконечная история познания. Человечество называлось бы иначе, не будь среди нас таких людей как Юрий Гагарин и Нил Армстронг, как Колумб и Витус Беринг, Лазарев и Крузенштерн, Марко Поло и Афанасий Никитин. Первооткрыватели — это те люди, которые встряхивают человечество, освежают ощущения, придают жизни новые созидательные смыслы.

Опыт работы на МКС нельзя переоценить и при разработке Лунной программы. Мы с интересом относимся к проекту наших американских коллег по созданию международной пилотируемой окололунной станции Lunar Orbital Platform-Gateway, и у нас, конечно, будут свои предложения и пожелания. Мы уже обсуждали техническую сторону вопроса создания в обозримой перспективе обитаемой станции непосредственно на Луне. Если уже на пыльных тропинках Луны оставлены следы человека, то не может быть никаких сомнений, что мы туда вернемся. Случится это в ближайшем десятилетии или позже. Но это, безусловно, рано или поздно произойдет. И годы нашего плотного взаимодействия по работе на МКС будут нам неоценимым подспорьем. «Человечество не останется вечно на земле, но, в погоне за светом и пространством, сначала робко проникнет за пределы атмосферы, а затем завоюет себе все околосолнечное пространство», — писал в начале XX века отец русской космонавтики К.Э. Циолковский. Из этого мы и исходим.

...У современных чудес, каким сегодня является МКС, есть и такой тонкий аспект как стоимость. Знаю, что эта тема побуждает хвататься за сердце министров финансов и бюджетные комитеты стран, реализующих этот проект.

Мы, конечно, отдаем себе отчет в том, что космическая деятельность — удовольствие не из дешевых. И не всегда ее результаты очевидны, и не сразу их можно оценить по достоинству и конвертировать в деньги. Тем не менее, пилотируемая космонавтика — это не туризм и не праздное любопытство. Космонавтика внесла свой вклад в создание того, что двадцать-тридцать лет назад было еще фантастикой. Это и связь, и точная навигация, и дистанционное зондирование Земли — все то, без чего сегодня уже трудно представить нашу жизнь. Но... Как говорил наш замечательный ученый-физик, академик, просветитель и популяризатор науки Сергей Петрович Капица «Если всё подчинять деньгам, то деньгам всё и останется. И не превратятся они ни в шедевр, ни в открытие»...

Интерес к науке, специальным знаниям и технологическим навыкам — это источник жизни и развития. Накопление знаний и научных достижений в космической сфере ведет к эволюционному развитию знаний, а космические исследования, в которых тесно взаимодействуют такие, казалось бы, далекие друг от друга специалисты, как астрофизики, биологи, химики, инженеры, планетарные геологи и т.д., создают эффект перекрестного опыления научных направлений. А это неминуемо приведет нас революционным открытиям.

Как я уже говорил, 20 лет МКС означает, что станция — практически ровесник современному интернету. Время бежит, мир меняется стремительно, и мы не отстаем. Это значит, что космос и современное развитие — две вещи нераздельные.

И в заключение своего короткого выступления, несколько слов о гуманитарном аспекте нашего проекта. Ибо, как мы знаем из Канта, две вещи равновеликие всегда будут наполнять душу удивлением и благоговением, — это звездное небо над нами и нравственный закон внутри нас.

Замечу, что взаимодействие в рамках нашего проекта учит нас не просто отрабатывать технические навыки, исследовать природу и понимать Вселенную, но также и бережно относиться к космосу, к Земле, друг к другу, укреплять доверие и любить жизнь.

Президент Рональд Рейган как-то заметил, что «не вооружение привело к недоверию, а недоверие привело к вооружению». И вряд ли это можно оспорить. Изучение Вселенной — лучше, интереснее и безопаснее, чем производить тонны вооружений. Космос — это драйвер мира и доверия, и безусловное достояние всего человечества.

А это означает, что наше космическое братство открыто и для других стран, и мы будем рады видеть их среди участников новых космических проектов.

источник: Приветственное слово Дмитрия Рогозина на конференции посвященной 20-летию МКС

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NASA. Обращение Администратора агентства Джима Брайденстайна, приуроченное к 20-летию МКС
19.11.2018 15:47

Мы с гордостью вспоминаем 20 лет работы Международной космической станции. Когда в ноябре 1998 года был запущен модуль «Заря», профинансированный США и построенный и запущенный Россией, это стало новой главой в космических исследованиях. Спустя несколько недель шаттл Endeavour состыковался с этим первым модулем станции, чтобы пристроить к нему первый узловой модуль «Единство» (Unity), и так у человечества появился новый космический дом. Из этих «семян» станция разрослась и превратилась в путеводную звезду, расположенную на околоземной орбите, которая по-прежнему направляет наше движение глубже в космос.

Укрепление связей с международными партнёрами, жизненно важные открытия в области технологий и здоровья человека, а также экономические выгоды коммерческого использования космоса — вот лишь немногие из преимуществ, полученных нами от деятельности МКС, которые будут способствовать нашему дальнейшему продвижению в космос. Разнохарактерные страны, работающие вместе ради мирного освоения космоса, остаются жизненно важной идеей XXI века в то время, как мы готовимся к покорению Луны и Марса. На борту МКС наше отважное партнёрство 15 стран позволило международным командам жить и работать на станции в течение почти 18 лет. Более 100 стран воспользовались возможностями МКС в исследовательских и образовательных целях и ради технологического прогресса.

Мы используем это великое наследие в качестве трамплина для амбициозных миссий будущего. У США и России — долгая и славная история гражданского сотрудничества в космосе, и это партнёрство привело к долгосрочным результатам. «Союз-Аполлон», программа «Мир-Шаттл», наш первый совместный полет на борту космического шаттла «Дискавери» STS-60, наше сотрудничество на борту МКС и наши научные исследования на Луне и на Марсе раздвинули границы человеческого опыта и помогают нам создать светлое будущее для всего человечества. Мы рассчитываем на дальнейшее сотрудничество в перспективе 20 лет и дальше, в рамках которого наши отважные астронавты и космонавты поведут человечество вперед. Наши страны верят в освоение космоса, потому что оно является вкладом в наше будущее. Действуя вместе, мы можем расширить человеческие знания и понимание нашей планеты, нашей Солнечной системы и нашей Вселенной — одновременно вдохновляя будущие поколения на свои собственные гигантские прорывы.
Джим Брайденстайн,
Администратор NASA

We look back on 20 years of the International Space Station with pride and wonder. When Zarya launched in November 1998, financed by the U.S. and built and launched by Russia, a new chapter in exploration had begun. Only weeks later, Space Shuttle Endeavour made a rendezvous with that first station element to attach Unity, or Node 1, and a new home for humanity in space was formed. From those seeds, the station grew into a beacon in low-Earth orbit that is still guiding our progress deeper into space.

Strengthened bonds between international partners, vital breakthroughs in technology and human health, and vast economic benefits from commercial space are just some of the benefits derived from the ISS that are going to fuel our progress farther into space.

Diverse nations working together for peaceful exploration remains a vital idea in the 21st century as we move forward to the Moon and on to Mars. Aboard the ISS, our daring and complex partnership of 15 nations has enabled international crews to live and work in space for nearly 18 years. More than 100 countries have used the ISS for research, education, and technology advancement. We’ll build on this great legacy, using the thriving research and economic activity we’ve helped develop in low-Earth orbit as a springboard for tomorrow’s challenging missions.

The United States and Russia have a long and proud history of civil space cooperation, and that partnership has yielded lasting results. Apollo-Soyuz, the Shuttle-Mir program, our first flight together aboard the space shuttle on STS-60, our partnership aboard the ISS, and scientific exploration of the Moon and Mars have tested the boundaries of human experience and are helping us forge a bright future for everyone.

We look forward to the next 20 years and far beyond, with our brave astronauts and cosmonauts leading the way for all humanity. Our nations believe in exploration because it is an investment in the future. Working together, we can increase humanity’s knowledge and understanding of our planet, our solar system and our universe — all while inspiring the next generation to make their own giant leaps.

Jim Bridenstine
NASA Administrator

источник:NASA. Обращение Администратора агентства Джима Брайденстайна, приуроченное к 20-летию МКС

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At 20, the International Space Station remains a stellar success story
BY ERIC MACK NOVEMBER 19, 2018 11:32 AM PST []

What began as an unprecedented construction challenge has gone on to produce unparalleled science from space.

Twenty years ago, the most ambitious construction project in the history of the human race began with the launch of a Russian Proton rocket on Nov. 20, 1998. The uncrewed vehicle carried Zarya, a control module that would become the first piece of the International Space Station placed in orbit.

The first crew, consisting of American astronaut and former Navy SEAL Bill Shepherd alongside Russian cosmonauts Sergei Krikalev and Yuri Gidzenko, would arrive to live in orbit just under two years later on Oct. 30, 2000.

Construction of the ISS, however, would continue for another decade until 2011, when the final planned module was installed. All that assembly was done over a decade while the station was continuously inhabited by rotating crews of astronauts from several different countries.

"The space station to me and the way we have put that program together with our international partners is absolutely the best example of how we can peacefully, successfully do complicated things," retired NASA astronaut Nicole Stott told me via a teleconference earlier this year.

Stott spent three months living on the space station in 2009 and was also part of the final space shuttle mission in 2011 that delivered the last main section of the ISS, essentially completing its construction.

A crazy construction project

"The International Space Station's supreme achievement is its construction," writes David Nixon, an architect who was invited to work on the design of the ISS, in his 2016 book International Space Station: Architecture Beyond Earth.

He points out the unprecedented hurdles involved, beginning with launching every module, nut, bolt and piece of framing required aboard a powerful rocket to a remote, empty and lethal location.

"Performing just one of these voyages safely was a major challenge but the station's design called for 30 of them just to deliver the station's basic building blocks. Against the odds, all arrived on orbit safely and flawlessly where they fitted together correctly and precisely."

Today the ISS is a six-bedroom research station with two bathrooms, a gym and a cupola providing epic 360-degree views. The station and its crew of up to six live and work while orbiting Earth every 90 minutes, traveling at a speed of 5 miles per second. It's powered by an acre of solar panels that help make the station relatively easy to spot from Earth.

When asked about the strangest part of living aboard a structure straight out of science fiction whipping around the planet at high speed, Stott said, "It really is that almost immediate reality check that we live on a planet ... In our day-to-day lives I don't think we acknowledge that at all."

Fulfilling a far-fetched fantasy

One of the earliest conceptions of a station in space was a "brick moon" described by Edward Everett Hale in his 1870 story of the same name. It describes a brick sphere, 200 feet (61 meters) in diameter, that's launched, somehow, using power from a waterfall and with people accidentally inside, making it one of the first references to an inhabited station in space.

By the middle of the 20th century, Soviet and American engineers were beginning to think more seriously about a place to live in space. The success of the Apollo program led to the launch of Skylab, which would be occupied by three crews for a total of 171 days between 1973 and 1974, paving the way for more permanent facilities in orbit.

This was followed by the Apollo-Soyuz test in 1975 that demonstrated spacecraft from the two nations, previously engaged in a heated space race, could successfully dock in space. The mission was a symbol of international cooperation and a harbinger of things to come, starting with the Russian space station Mir, built between 1986 and 1996.

A number of American astronauts would spend time aboard Mir, including some making the trip aboard the space shuttle.

Humans would leave Mir for the last time in 2000, just months before the first crew of the ISS would arrive to begin over 18 years of nonstop occupation that continues to this day.

One-of-a-kind laboratory

Over nearly two decades, the ISS has played a unique role in the scientific world as both an orbiting laboratory and Earth observatory. Much of the science and innovation done on the space station have had benefits for regular people on the surface of the globe.

For example, robotics developed for the ISS are being used for remotely operated surgical procedures, including for breast biopsies for women in remote areas.

Technology designed to test water quality aboard the station has also led to a mobile app to keep track of water quality in locations worldwide. Imagery taken from the ISS and elsewhere in orbit is also used to assist in natural disaster recovery.

One of the better known long-term experiments aboard the space station was the year-long investigation into the effects of living in space involving twin astronauts Mark and Scott Kelly. Scott lived for about a year on the ISS while his twin brother Mark stayed on the surface. Changes to both brothers were tracked meticulously to record how life in space affects the human body.

Life aboard the space station might sound a little uncomfortable with the lack of gravity, close quarters and required two hours of exercise per day, but Stott describes it as "the most comfortable I've ever been."

"I really wish everyone could experience it, just the ability to fly and float from one place to another and do what I only ever dreamed of."

The number of people who will be able to experience life on the ISS could be limited, however. The Trump administration has said it wants to cut off funding for the station by 2025. It's also been suggested that private industry might take over all or part of the operation of the ISS at that point.

NASA has made it clear it wants to continue having a presence in orbit and it also has designs on setting up shop at the moon, a plan that former ISS resident Chris Hadfield told me he approves of.

"Over 18 years ago we started settling space," says the astronaut who became famous for his microgravity rendition of the song Space Oddity. "The moon is the obvious, next logical destination."

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Source: At 20, the International Space Station remains a stellar success story

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What We Can Learn From 20 Years of the International Space Station

The International Space Station is photographed by Expedition 56 crew members from a Soyuz spacecraft after undocking on Oct. 4, 2018. NASA/Roscosmos

At a time when most gadgets, on average, last only a handful of years, it’s heartening to note that one of the most complex technological instruments ever built is still going strong. On Nov. 20, the International Space Station (ISS) reached a two-decade milestone since the launch of its first module. Beyond just a feat of engineering, the ISS serves as an all too rare example in this hyper-partisan era of what can be achieved when our desire to cooperate triumphs over our divisions.

It was on this day in 1998 that aerospace engineers from former rivals Russia and the United States celebrated the lift off of the Moscow-built, U.S.-funded unit Zarya (“sunrise”) as it took off from Kazakhstan’s Baikonur Cosmodrome. At 11:40 a.m. on a cloudy Friday, the first component of the ISS punched its way into orbit where it served as the foundation of an international space exploration program that continues today.

But Zarya, and even the ISS as we know it, may never have existed had the vestiges of Cold War animosity and a bitter Space Race not been set aside to bring Russia onboard the station project. Following the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, the U.S. tapped Russia’s skilled but idle space industry to help bring down costs and expedite Ronald Reagan’s 1984 vision of a “permanently manned space station.” In their audacious bid to create a continuously inhabited structure 250 miles above the Earth, the long-time adversaries found common ground.

U.S.-Russian teams continued to forge ties in the final frontier, including with the ISS’s first crew. Astronaut Bill Shepherd and cosmonauts Yuri Gidzenko and Sergei Krikalev climbed aboard on Nov. 2, 2000. At the time, there wasn’t much to the station circling the Earth once every 90 minutes. But over the next two decades, space agencies based in 15 countries including Japan, Canada, France, Germany and Spain transformed the extraterrestrial springboard into a modular behemoth with 15 pressurized components. Additions like Canada’s robotic appendage Canadarm2, and Japan’s Kibo Laboratory Module helped the ISS grow to nearly the size of a football field.

Continuously staffing the giant orbiting laboratory with a multinational team of six has also relied on intercontinental collaboration. According to NASA, 230 individuals from 18 countries have visited. It’s a testament to human progress that we are now in an age where people who reached adulthood this month haven’t lived a single day without there being a human in space.

Despite its triumphs, the staggering cost of the ISS has been a source of contention: estimates put the bill between $100 and $150 billion. Many argue that money could have been better spent improving conditions on Earth. It hasn’t helped that there have not been many scientific results from onboard experiments with commercial or social applications back on terra firma.

Still, the research has been ambitious, focusing on how different substances and compounds—like cells, tissues and liquids—react when freed from the constraints of gravitational forces. Many studies have looked at the human body’s response to long-duration spaceflight, a vital field to understand if we want to survive the 500-odd-day journey to and from Mars. Information gleaned from exercises like two astronauts’ record, year-long stay on the station is crucial in helping humans push the boundaries of space exploration.

But it’s the station’s role as the largest, peaceful scientific collaboration in history that has earned it the most plaudits. Space exploration is a deadly and expensive endeavor, and multination partnerships defray the burden. Collaborations between mission controls have also helped sustain missions. After NASA discontinued the Space Shuttle program in 2011, Russia’s Soyuz spacecraft started selling rides.

Cosmic collaborations on the station have also guaranteed that even amid diplomatic standoffs, communication channels between ISS nations cannot be completely closed off. During the 2014 Crimea crisis, when Russian-U.S. relations were mired in animus and sanctions, NASA and Roscosmos continued to cooperate on the Space Station, where they both had cash and lives at stake. And even though during the crisis a Russian official suggested that the U.S. could skip Soyuz and use a trampoline to get to the ISS, when a potential ammonia leak imperiled American astronauts the same official assured the team they could stay in the Russian section of the station for as long as required.

As governments set their sights and budgets on the Moon, Mars and beyond, the future of the 20-year-old ISS remains nebulous. NASA has committed funds only until 2024. There has been preliminary talk of deorbiting the station and crashing it into the Pacific Ocean or handing over the keys to private companies. Whatever its fate may be, the ISS’ role as a one-of-a-kind emissary for international fellowship should not be forgotten.

Source: What We Can Learn From 20 Years of the International Space Station

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