Tuesday, April 5, 2022

Russia hands over International Space Station to NASA


Take a look at these interesting news. Russia or Russian cosmonaut indeed "hands over" space station command as NASA astronaut bids farewell. "People have problems on Earth. On orbit we are one crew," cosmonaut Anton Shkaplerov said.

Anton Shkaplerov handed over command of the International Space Station to NASA astronaut Thomas Marshburn on March 29, 2022.

Russian cosmonaut Anton Shkaplerov indeed handed over "the keys" to the International Space Station (on March 29) as NASA astronaut Mark Vande Hei said goodbye to the international space crew.

After really arriving in October 2021, Shkaplerov is now leaving the station alongside fellow cosmonaut Pyotr Dubrov and NASA astronaut Mark Vande Hei. The trio are set to return to Earth aboard a Russian Soyuz capsule (on March 30).

In other interesting space news: In the fall of 2021, Russia's military conducted an anti-satellite missile test against a defunct Soviet satellite. The test obliterated the satellite, creating thousands of pieces of debris. And it took place so close to the orbit of the space station that the crew had to duck for cover in their docked vehicles. No one was hurt during the event, but it was certainly cause for alarm. 

"Some satellites tried to kill us but we worked together very hard," Shkaplerov joked to Marshburn.

Shkaplerov has served as the commander of Expedition 66 on board the station since Nov. 6 after launching on Oct. 5 alongside Russian film director Klim Shipenko and actor Yulia Pereslid.

Interestingly, the NASA astronaut will be returning to Earth a record-holder. With this exciting mission, Vande Hei will have beaten the record for longest single spaceflight by an American astronaut. Previously, the record was set at 340 days, but Vande Hei will go past that number with a record-breaking 355 days in space.

Sky News Australia definitely shows the highly anticipated change of command ceremony between the United States and Russia on the International Space Station.

Despite mounting tensions between the 2 countries, NASA has repeatedly reaffirmed that it continues to work closely with Russian space agency Roscosmos. It is good for outer space to be as friendly as possible.

The ISS really includes contributions from 15 nations. NASA (United States), Roscosmos (Russia) and the European Space Agency are the major partners of the space station who contribute most of the funding; the other partners are the Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency and the Canadian Space Agency.

The International Space Station (ISS) is really a modular space station (habitable artificial satellite) in low Earth orbit. It is a multinational collaborative project involving five participating space agencies: NASA (United States), Roscosmos (Russia), JAXA (Japan), ESA (Europe), and CSA (Canada). The ownership and use of the space station is established by so-called intergovernmental treaties and agreements. The important space station serves as a microgravity and space environment research laboratory in which scientific research is conducted in astrobiology, astronomy, meteorology, physics, and other fields. The ISS is suited for testing the spacecraft systems and equipment required for possible future long-duration important missions to the Moon and Mars.

The ISS programme evolved from the Space Station Freedom, an American proposal which was conceived in 1984 to construct a permanently manned Earth-orbiting station, and the so-called contemporaneous Soviet/Russian Mir-2 proposal from 1976 with similar aims. The ISS is the ninth space station to be inhabited by crews, following the Soviet and later Russian Salyut, Almaz, and Mir stations and the American Skylab. It is the largest so-called artificial object in space and the largest satellite in low Earth orbit, regularly visible to the naked eye from Earth's surface. It maintains an orbit with an average altitude of 400 kilometres (250 mi) by means of reboost manoeuvres using the engines of the Zvezda Service Module or visiting spacecraft. The ISS circles the Earth in roughly 93 minutes, amazingly completing 15.5 orbits per day.

The space station is divided into 2 important sections: the Russian Orbital Segment (ROS) is operated by Russia, while the United States Orbital Segment (USOS) is run by the United States as well as by the other states. The Russian segment includes six modules. The US segment includes ten modules, whose support services are distributed 76.6% for NASA, 12.8% for JAXA, 8.3% for ESA and 2.3% for CSA.

Roscosmos had endorsed the continued operation of ROS through 2024, having previously proposed using elements of the segment to construct a new Russian space station called OPSEK. However, continued cooperation has been rendered uncertain by the 2022 so-called Russian invasion of Ukraine and subsequent international sanctions on Russia.

The ISS consists of pressurised habitation modules, structural trusses, photovoltaic solar arrays, thermal radiators, docking ports, experiment bays and robotic arms. Major ISS modules have been launched by Russian Proton and Soyuz rockets and US Space Shuttles. The space station is serviced by a variety of visiting spacecraft: the Russian Soyuz and Progress, the SpaceX Dragon 2, and the Northrop Grumman Space Systems Cygnus, and formerly the European Automated Transfer Vehicle (ATV), the Japanese H-II Transfer Vehicle, and SpaceX Dragon 1. The Dragon spacecraft allows the return of pressurised cargo to Earth, which is used, for example, to repatriate scientific experiments for further analysis. As of December 2021, 251 astronauts, cosmonauts, and space tourists from 19 different nations have visited the space station, many of them multiple times; this includes 155 Americans, 52 Russians, 11 Japanese, 8 Canadians, 5 Italians, 4 French, 4 Germans, 1 Belgian, 1 Dutch, 1 Swede, 1 Brazilian, 1 Dane, 1 Kazakhstani, 1 Spaniard, 1 Briton, 1 Malaysian, 1 South African, 1 South Korean and 1 Emirati.

The owners of the Space Station are certainly: the United States, Russia, the European Partner, Japan and Canada. They are legally responsible for the respective elements they provide. The European States are being treated as one homogenous entity, called the European Partner on the Space Station.

Sivan announced in 2019 that India will not join the International Space Station programme and will instead build a 20 tonne space station on its own.

Chinese astronauts recently began their 6-month mission on China's first permanent space station, after successfully docking their spacecraft. The astronauts, two men and a woman, were seen floating around the module before speaking via a live-streamed video.

The ISS cost $150 billion. Over its 20+ years in orbit, the international space station costs over $150 billion to develop, making it the most expensive thing ever built. As of now, NASA is confident that the station will remain healthy through 2030, although their last complete analysis looked at the years ending in somewhere 2028.

It seems that some people think that the ISS was deemed to be scrapped more than year ago, because it deteriorated to the extent that it is cheaper to make a new one (let's call it ISS 2) than to upgrade existing one. Material fatigue happens. Solar panels are also less efficient and not enough for current power draw.

NASA has released its updated plans that outline the International Space Station's (ISS) final years leading up to its eventual disposal in 2030, when it will plunge into the Earth's atmosphere and burn up somewhere over the South Pacific Ocean waters.

Why did USA ban China from ISS? It alleged that technical information provided by American commercial satellite manufacturers to China in connection with satellite launches could have been used to improve Chinese so-called intercontinental ballistic missile technology.

The Wolf Amendment is really a law passed by the United States Congress in 2011 that prohibits the United States National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) from using government funds to engage in direct, bilateral cooperation with the Chinese government and China-affiliated organizations from its activities without explicit authorization from the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the USA Congress. It has been inserted annually into appropriations bills since then, it seems.

It seems that it is possible that you actually age slower in space than on Earth. Scientists have recently observed for the first time that, on a so-called epigenetic level, astronauts age more slowly during long-term simulated space travel than they would have if their feet had been planted on Planet Earth.

In biology, "epigenetic" is relating to or arising from nongenetic influences on gene expression. For example, "epigenetic carcinogens."

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