[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next] - [Date Index][Thread Index][Author Index]

ISS News

Space crew not sweating small stuff 
Station’s name and sleeping arrangements still undecided 
      CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla., Aug. 2 —  The first crew set to live aboard the 
International Space Station has been in training for four years, but said on 
Wednesday some things will be left to the last minute — such as what to call 
themselves when they radio Earth.      
 Space station timeline 
 Key dates for the space station program 
President Reagan announces plans to build space station. National Aeronautics 
and Space Administration promises to have station in orbit by 1992 for $8 
NASA delays first launch to 1994 and estimates new cost at $15 billion.  
NASA delays first launch to 1995 and estimates new cost at $25 billion. 
Reagan names it Freedom.  
NASA redesigns station to make it cheaper, smaller and easier to assemble, 
estimates new cost at $30 billion.  
President Clinton directs NASA to redesign station to make it cheaper and 
more efficient, and his administration sets $17.4 billion federal cost cap 
for fiscal 1994 through assembly. NASA delays first launch to 1996. Russia 
becomes partner, and NASA aims for 1997 launch.  
NASA delays first launch to 1998 because of Russian money trouble.  
NASA estimates U.S. budget cost at $21 billion, $3.6 billion above budget 
cap. An independent audit says U.S. cost could be as much as $24 billion and 
completion could come as late as 2006. First element of station, Zarya 
control module, launched in November. Second element, Unity connecting node, 
launched in December.  
Scheduled launch of Zvezda service module delayed.  
Zvezda service module due to be launched, followed by the arrival of the 
station's first resident crew - an American commander and two Russians.  
U.S., Japanese and European lab modules to become part of station.  
Scheduled completion of International Space Station. Ten-year operational 
phase begins.  
        “WE THOUGHT the space station was going to have a name by now, but 
apparently that’s not forthcoming,” said William Shepherd, the U.S. Navy 
captain who will command a crew of two Russian cosmonauts during their 
four-month tour. “That makes a call sign a little difficult.”
       The $60 billion orbiting outpost, still in the early stages of 
construction, is usually referred to by its project name, the International 
Space Station, or simply ISS. Attempts to hang a proper noun on it have 
proved frustrating, since there are 16 partnering nations that have to agree.
       The crew could take a cue from Neal Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin. When 
they became the first humans to land on the moon, they unexpectedly radioed 
their position as “Tranquillity Base,” named for the moon’s Sea of 
       That unscripted moment proved memorable, but the space station crew — 
called Expedition One, except when NASA calls them Increment One — may not 
feel they have the right to choose the name, since they are only the first of 
many tenants.
The crew spoke to reporters from their training center in Houston. Next week 
they head to Moscow for a final round of training.
       Most space-station crews will arrive and depart on a U.S. space 
shuttle, but this first crew will go aloft on a Russian Soyuz on Oct. 30. The 
spacecraft, smaller and more basic than a shuttle, will remain at the space 
station as an emergency escape craft.
       Another thing undecided is which of the three men will get the two 
staterooms aboard the station and which one will be left floating in the 
service module after lights out. The Russian-built Zvezda module was designed 
with a crew of two in mind, but later plans called for launching three-member 
       The service module is expected to be uncomfortably hot and as noisy as 
a downtown street corner.
       “We’re not entirely sure when we get up there that there’s going to 
be places you want to sleep in,” said Shepherd. “We decided to work that out 
when we get up there.”   
         There is also a question of traditions for the station. Shepherd, a 
former Navy SEAL, said he wants to institute some nautical traditions, since 
he tends to think of the winged space shuttle as an airplane and the floating 
space station as a ship.
       But crewmate Sergei Krikalov, with more than 15 months of outer space 
experience, most of it on the Russian Mir station, warned that traditions are 
hard to establish.
       Both Shepherd and crewmate Yuri Gidzenko said they plan to take books 
and CDs to occupy their space time, but Krikalov said he has never spent much 
time reading in space.
       “Every time you have the opportunity you just go look outside. The 
book you can read back here,” Krikalov said.
       Both Shepherd and Krikalov are trained as medical officers for the 
        “Astronauts that have been shocked, poisoned, lacerations — that 
sort of thing — we can deal with. We can pull teeth if necessary,” he said. 
Something more severe, a heart attack, for instance, would leave flight 
surgeons on the ground with a quandary — whether it is better to leave the 
sick crew member in place or expose him to the stress of a fiery re-entry 
into the Earth’s atmosphere.
       All three agreed that their prolonged training period, brought on by 
difficulties getting the service module into orbit, probably will make it 
easier for them to get along in an environment that flight officials 
acknowledge is harsh and industrial.
       “We have been together for four years, and I feel that is enough time 
to understand each other,” Gidzenko said. 
Via the sarex mailing list at AMSAT.ORG courtesy of AMSAT-NA.
To unsubscribe, send "unsubscribe sarex" to Majordomo@amsat.org