COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – Russia is able to focus on increasing the lifetime of the Worldwide House Station (ISS) in 2028, stated Igor Komarov, common director of the Russian nationwide house company,
Right here on the 33rd Annual House Symposium yesterday (April four), Komarov spoke about the necessity to hold a analysis station in low Earth orbit if people hope to lastly journey to Mars. He additionally mentioned plans by the company to ship a brand new module to the house station in 2018, when the company may even re-add a 3rd crew member to the station.
In what he stated was his first go to to the USA whereas serving in his present submit, Komarov confirmed a proposal inside the company to construct a brand new house station if ISS withdraws after 2024 . At present, the USA and Russia handle and assist half of the station, and different worldwide contributors contribute. These nations have dedicated themselves to monetary help and upkeep of the station until 2024 .
However Komarov additionally stated that Roscosmos "is able to focus on" the opportunity of extending the station's life by way of 2028 with these worldwide companions.
"I believe we have to lengthen our collaboration in low-Earth orbit," Komarov stated.
If the station was withdrawn and no substitute was established, analysis in low-Earth orbit would have a big affect. The lack of the station would kind of suppress analysis on how the house setting impacts the human physique for lengthy intervals than many house consultants together with Komarov, agree that it’s crucial if people are to make the lengthy journey loving You.
Roscosmos has been engaged on an extra module for the house station, known as the Multipurpose Laboratory Module (MLM), which the company plans to launch in 2018, Komarov stated. (A current article in Popular Mechanics means that there could also be issues with the module, which was initially scheduled for launch in 2007 and once more in 2013.) As soon as the module is launched, Komarov stated, Company plans to boost the variety of Russian cosmonauts aboard the station two to a few; The company just lately lowered its crew depend from three to 2.
Roscosmos can also be engaged on a science module and a docking module, stated Komarov, and collectively, these three house halls may type the nucleus of an unbiased Russian station SpaceNews reported in September final 12 months.
Komarov stated the opportunity of constructing a brand new station from the three modules is being mentioned as a potential means to forestall the lack of a laboratory in low Earth orbit if the ISS is withdrawn in 2024.
"It doesn’t imply we don’t wish to proceed cooperation," he stated. "We simply wish to be on the protected aspect … We wish to lengthen and proceed our analysis in low Earth orbit."
House station, moon, mars
Russia, like the USA, is excited by sending people to Mars, Komarov stated.
"Going to Mars is a good thought, and all nations and all companies have an interest [in it]," Komarov stated. However he stated Russia just isn’t solely seeking to plant its flag in Martian mud and return to Earth. Fairly, the nation seeks to ascertain a program that helps the long-term human exploration of Mars. To realize this aim, Komarov emphasised the necessity for intermediate steps on the way in which to the Pink Planet.
Creating a long-term human presence would require a sensible, step-by-step program to achieve the Pink Planet, Komarov stated. These steps embrace a human presence in low Earth orbit, then on the floor of the moon, then on Mars, after which to extra unique or distant locations within the photo voltaic system.
Many spaceflight consultants have stated human presence consisting of low-Earth orbit gives a beneficial coaching floor for astronauts who can go to extra distant locations, together with the moon or Mars. The house station gives a spot for people to develop the abilities they should survive in these locations, together with growing fresh food and train to forestall bone loss and muscle deterioration
In 2015, Russia and the US Launched a joint mission for 2 people to reside within the station for a full 12 months. Astronaut Scott Kelly of NASA and cosmonaut Mikhail Kornienko returned to Earth on March 1, 2016, and NASA started releasing the outcomes of scientific research on how the journey affected Kelly's physique and psyche. (Russian cosmonauts lived in house for longer intervals up to now, however these individuals weren’t subjected to the massive quantity of proof that was utilized to astronauts within the One-12 months Mission.)
The house station is a vital a part of mankind's journey to Mars, however Komarov additionally emphasised the significance of utilizing the moon as one other stepping stone on that journey.
House flight consultants have extensively mentioned the concept house companies or non-public corporations ought to ship people again to the Moon earlier than sending them to Mars, primarily to check and develop the applied sciences wanted to maintain astronauts protected and wholesome.
"We shouldn’t be anxious to go very quick forward and skip some levels we have now to do," Komarov stated earlier within the day as he spoke on a panel of 15 leaders of nationwide house companies. He added that the company is at present planning a robotic mission to the moon that can embrace an orbiter and a lander. He didn’t elaborate on that mission.
The NASA Constellation Program that then-President Barack Obama canceled in 2010, would have despatched the people again to the moon or Cislunar house. A lot of that program was reused within the company's present program to construct the Orion human house capsule and the House Launch System rocket which is able to assist people attain Mars within the first half of the 2030s, NASA officials have said .
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Challenges on the road to Mars
However, while NASA and private companies like Boeing and SpaceX have made many attention-grabbing bulletins concerning the prospect of sending people to the Pink Planet, the journey to Mars would require a really sensible method, Komarov stated on the convention Of the press.
"We’ve got to know that this isn’t a straightforward experiment," Komarov stated. "There are a number of points that should be resolved by accountable individuals.
"We wish to get individuals to Mars," he added. "They need to be alive when Mars … And after we wish to get them again, they need to be protected and wholesome, so we have now to resolve some medical issues, we should create a closed-circuit system to take care of life, and we have to resolve the radiation drawback. "
The truth is, house radiation is a severe risk to astronauts who wish to enterprise out of the protecting sheath of Earth's ambiance and magnetic subject. Consultants have mentioned a number of methods on find out how to scale back the radiation dose that astronauts would obtain, however it stays one of many main hurdles for sending people to Mars and bringing them again safely
"We should be prepared for the following step … after we should get out of low Earth orbit, to the moon and to Mars," Komarov stated.