International Space Station, Space Station, International Space discussed on NASACast Audio

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This is allowed the people on the ground to have almost as much sometimes even more insight into situation on the station the crew has It also means that you can have specialists all over the world Specializing in their own systems. They don't necessarily have to come here to Houston or in the case of payloads the Marshall Center in Alabama They can oftentimes stay in their own. Local control centers and operate their systems from Oberpfaffenhofen Germany or from From Chikuba in Japan or from wherever the location is So that means A lot more of the people that maintain and operate the station. can do it remotely Not only remote from the station but remote parts of the Earth. And what is it? What did it take to switch to Because when it comes to Michigan troll Before the International Space Station a lot of what we know is mission. Control was staffed for a mission and you. Would you would train and you would do simulations and you would do that. But this now we're talking about continuous staffing making sure that someone's in the room at all times because you already mentioned it. Almost twenty years of continuous human presence. Now someone's gotTa be honoring those guys on the one hand we have people on the ground. Continuously monitoring and continuously operating the systems and on the other hand Through the use of Intelligence Systems and a lot more understanding of how the systems operate we can have a relatively small number of people operating the station and so The number of people we have during a holiday or on a weekend is not narrowly what we would have during a normal workday Whether in Houston or in other parts of the world now keep in mind While this is somewhat simplified and made somewhat less expensive the operation of the station today When we start talking about whether it's a moon base where there's a communications lapse of several seconds or Mars mission where the communications laps can be more on the order of forty five minutes We have to start rethinking Is Is this going to be the way in which we can operate How do we? How do we operate the systems When you can't do it real time yeah definitely a huge consideration and I want to kind of take that as a jumping off point from. We've had this long conversation about the International Space Station. And what I what that really. I'm trying to establish is just what went into this thing. What it what it takes to put this thing together to construct it to to make it permanently habitable for twenty years thinking about that thinking about those lessons. What are we taking now and putting towards the gateway which is not meant to be continuously inhabited? But there's you know. We talked about improvements of technology and just lessons that we've learned throughout the whole year all of these years going towards a moon orbiting platform. Well the Right from the very start. We envisioned the Space Station and low-earth orbit is being prototype for the kind of vehicle that you would use for not so much lunar as much is planetary missions vehicle that would take off for many months or even years to carry astronauts to distant planets early on we were thinking about the planets. Venus and Mars now. Our our main focus is particularly Mars and so depending on the mission that we would be going on it could be a mission of anywhere from eighteen of probably at the minimum to several years three or four years. Maybe even longer than that. A gateway is a particularly particular kind of space station. That would be used to support the lunar missions and so Because of the way in which the Orion is developed it would need a base in orbit around the moon that it would be able to to dock to stay there while astronauts. You're down on the lunar surface and then carry the astronauts back from the gateway back to the year and so Right from the outset were looking at developing the kinds of systems that would be required for taking care of people for very long durations and when I say taking care of people they not only have to be operable They really have to be able to operate with minimal maintenance with minimal kinds of systems difficulties over very long periods and. I think we've been doing that. We've been doing that with the not only the environmental control system The exercise systems that are Fairly critical and keeping the people Healthy and active But with computer systems communication systems all of the different systems that we need to support a space station were learning how to depend upon them and Through some of the problems we have faced. Were were learning how to redesign and develop them in such a way that they are dependable for future years. Now What's interesting is we're talking about the international space station being a lesson for travelling further out into solar system which I think was one of many purposes from the get-go was was to learn how to how to do that. Zion systems how to live and work in space for a long period of time. But I know we still want low earth orbit as a place to continue to practice to continue to develop technologies to continue to train. Crews this is. This is a place we need and looking further further into the future of the International Space. Station's not meant to be there forever so the transition is to a more commercial economy. Tell me about the transition on the International Space Station. What we what we're learning and what we're doing now to eventually transition to this low-earth-orbit economy of course the space station. Because of its location in lower orbit as a number of attributes that are useful. One of them is a micro gravity or zero gravity so that we can look at different kinds of physical processes in orbit in this very low gravity field environment as compared with one gravity. Here on the your another aspect is the the observational aspect. And so we have Scientific Windows we have the KUPUNA windows of the station. And the astronauts suspend a fair amount of time looking at the earth and particularly Looking at things which really haven't been planned in advance so if there are fires in Australia volcanic eruptions They're right there looking at them. Taking Pictures Making observations And of course these were all things that were foreseen from the outset. And we've seen that they Have been useful for different kinds of companies some of them looking at very basic research. Others are more specific looking much more specific kinds of products In two thousand five the ISS was designated a National Laboratory and in two thousand eleven they brought in an independent organization called Casus to operate the national lab and They go out around the country and try to tell people about the The availability in the possibilities of using the International Space Station Other companies have been coming along. axiom space Mister bigalow with his inflatable modules and so Others are coming along and depending on whether there is a A commercial opportunity or not whether they can make access to space reasonably inexpensive and they have an orbiting platform then in the future the The opportunity will be there for commercial operations in a space station in the meantime the ISS is being used in this way already Not only by the US the Russians. Of course have Famously been bring various tourists up to To the space station for visits and in the future we think that we'll have more opportunity For various kinds of commercial activities on the station. Do you think I what you're talking about now? I mean we talked about International Space Station Informing Lunar Exploration Informing Mars exploration everything. It takes their Being in this place where there's commercial viability For for operating space. Do you think the Internet. How how big of a role do you think? The International Space Station played in that. And do you think we can even be in this place without the International Space Station? I think the the International Space Station has been critical in learning how to design build and operate different kinds of hardware and systems learning how to work together with international partners. Keep in mind. We have not only the Russians but Sixteen or seventeen. Different countries number has varied over the years And we've learned how to work with them I know early on. I worked cleric closely with the Russians. They did not really have a good of how the US went about Putting things in orbit on the shuttle or on the station and we developed joint integration processes joint documentation. I know I was talking with my Russian counterpart from the mirrors just a few weeks ago and he says well the work that we had laid in nineteen ninety four nineteen ninety three is still the basis for how the Russians work today so they were learned a great deal about How the more advanced world I guess? does payloads in science and experiments in orbit At the same time we've learned how a lot of their hardware is built and designed. I know I was involved in the design of moon bases and Mars vehicles back during the first President Bush's space exploration initiative and a lot of the hardware that we have actually built for the space station today whether it's the most basic hardware the modules the nodes the racks the cupola or down to the more detailed aspects of the. Ctb's the stowage bags the computer systems communication systems. A lot of these will actually become the components of future moon bases and Mars spacecraft justice. Today we're looking at using a lot of these pieces on the Gateway in orbit around the Moon. Well what are you looking forward to the most then for the future you have this gigantic history in your brain of everything. That's happened over the years to get to this point. What are you looking forward to the most? Well I've I've been lucky enough to participate in a lot of these programs and even have a hand in the design and development of the law. A lot of the hardware and so every time I see whether it's the CTB's or the Cucolo or the cost computer system. These were all things that I had a direct hand in and I'm looking forward to seeing some of those same systems on the first moon base Or on the first Mars spacecraft Right now I'm looking at them in orbit around the earth. The the cool of course is famous as the the astronauts favorite place in space to observe the earth That grew out of a lot of In terms of what we the astronauts needed what we had to be able to provide for the astronauts and We're lucky that we have in orbit today. But now I'm looking at putting the system just like that base on March leaving your mark on human space exploration forever. That's amazing Gary. Thank you so much. We're going through this history. This has been fascinating to discussions really through the concept of space stations. Through what we've learned in what would what is taken to put together the International Space Station and laying the groundwork for what's to come really appreciate your time. Thanks for having me as a glide that is able to to offer something of interest. I loved it. Thank.

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