17 Episode results for "International Space"
"These unpredictable bubbles can disrupt key communications and G._P._S. signals without warning innovation now Nasr's enhanced tandem beacon experiment explores bubbles in the electrically electrically charged layers of earth's atmosphere. This region called the ionosphere is home to the International Space Station and many other satellites critical signals for communications and navigations like radio and G._p._S. pass through the ionosphere but conditions in this region sometimes create plasma bubbles which can distort communications signals to learn more about these bubbles NASA launched to cubesats which humint signals in several different frequencies the signals are sent to receiving stations on the ground where scientists can measure disruptions the primary cubesats also work in concert with six Noah satellites allowing wing scientists to study the bubbles multiple angles at once ultimately this research could help NASA trace possible causes for the ionospheric bubbles and proposed strategies like shifting to a different frequency or.
International Space Station and Beyond
"Houston we have a podcast. Welcome to the official podcast of the NASA Johnson. Space CENTER EPISODE ONE Thirty Three International Space Station and beyond. I'm Gary Jordan. I'll be your host today if you're new to the show we bring in the experts. Scientists engineers astronauts historians. We bring them on to go and dive deep into everything human spaceflight. We're coming up. On twenty years of continuous human presence on the International Space Station and orbiting platform that has provided countless insights into living and working in space is brought us More on understanding the universe about the effects on gravity and about the benefits that research can bring to all humankind. The International Space Station has taught us what humans are truly capable of and inspired so many more to pursue great things so last episode. We sat down with Dr Gary Kit Macher Communications and education mission manager and the International Space Station program and an author of several books about the space station among other things and he took us back in time to discuss some of the early space station. Concept's and the space station's of history up to the International Space Station today. We're continuing our conversation with Gary starting with early concepts for space station freedom we detail the life of the International Space Station thus far. And we explore what we can expect for the future of space stations. This episode was inspired in part by comic reader on twitter. Who wanted to know more about a specific part of International Space Station? History we touch on that during this. Today's episode and thanks for sitting the comic reader. So here we go the International Space Station beyond with Dr Gary Kit. Macher enjoy counting one. We have Gary Welcome back to the PODCAST. To continue our conversation about me so we left off kind of it this overlap period with Mir we were talking about the end of Mir in the beginning of space station. Wanted to start with space station but just from talking a little bit just beforehand. It really I think. Starting in the late nineties wouldn't be appropriate. We really have to start kind of even back in the eighties To start talking about the concept in the early ideas for what would be the International Space Station. Really the shuttle and the space station were both thought of at the same time and they were intended to go hand in hand. The shuttle was the means to build and support. Logistically supply the space station and the space station was necessarily going to have to look like something that the shuttle could build and and The first ideas got started even before the program was begun in the late seventies and early eighties Here at the Johnson Space Center. We focused on something called the Space Operation Center and it was going to be a base for doing all kinds of activities in lower orbit At Marshall Space Center in Alabama. They were focused more on utilization and science payloads and They had been working closely with the Europeans on the SPACELAB and so a lot of their ideas were based on a takeoff off from From the Spacelab. That was being carried up in the shuttle We wanted to get the president to actually announce the beginning of the program and once James Begs came in his the NASA administrator about the time that Ronald Reagan became President That was really the focus was getting Reagan to announce the program and it didn't happen very quickly We kept expecting it to be announced but it didn't actually occur until the state of the union paragraphs nine thousand nine hundred eighty four and Ronald. Reagan announced that we would build a space station. We would do it within a decade so it would be up in orbiting by the early nineteen nineties And one of the things that he announced that he told James Begs right from the start. Was We wanted to do this in cooperation? And collaboration with our friendly partners and So bags went out Around the around the world looking for a partnership to establish With the Japanese the Europeans the Canadians Anybody who had worked with previously on a space activities and so that was the beginnings of the international aspect of the space station. Okay so all of these All of these different countries maybe not necessarily had fully formed space agencies but they had maybe agencies government agencies dedicated to space activities in some way They were variety Some of the agencies had worked with US previously and some of them had worked as agencies and some of them had specific industries within their country. So for instance in Canada While there was a Canadian Space Agency there was a specific company that was focused on the development of the robotic arm used on the space shuttle and they wanted to be all day next generation arm. That would be used on the space station in the case of the Europeans although there was there's actually been several. European. Space Agency's had evolved over the years. There were also specific companies in Germany and Italy Had been responsible for designing and building a modules like the SPACELAB and they wanted to build modules of for the International Space Station Some of these actually would go through a a An evolution for instance the Spacehab Company. Which was a commercial company. One of the early NASA foreign commercialization in the mid to late nineteen eighties Their module was actually built by the Italians and so They would become the basis for modules. That would be built for. The space station was that the primary reason for collaboration was for the pitch was. Hey we want to go and build this modular space station and we want you to build modules. Was that the It was part of the reason. Really the the international aspect route of the fact that Because we were launching it on the space shuttle they had to be modular. The shuttle was only capable of launching a specific mass in a specific size. We knew that they had to be within about sixty feet. Long fifteen feet in diameter and depending on the altitude that we would place it in orbit between about thirty and fifty thousand pounds for each launch and so So we were very constrained by the payload capacity of the shuttle but it also led to kind of a natural mechanism to decide that this country's participation would be limited to these pieces that would go up in one segment or in multiple segments and the case the Japanese. Okay Yeah we had to we were thinking modular we were thinking and when it comes to the logic of how this was going to happen and I guess what we were pitching. We were thinking about I know in Space. Assembly was one of those elements versus. I guess building larger rocket. Because you you already mentioned the space shuttle as one of the drivers for what would be the components of the International Space Station. So Assembly was going to be a big part of it which meant spacewalks which meant Robotics to really make this thing to come together There was right along about building. A large booster based on the shuttle Something called the shuttle c Although there was never really an initiative to get going with that and shuttle. We were already launching shuttles at the rate of about one month by nineteen eighty four nine thousand nine hundred eighty five and So we anticipated that the shuttle would be capable workhorse We were already doing some E. V. as When we started looking at what it would take to build an assembly space station. We came up. What Some people called the wall of Eda because it was now going to take just ten jer heard dozens of hours it was gonna take hundreds and thousands of hours of EPA in order to assemble station and that was one of the areas that caused us to go back and do a lot of Relooking scrubbing trying to pare down the amount of activity that would be required to assemble the station So when we were thinking about what it would take tell me about You know in terms of resources in terms of how we thought. Desperate all come together. Thinks of the early designs was space station freedom and then how we went from that concept and that idea for how to build this space station to what was eventually the International Space Station We started looking at the modules. That was An area that I was particularly focused on I was part of what was called the man systems division and so here at the Johnson Space Center and Building Fifteen. We built the first mockup of a module of the space station out of foam core out of Basically cardboard and Styrofoam it was based very much on the Spacelab modules racks similar to were inside the space lab module and we looked at well. How many of these modules would we need? How large could the modules be and then other people started looking at? How would you connect the modules together To the power supply to radiators to the other systems that would be required to support a space station and out of all of that study Came the concept of the common module. Where all of the modules looked essentially the same and the power tower. It was a long truss and then up at one end of a trust was a t shaped segment that attached all of the solar power cells and at the opposite end of the long truss were a series of about five of these common modules attached. Together some of these modules would be habitation modules. Some of them would be laboratory modules so that was our initial design of what would later become space station freedom. It wasn't named for a couple of years at this point The common module we thought was a good idea because we Likened it to building an airliner where airliners are turned out If you look at the Boeing airliners in particular The fuselage's of most of the smaller airliners are the same and they just keep building segments abuse laws and they cut them off depending on the kind of airliner. A seven. Twenty-seven is one length. Seven thirty seven is a different length. And then they put a nose detail on and we were looking at modules. That would be built in the same way. So you build a module to a certain length put The ends on either side and hatches around certain pieces From that we evolved a little bit to the idea that modules would be specialized Some of the modules would be used to connect other modules this was because if we had too many hatches and too many docking attachments which the first common modules had a series of four docking hatches And docking segments. Around the periphery around the circumference. And then one on either end than the module was too heavy to put much inside during launch and also the the The hatches used up an awful lot of the interior volume. And so you really couldn't put as much on inside so we very quickly evolved to a along module which became the US lab in the US Hab and nodes which were short modules but which contained all docking interfaces and in fact that still the design that we use today where we have three nodes and we have the US lab which is the long module. The Interestingly enough the European module they decided they could make even shorter and by putting some of the systems on the end cones of the module so the European Columbus module started out like the. Us modules put grew shorter but the Japanese module on the other hand state exactly the same length as it was originally and in fact it's now the longest module of the space station. But they were all supposed to be that long originally Oh interesting. So what was the driver for the size of the International Space Station and the modules? That would be quote unquote needed for this. Orbital Laboratory? We were initially looking at a crew size of at least eight people and perhaps growing to as many as twelve people There were some discussions early early on in the late nineteen seventies early eighties that perhaps Assize of only four people would be adequate and then there were other studies that said well. With four people you really can't do as much utilization as much science and so you need a larger crew and so there was Some discussion given take on that and We wound up going for a crew size of eight and that necessitated the two large modules the HAB in the lab and a series of smaller. Nodes that would contain some of the supporting systems One of the areas that I got involved in early on in around eighty six eighty seven was looking at what were all of the systems. And how would they be packaged? And so We went through all the different kinds of hardware that you might put on a space station a we had to design. What kinds of support systems? We were going. These beasts applying for instance in the case of food we thought a frozen and refrigerated foods system would be the best it was the most palatable We had a lot of our food specialists at the time contributing and that necessitated refrigerators and freezers When we got into some of the budget battles as well as electric city battles of how much power they used other people came in and said no. A refrigerators and freezers are not good. They use a lot of power to a lot more expensive to build those and so let's go to an ambient temperature food sup- support system Something like What became Mr East in? The military actually started with a lot of the study work that we were doing here at the Johnson. Space Center We looked at things like irradiated food. Which at that. Time in the nineteen eighties Had not been certified not been approved by the US federal food and Drug Administration but Because of some of the pioneering work that we were doing here that later adopted and so now you see a lot of ambient temperature food on your supermarket shelves as a direct result. Right as a direct result of the needs driven by Buds Bay. Stage going into an ambient food system. Wow so on this topic of systems tell me about the logic of designing the space station as we see it now with trust segment with with solar rays with batteries with a the habitable modules. The way towards those we started out the different systems are going to be developed and built by different what we called work packages different contractors and different NASA centers. Managing them and so the power system was originally going to be a product of the Glenn. what is now the Glenn Research Center up in Ohio The modules became a product of the Marshall Space Center in Alabama although with an important role for Johnson in managing those modules A lot of the supporting systems the guidance navigation control Computers were being developed here at the Johnson Space Center because of our role in managing the spaceflight program We looked at How do you package those systems? And how do you tie them together? On the inside of the modules We looked at the SPACELAB and we went to a somewhat Simpler and more elegant design of a common rack. That could be put into the floor. The in the walls of the space station They were basically refrigerator sized up to a mass of about a thousand pounds and they were sized in such a way that if we ever got punctured by micrometeorites or a piece of orbital debris and we had to plug a hole the route could be pulled away from the wall very quickly to gain access to the pressure. Shell keep in mind we were looking at. How do we maintain these modules over a very long period of time decades? And so it was very important that it be modular in approach and so A lot of the keywords that we we wrote into the documentation both for our requirements and into the contracts were associated with modulate parity and upgrade ability and So that we would be able to recover from any kind of problems and issues in orbit the other systems such as the solar power cells and the radiators and eventually even the computers We looked at. How can you put those things on the outside of the station? How can you attach them? Originally on the Space Operation Center it was a somewhat simpler design approach But they were not quite as easy to put into place during assembly. And if you've ever had to change them out it would be difficult thinking about eating park thinking span so looking at. Va Robotics and how you assemble the pieces. We designed around this idea of the central trusts and attaching these as as different modular entities that could be attached to the trust. The trust self went through quite an evolution. Originally we were going to build the trust Out of what we called sticks and balls kind of a of a Lego set in orbit lots of little pieces and because of some of the concerns associated. With all the EV hours We went to a modular truss approach. Where the trusses were pre integrated so he would fill the truss up with as much of the equipment as we could. It would be pre assembled and then we would launch them into fairly large segments on the shuttle and So from nineteen eighty five through about nineteen eighty nine or so Those aspects of the space station what became space station. Freedom Grew pretty definitive. Now keep in mind. We did a lot of the early work at different NASA centers Looking at the design approach to us and specifying the requirements ultimately. What was built was an outgrowth of the contract competition So for instance A number of us from Johnson Space Center because of our Integral work on the modules actually went off to work package one into the Marshall Space Center. I was one of those people who worked out of Marshall for about a year during the source board and Ultimately what came back from the different bidders was what was built for the space station and still Looks pretty much like the space station today. Now some of the things The contractors and NASA did not necessarily get right in for instance. One of these things was the size of the modules Nasa specified in the requirements that the contractors were to bid to that The modules were. Take up the full capacity of the space shuttle. Payload Bay and so one of the bidders on the work patch one contract that you bidders. By the way we're Boeing and Martin Marietta and so one of the bidders said they could put a sixty or sixty five foot long module and they could launch it. Fully outfitted fully loaded with gear and then the other contractors said well a fully outfitted module would never be able to be lifted by the shuttle into the required orbit and therefore we would have to either short in the modules or we would have to launch the modules up largely empty and then send them up send the the interior contents up later in logistics modules and fact because I had been involved with shuttle payload integration I one of my jobs during the source sport was to write a white paper comparing the two approaches and who was right and my My statement was neither one is right because NASA specified the wrong requirements. So what the need them. What what we end up choosing What we ultimately ended up doing was shortening most of the modules and launching the mop partially outfitted so much of the equipment that could be integral Integrated inside as we could given the mass limitations. Okay so the the modules wound up not being They were probably never going to be sixty feet long. But the original modules. The space station were supposed to be about forty eight feet long and in fact now the longest. Us module the US lab is only. I believe about thirty feet long. Okay and so We did have to constrain the length because the mass limitations so you're defining these requirements for the contractor and go on having this back and forth with the contractors for some of the US segment. What about the international side? The internationals were going through a similar kind of approach and in some cases they were a little bit further behind us. So for instance although we were working right from the very outset with the Japanese and with the Canadians and with the Europeans They were learning a lot from how we were looking at the situation. For instance as I mentioned earlier we were building the mockups of the modules here at Johnson and the work was being done within our group. That was not in engineering. It was in the space in life. Sciences Organization called Man's systems man dash systems These days it probably would not be politically correct to call it. That we were not So forward thinking at that time It was interesting because the Japanese came. I remember Sh- MR CHIRAC. Who was their program manager? Came very early on probably in eighty six or eighty seven and we toured him through the MOCKUPS and showed him how we were approaching the design and they thought it was very interesting that we would have such a focus on the human aspect of the space station. That was something he said. The Japanese really did not know how to do The next year they said we're coming to Houston with our man systems advisory group and so they learned very quickly from us how to establish exactly what we already had in place here in. Houston and Pretty soon they were using the same approach Some of the aspects were political for instance The Japanese just as we have to fight in Congress for a monetary support to build all of these things had to do the same thing with their government and They went through and they said you know. We want to build this large laboratory and along with the laboratory logistics module and External Platform. There was a lot of concern over robotics and so the Japanese said well the Canadians rebuilding the main robotic arm for the station. But we'll build a robotic arm to so a lot of these things wound up on the Japanese module when we ran into problems such is the mass limitations of the modules the Japanese because they had sold it to their government that they were going to have a big laboratory stuck with their big laboratory. Hasn't pro as a compared with the US where we reduce the size. And that's how the the Japanese wound up with the largest lab on the station. All right now Tell me about construction. You already alluded a little bit earlier in our discussion about this wall of. Va Sins with some of the early construction. Tell me about how started and where we were. We had a series of as going on in the shuttle program through the early nineteen eighties We had rescued some satellites that had been put into Aaron orbits they weren't the right orbit or the state and the satellite did not start working the way it was supposed to. In so NASA shuttle were sent to rescue the satellites Sometimes activities went as planned other times. Didn't we sent up some chests of space station hardware for instance we built A segment of trusts off of the space shuttle and some of the problems that we focused on during that test said it was going to perhaps be more difficult than we originally assumed We had a study conducted by Astronaut Bill Fisher And Charlie price of the engineering director so is called the Fisher price study and they said. Oh this E. V. A. situation could be a pretty difficult with thousands of hours required to build the station and especially if something doesn't go right if we can't get certain things put in place then it could affect the entire assembly sequence so that was what got us looking at the idea of the pre integrated trust Some of the people in the engineering director at Who are still here today. actually patented that idea of the pre-integrated trust and so that changed our direction little bit although ultimately a the number of as his that have been required on the International Space Station has been far more than any prior program. Still in the I believe thousands of hours now I think we'RE UP INTO THE O. Two hundred devier's thereabouts today. And so So it's required quite a number bb as a lot of activity just as was foretold back in the nineteen eighties. Yeah for sure I think. Yeah we're we're way up there thousands. Yeah I think fifteen hundred hours was the last statistic for last spacewalk that we did so. It's definitely because it's it's not just we're not we're beyond construction now. This is construction. This is maintenance you know. We're talking about switching out. The batteries. Use The batteries. Don't components have been up there for decades. Now that's exactly right so tell me about some of the early years of space station with some of the smaller segments. Here we're talking. Sds Eight Expedition One Life there and how that technology has improved over time going from the small station and then eventually building on with this assembly sequence what changed what upgraded. And how what we learned improved our understanding of how to operate this thing. We'll bring in NASA Mir here because NASA Mir was a program that we conducted between about nineteen ninety five in one thousand nine hundred ninety eight so it was leading up to the first a assembly missions of the ISS and especially for those of us who were working on. The inside of the station was very important. we learned What kinds of equipment we would need? We learned how to work with the Russians we learned how to establish appropriate documentation and immigration processes. And so a lot of that was done early on in my own case I had been the storage manager on the shuttle during the mid eighties and also was responsible for integrating a lot of the payloads on the shuttle. And so when I was put in charge of one of the last modules on Mir I said well we streamline the process for integrating payloads if had common interfaces an so I designed the the CTB's the soft storage bags That quite honestly with something no one else had ever thought of previously and so when the first mission was getting ready to dock with the Mir Sti Seventy one in nineteen ninety five. They discovered just a few weeks before the flight. We have no way to carry things over between the shuttle and the MIR. How can we do this and I said well I have these? Ctb's manufacturer we were actually building them here on site JSE. They were in orbit within a matter of really weeks and So we we were fortunate in having that of eligible. computers When we started the design of computers For the space station in the nineteen eighties. There was no such thing as a laptop computer The first small apples apple computers were coming out probably around eighty seven or thereabouts. I remember when I went off to the source board Because I was the scribe. I was the person writing a lot of these documents. The repackaged one of these apple computers. It wasn't by any means a portable. We called it a lovable and But We were looking at large refrigerator size racks full of computer equipment in the nineteen eighties By the time of Muir When our first astronaut went up to the Mir he said he really could have used some kind of a computer system to re documents on re training manuals because otherwise we had no way of sending up lots of different manuals Even during his off hours he said boy I could use something just to watch a movie on and so I was given the job to develop the first portable computer to be used as A training aid and also to be able to be used in off. Duty HOURS ARE MEMBER. We recorded onto small eight. Millimeter cassettes the Apollo thirteen movie among others sent those up in nineteen ninety five and of course now today all of the computers on the Space Station are basically portable computers the PCs system of the of the space station really is the heart of the computer system. That drives everything We have no rack sized computer equipment anymore thankfully so we've gone away from that but keep in mind in nineteen eighty five. When we got started just didn't exist. You hadn't been invented A lot of the other equipment. We were testing out. I on NASA Mir And then we were observing some of the equipment that the Russians were using their waste management system there treadmill We got into some arguments here at the Johnson. Space Center about how critical some hardware was so for instance The ISS program at the time did not feel that exercise equipment was critical and the exercise equipment. We were developing was not put through a lot of testing When we first launched it into orbit and so the first crew started using it around the year two thousand immediately collapsed it had not been tested adequately and So we had to go back and redesign and rebuild it to be much stronger and we discovered that if the crew cannot exercise this as a critical failure and you start thinking about bringing the crew home within a matter of a month or less and So it turns out it is really critical hardware and it is something that you need to give serious thought to and has to be adequately tested before it goes into orbit so we were learning a lot of these lessons as we were going We started out with the Mir flights that allowed us to test a lot of this equipment. including some of the scientific payloads we sent up the first microgravity glove boxes Prototypes for what would later fly on the ISS. We sent up Other kinds of devices that were intended to limit the number of vibrations between the payload and the vibrations of the structure of the space station. So we tested those out and then we would launch more Significant systems for the ISS. We looked at the design of the Russian waste management system and also how they use different systems for recycling air and water and We were already involved in developing some of that for the ISS But the Russian approach was often very simple Almost elegant in its simplicity. And so we adopted some of those approaches And made our systems a little bit simpler to and I think in the long run that has worked out better In terms of being able to maintain and support the system in orbit about data and communications. I know that was a big one over time. And the improvements there will a lot of A lot of things really did improve significantly mirror. showed us a lot of the problems of a space station. A lot of the potential problems lot of the art experience on Mir was pretty negative because first of all Mir was very old when the US started flying the shuttle up there it was only intended to last about five years and by the the first shuttle visited it was had been there for nine years allow and by the end of the program We were going on about fifteen years. Mir had very limited communications Because of the the collapse of the Soviet government They really no longer had the t teed risk kind of a satellite that would allow them to maintain continuous communications geosynchronous communication satellite and therefore astronauts and cosmonauts could only communicate when they were within range of a few ground stations mainly across the old Soviet Empire and so they're fairly limited. How much communications could go back and forth. In the meantime we had computer systems that were growing more sophisticated For instance we had wi fi In the first laptop computers that we put on the Mir but the Russians were somewhat hesitant to use something like that because of the potential interference electromagnetic signals and so on and so we were learning a lot about how to do that and they were learning quite a bit about How that could affect things by the time. The International Space Station comes along just a few years later We we have learned a lot of those lessons. We had grown somewhat more sophisticated Our systems were new and they were working well We were very dependent on computers on the ISS whereas Mir had evolved from being a pre computer age kind of a station in the seventies and early eighties prior to Mirror They were more dependent on computers but by the time of ISS in nineteen eighty eight We we are very dependent on computers. In fact the The first crew that reaches the space station says they can't turn the lights on. They can't turn the lights on because you do it through the computer and they can't find the computer because the lights are off and so So that were some of the lessons that That we were learning at that time so So the computers were going far. More sophisticated and capable. Communications was Was almost continuous Because we did have the cheater system in orbit. Now what did we learn about life on the station because this was really are? We were jumping right into some of these long expeditions. And whatever it takes to operate over these periods of time again we have learned on the mirror that a lot of the crew time spent just maintaining the station and fortunately because the the ISS was somewhat simpler and there wasn't as much stuff in on the inside it was a little bit easier to access different areas so it didn't take quite as much time to maintain the systems. And what I'm talking about maintaining just wiping down the interior with the various kind of biological materials to control the growth of any kind of hazardous contaminants That was something that we had faced on Mir man Don. I assess Fortunately we didn't have to deal with that as much but we still had to spend at least about a day a week for by the crew cleaning and maintaining a lot of the systems We learned quite a bit about The health of the astronauts and how the health of the astronauts interface with the environmental control and Life Support. System so for instance. We knew for a long time that the astronauts were losing minerals from their bones. Her bones were growing weaker. Like an osteoporosis. In the case of the elderly it was the same kind of thing in orb as well as the muscle. Mass of the astronauts was decreasing. And so these were things that we needed. Various kinds of countermeasures Exercise Countermeasures What we did not appreciate was a lot of these minerals that were coming out of. The astronauts was coming out in the urine and therefore in our waste management system which was processing the urine We formed What you mystically call urine brickell and it was clogging up the systems on the environmental control recycling equipment and so we were learning quite a bit And had to go back and redesign. Some of the components said that it was a less susceptible some of these kinds of problems. Wow now you talked about a lot crew time especially on Mir was dedicated to just maintaining fixing this or scrubbing down that. But I think the the goal of the International Space Station was eventually to move towards maximizing utilization time or the time you dedicate the science we had Looked at how best to use the space station right along from the very beginning A lot of the top level NASA management felt that it was all about science. It was all about building. He user community. That was going to be supportive of human spaceflight and therefore we were trying to develop experiments. I on shuttle later for SPACELAB. And then Mir that took could be developed into more sophisticated systems for use on the ISS. the problems early on on the ISS was that with the small number of crew members. Initially Just a three and then eventually growing to four and not getting to eight until Later years after about ten years or so We really did not have as much crew time as we would have liked if you take a look at the crewman's day and how much time they have to spend Maintaining themselves whether for exercise or cleanliness and so on but then How much time they actually had available for a for doing scientific work. It was a pretty constrained so we're learning quite a bit about how to either automate. Some of the systems how to operate a lot of the systems from the ground and so This has been developed really to the point now where the astronauts although they do have to do. Some on-orbit Actual maintenance of the station most of the system level activities operating the systems is done from the ground and so the astronauts do not have to focus on that so much and they do have more time to focus on scientific experiments. Yeah and they're every kind that you can imagine there earth observation. Their biological their systems. They're they're really everything going. I WanNa take a kind of zoom in on International Space Station history to the Columbia accident. What happened there in terms of the assembly? And then what we had to rethink and Redo and then get back up on our feet turf. Thin eventually finished construction of the space station or of course the initial Assembly mission occurred in nineteen eighty eight and so from eight until two thousand and three when the Columbia accident occurred We were able to do a fair amount of assembly work although we were somewhat limited because the Russians Were not moving along quite as quickly as we had hoped with the service module The survey the Russians only have a limited number of people that they apply on any of their modules. And so they had to I. do the F. B. B. and it wasn't until the F. B. was in orbit that they were able to move on to the service module and get it ready to fly That was finally ready The first crew went up of the first long duration crew went up in. I think two thousand and so they took their place in orbit and so then we had it about another Almost three years to work in space before the Columbia accident occurred at the time. The Columbia accident occurred. We really were not In the best of situation in terms of having all of the electrical power and and radiator systems in place. We had just started building out the trust We in a way. We were fortunate in that. We did have a fairly balanced station. Where equal amounts of trust had been placed on both sides and therefore it was somewhat easier to control and maintain in orbit. But of course we had been so focused on building assembling the station using the shuttle that when the shuttle stopped flying after Columbia We really were not able to do any more assembly work and so that That stopped everything for about two years or so until the return to flight and they returned to fly. Did that kick off a rapid set of assembly missions. So one of the problems we had run into prior to Columbia was we were bringing the different elements of the station Down to Kennedy and preparing them to fly but often times we would have one element there and the next element to add to connect Was Not really there to do any kind of testing on So we frequently had to do simulators place of the actual test articles when the Columbia accident happened In a way it worked out fortunate. Net all of the equipment began to coalesce at Kennedy Space Center. And so we could put a lot more of it together. Test it out more thoroughly Prior to launch and that way when we when we returned the shuttle to flight the the assembly missions could go off Much more rapidly almost at the pace of about one month or so when one of every month and a half or so and so we were able to move along pretty quickly. Okay now I WANNA Talk Abou Operations for a second. Because I think you've mentioned it a few times that You you mentioned this. Space Station was designed to be a bit simpler so the crew didn't have to do much but really this is different from even shuttle where it was the crew that was that was flying the shuttle. The space station is almost flown from the ground operated from the ground. Twenty four seven operations and then on top of that you have international operations. Tell me how that structure can about well. Of course computers and computer networking has evolved quite a bit over the years over the course of the last twenty years and so 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 you runner only. Hey thanks for sticking around Hopi. Listen to two of these parts with our conversation with Dr Gary Gary Kit Macher. This is episode. One thirty three. If you haven't go back and listen to episode one thirty two it's a fascinating compass Conversation on everything that happened before the International Space Station. Hope you tune in. You can find it at NASA GOV slash podcasts. Along with the other NASA podcasts. That we have there are the many space centers here at NASA. If you want to learn more about the international space station I'd be surprised. But there is more the investigate and NASA GOV slash I S S. We got Social media places where you can go facebook twitter instagram. Just search the International Space Station. We gotTA count on all three of those use the Hashtag ask NASA on your favorite platform to submit an idea for the show and make sure to mention it's for Houston. We have a podcast. For our students out there I have a quick plug for you. Research in the microgravity environment of the International Space Station is still as important as ever and to celebrate twenty years of continuous human presence. Both living and working in space are stem on stationed team here at the Johnson. Space Center will fund five. Student designed payloads to fly to and return from the space station. As part of the student payload opportunity with citizen science or SPOCK'S S. P. O. CS For more information and to submit proposals and Just make sure to check out NASA DOT GOV slash stem on station slash Spock's. Spf Mark. Your calendars that. The submissions are due by five. Pm Eastern on March twenty. Seven th twenty twenty. This episode was recorded on January. Twenty four th twenty twenty. Thanks to Alex. Perryman Pat Ryan nor Moran Belinda Polio. Kelly Humphries thanks again. Dr Gary Marker for coming on the show give us a rating and feedback on whatever platform. You're listening to us on and Tell us what you think about the show. We'll be back next week.
New Doorway to Space
"The doorways on the international space station of work just fine for the past twenty years but as more researchers expand the scope and size of their projects a larger doorway could open up space. This is a special series of innovation now. Celebrating twenty years of continuous human presence on the international space station to harp. Relieve the bottleneck. That sometimes happens on the international space station. As satellites experiments and larger payloads are received nanno racks. llc has built a new and different kind of doorway into space. The private company created the nanno racks bishop airlock module. That will serve as another door to the space station. The new airlock delivered on a spacex dragon. Resupply services mission is the first commercial. Airlock added to the station. This ship will provide five times. The capacity of the stations other operational air locks allowing for larger payloads to be moved inside and outside the station. The bell jar shape contains rows of tracks for mounting modules and housing electrical connections which can be configured in a variety of ways. This versatile design supports conducting experiments or deploying satellites simultaneously making space for a lot more stations science for innovation. Now i'm jennifer. Poet innovation now is produced by the national institute of aerospace through collaboration with nasa.
International Space Station
"Welcome to bedtime history. Good evening this is and I'm super excited to share our first bonus episode. Yes this extra episode exists because fans donated to patriotic and made it possible in a shadow to our new donor this week. Abbey and Nellie from Montreal Canada. That's one donor on our way to the next ten so nine more we'll do yet another bonus episode and yes I do. Oh you guys. Another bonus episode. I haven't forgotten another way to support. The podcast is by leaving a quick review and subscribing. I love reading the kind comments and the reviews and it goes a long way to making our podcast more popular so kids all around. The world can find it too and one more thing. We released two new videos on Youtube both about George Washington. The new videos have lots of fun graphics and animations. I worked especially hard on them. See off to be sure to check them out and subscribe to our Youtube Channel now onto our episode. Close Your eyes and imagine you're floating in the air in spacecraft. You're weightless it feels so strange. She had amazing at the same time. You push off the wall and float down along room. You feel like Superman flying across empty space for fun. You Duck your head and do a quick flip before landing against the other wall and pushing off to soar the opposite direction at the end of the next room. You grab hold of something and stop to look out the round bubble window below. You see a glittering blue ocean clouds and Brown land in the distance you are two hundred miles above earth onboard the International Space Station and flying around the world at seventeen thousand miles per hour or twenty thousand kilometers per hour. Have you ever heard of the International Space Station Right now? It's circling the earth above you. It's going so fast that it orbits the Earth every ninety minutes that means fifteen and a half times a day. That's incredibly fast. Some people think the space station is floating in space. But it's actually falling around the earth. In what is known as an orbit the International Space Station also known as the ISS is special because it's not owned by a single country but by many countries who work together to build it it started off as a single module has grown piece by piece into the larger station. It is now in nineteen ninety eight. Russia launched the modules Aria into low earth orbit as the first piece low-earth orbit means. It is still within the Earth's orbit not far off in space beyond the earth strong gravitational pull two weeks after his Aria was launched the United States launched its own space shuttle with the unity module and its astronauts on board. The next step was connecting. The I two modules. The astronauts did this by floating out into space and attaching them and that is how the International Space Station began after that. The other pieces were slowly added to the ISS until it grew and grew in two thousand came. The Russian modules visit then Nastase destiny module Canada's space program contributed a robotic arm for spacewalks and to make remote control repairs the harmony module came in two thousand seven then the European Space Agency sent up the Columbus Module. Japan sent up its own module in two thousand eight next came Nasr's tranquility module then Europe's Leonardo module and finally the bigelow module sent by a private company. One reason I assess. Amazing is because it's a team effort by many countries around the world usually around three to six astronauts live and work on the ISS at a time. It was made for many reasons but one of them was to do research since humans plan to go to Mars someday. They're using the ISS to see how space will affect the astronauts during the journey to Mars for example what will spaceflight due to their bodies. What kind of foods will they need to eat? What kind of exercise will they need? Will they be able to grow plants? They've also tried out different devices. They'll need in space such as three D printers and coffee makers on the ISS. The cruise days are very busy and besides doing experiments they spend a lot of time doing maintenance which means keeping the station running smoothly. Each astronaut has a different responsibilities. Sort of like you might have doing chores at home. Only by working together will the ISS continued to work properly often the astronauts climate of their space suits and spacewalk which means to go outside the ISS and float around to make repairs. This can be dangerous work so they always attach themselves to the I assess for safety. The astronauts have also been testing robot. They can use to fly around they. I assess and make repairs for them. The other important part of an astronaut's days taking care of themselves making sure the the right foods showering brushing their teeth and getting exercise. They also do things like video chat with school children and talk about what they're doing with people around the world. They do this to get others excited about the space station and space research eating in zero. Gravity can be very tricky. Their food has to be strapped down to a table and utensils and water bottles have magnets on them to keep them from floating away. If you look on the Internet you can find some funny videos of the crew doing flips floating around and dancing and playing with water in zero gravity. Water floats around in blobs people from nineteen different countries have visited the ISS. These include the United States Russia Japan Canada Italy France Germany Belgium Brazil Denmark Kazakhstan Malaysia. The Netherlands South Africa South Korea Spain Sweden the United Arab Emirates and the United Kingdom. Now you can see why they call it. The International Space Station international means many countries at the ISS. It's exciting to see people from many countries working together. It's a perfect example of how working together people across the world can accomplish amazing things many people dream of visiting space someday and some companies promised that someday anyone who can pay for it will be able to do it right now. I can be very expensive and at times. Not even possible to visit places like the ISS but someday space vacations may be available to everyone. Can you imagine visiting a place like the ISS or a far off hotel on the moon? This is called space tourism and a few very wealthy people have been able to visit the ISS by paying for it but it costs them many millions of dollars. One of these people was on a show on sorry was born in Iran and moved to the United States. When she was little she was interested in engineering and graduated from college to become an engineer. She and her husband later started a company that grew and grew until they were very wealthy. Should always dreamed of going to space and became interested in visiting the space station when she found out they were allowing some to visit. If they paid she jumped on the chance I she trained for the journey then took a Russian rocket up to the ISS and lived and worked there for a short while there. She helped to do experiments and later wrote a book about her. Amazing Journey. One of the most well known astronauts to live on the ISS. Is Chris Hadfield? Chris was born in Ontario Canada. He grew up on a farm with his family where they grew corn. When Chris was little he became interested in flying later saw the Apollo eleven moon mission which made him want to be an astronaut. Just like Neil Armstrong later. You went to college then. Joined the Canadian Air Force. This eventually led to training is an astronaut for the Canadian Space Agency and working on the International Space Station on the ISS. Chris shared his day to day activities on twitter and facebook and later made a music video on Youtube while playing guitar in space. This brought even more attention to the important work they were doing on the ISS. Many records have been set by the crew of the ISS such as the most consecutive days in space by an American which was three hundred and forty days by astronaut. Scott Kelly the other cool thing about Scott's tripped the ISS is. He's a twin so they're able to study how space affected. Scott versus his twin brother who stayed on earth another record was the longest spaceflight by a woman at two hundred eighty nine days by Peggy Whitson the ISS also holds the record for the most people in space at once which was a crew of thirteen in the year. Two Thousand and nine. Did you know you can see the space station from Earth with the help of your parents? If you go to spot the station DOT NASA Dot Gov you can sign up to receive text messages or emails whenever the space station is visible above you. Recently my kids and I did this and it was amazing to see. It flowed across the night sky like star one of the best lessons. We can learn from the International Space Station. Is that by working together? People all over the world can do amazing things. Isn't this so much better than focusing on our differences and fighting one problem in the world is when people look at those who are different. They think there's something wrong with them because they aren't the same but differences are what keep the world and there's so much we can learn from each other from our different experiences and customs and believes the space station shows that even though we have differences we have common goals like visiting space and learning about space and the earth as we focus on. What'S COMMON? We can work together to do great things a couple years ago. I worked with a man from India. I'd never met someone from India so it was very interesting listening about his homeland. What it was like to grow up in India and has different believes he celebrated different holidays and had different ideas about the world but it fascinated me to try to see the world through his eyes as we got to know each other. We became friends and I look back. On our talks with fondness. Take a moment to think of someone you know. Who's different than you? They might be from a different country or look different or talk differently or active. Really take the leap and ask them a few questions and try to get to know them better. Because chances are you'll learn something interesting and possibly make a new friend in the process. Thanks for listening and we'll catch you next time.
"Dressing up for. Halloween is becoming a popular tradition. What's on board. The International Space Station have dressed up in costumes to celebrate Halloween it last year darth vader and Elvis Presley made an appearance although and some of the astronauts are really good at creating costumes from everyday items while you're carving a robotic Pumpkin like a NASA engineer or creating the allowed for innovation now I'm Jennifer police innovation now is produced by the.
"HOUSTON, we have a podcast. Welcome to the official podcast of the NASA Johnson Space. Center episode one, Sixty, eight expedition one I'm Gary Jordan and I'll be your host today on this podcast we bring in the experts scientists, engineers astronauts to let you know what's going on in the world of human spaceflight twenty years ago on November second, two, thousand, a crew of three space ferrers arrived at the International Space Station with the mission to bring the new orbital complex to life we call these missions expeditions and the crew was expedition one. The trio was NASA's William Shepherd Commander of Expedition One and Russian cosmonaut Sergei Krikalev and Yuri Zenko both seasoned veterans of long duration missions aboard the Russian space station Mir that was an orbit. These three spent a hundred and thirty six days aboard the Space Station and set the course for what would be an unbroken streak of human presence in space. We, like to tout. If you're at this point younger than twenty, you've never lived in a world where there haven't been humans in space at any given point in your life. To get to that point where human started inhabiting the Space Station was not an easy thing. So to tell the full story of Expedition One, we have William Shepherd goes by SHEP. He was a manager of the Space Station Program, a seasoned veteran and space and the commander of Expedition One to the station. We talk about what it took to get to expedition one, the mission itself and how the Space Station has grown into what it is today. So here we go expedition one with Bill Shepherd. Enjoy. County. Court. Chef thanks for coming on Houston we have a podcast today. Appreciate your time. Yeah. Happy to be with the all my all my friends at NASA. there. And I wanted to start with this. We're taking a snapshot here where we are twenty years past when you first arrived on the International Space Station and set the course for continuous human presence. What are your initial thoughts right off the bat of achieving this milestone? Well, I'm kind of amazed that between NASA and hall the International Partners that we frankly that we've got gun Many many people at the outset of the International Space Station program. decided it was mission impossible and it was never going to happen but The team has proved them wrong. Well, that's perfect. Well, let's take a deep dive then Feel like you're the perfect person to talk to about this, just just diving into exactly that what were those obstacles that made it seem like mission impossible. So let's start with the landscape of of NASA and international partnerships in the early ninety s when we were just kind of getting the International Space Station program and the thought of what would be the international space station up and running. Well, the idea for space station is not at all new. certainly even before world. War Two people were talking about. Humans traveling in space and what we would do there And I think von Braun had many sketches There Are Walt Disney shows on rockets going to space stations, but really it got off the ground if you will. both in the US and in the Soviet Union with manned laboratories we had skylab. And then the Russians had a number of sal, you space stations, and then eventually one that they called Mir President Reagan. Started Space Station. Freedom. and. This was in the early in the middle of the eighties. And by Nineteen Ninety two. the administration's had changed and The problem was that NASA had spent almost eleven billion dollars on space station freedom. and. It had taken Eight years in not one pound of flight hardware was to show for it, and so congress was really upset. With the Space Agency, and was getting ready to cancel the program. So really ISS. International Space Station Program. Was a big change that that pulled the iron out of the fire and reorganized things and. That's Cata Pass that we started on twenty years ago, and that's where we are today. Well, let's talk about some of those original plans you mentioned space station freedom. There are a number of other space stations. That were actually flying at that time Mir included Let's take a dive into the shuttle program and the original plans for shuttle. As a as a vehicle to construct things like space stations. All NASA space shuttle was actually something the NASA promoting even before the end of. The Apollo Missions I think John Young was on the moon talking about. What a great thing a space shuttle would be an encouraging. The politicians to support it. but one of the purposes of the shuttle was to be able to build large things in or orbit. So besides carrying astronauts space and doing experiments and ev as in robotics and whatnot. One of the main reasons why we needed a space shuttle was so we can build big stuff in orbit and It was kind of in competition with the Russians. Didn't know what the Russians were GonNa do they eventually built their own? space shuttle and flew one time. But that was the landscape and I think You know to me There was a lot of celebration and ceremony around the retiring the shuttles and the ones that got transported to the museums. But for me that was really sad. Stories of days because this was the end of. at least United States astronauts. Flying into space and coming back in a vehicle that had wings on it that could land like an airplane I I still think that's a tremendous capability and we've pretty much given that up. And and think about what it accomplished. You know even even before the International Space Station launched its first element we did have. Cooperation with this space station that you're talking about Mir the Russian space station where we had. An opportunity to work together with. Russia doing the shuttle Mir program and not only using the shuttle but also understanding the operations I guess behind long duration spaceflight on Mir. If you look back, even President Kennedy in the earliest days of. Our human spaceflight effort talked about. The political and diplomatic benefit of working with the Soviets on space. And Apollo Soyuz in nineteen seventy five was a result of that and It took us a while after that another two decades to really get. close to the Russian Federation and work together on space. Station. But. I think it's a very healthy thing for NASA for the country to be doing. We'll talk about those years I think around this time you were the International Space Station Program Manager You had a lot of oversight into you know this cooperation us and Russia to go from this idea of freedom International Space Station or space station freedom to this Cooperative International Space Station can you talk about some of those years? Well my original. Assignment from. The national administrator was to be on A. Basically. Study team that would look at what is the What, what's The executability? If you will the freedom program and if if it needed to look like something else what would that be? And I had I was a member of about ten men team and we studied that for about a month. And made recommendations. This was all Being driven by directives from the Clinton administration to figure out. What what was Nastase Future with the freedom program and and what were they going to do After the draft this study was over then I was the program manager basically handling several changes to what NASA was doing was. We were bringing the Russian Federation hint to the International. Space Station Partnership, which is a big deal the partnership had been formed. about six years earlier by international agreements. With the Canadian Space Agency, the European, Space Agency and the there are other involvements with the. There is some involvement with the Italian aerospace industry B- That group was already up and running and was initially very opposed to bring yet another partner end because in part. This would diminish everybody's availability for astronauts and research time on space electrical power, and you know all of those things that you've got to do to have a collaborative expedition or environment in orbit. So there was a lot of negativity Among the established partners to bring the Russians in. the Russians themselves. Were very difficult to deal with And that because they are or were bad people, but you have to look at space from a Russian standpoint. They launched the first satellite into space. And the first man to fly in space the first woman to fly in space they did the first facebook. They were the first to look at the back side of the. Moon. And there were quite a number of. Technological I if the Russians claim and they. To their from their point of view that they looked at the United States US Americans is coming in behind. their successes and trying to take some of the credit for it and I. Think There's some merit to that I. Mean we certainly. Approach doing space from from different directions. Technically but Russians are very proud. They've got a very strong legacy in the early days of. Humans. In space and I think initially, we did not the the Americans in particular. we did not respect that or appreciate that maybe as. As strongly, as we might assume, that was you know getting that getting behind that passed that was a big deal. In addition, there several of the things that were happening one was that budget for the. Space Station it was going to be called at that time. was quite constrained The design of freedom had to be changed. For a number of reasons, it was too expensive. The assembly of the components had a lot of risk in it that we wanted to take out. We had Russian components that we had to. Integrate With this partnership that we had to manage and we had a complete. Restructuring of the Space Station program on the US side altogether NASA had ridden. Four prime contracts to various companies. In the United States to carry out freedom. And this was in the process of being condensed to a single prime contract. some of the contractors were not going to. Maintain the work content that they had originally won in the previous contract they're unhappy about that. And in addition Space Station program was going to be headquartered at one particular place in the country and there was a lot of. Arm Wrestling about where and which. Center or entity what's going to be in charge of that and ended up being Houston I was very happy about that because I was living in Houston but. these are some of the dynamics were going on at the time. Very respected Japanese partner who was In a lot of these discussions of the. Initial space. Station, partnership came up to me one day and he said Shop This is nineteen ninety early nineteen ninety-three. He said Shep You guys are doing your sixth redesign of the space station. You're changing the contract around you chopping pieces of the hardware off you're running short on money and you're. Changing the contract all around and you're moving headquarters to Houston. I don't think you're GONNA make it. And that was that was preseason guy and that was his expert opinion in the middle of Nineteen ninety-three and so I didn't say anything to him. I didn't want to be disrespectful but. I thought to myself I thought you know we've got. A real legacy of of how to do hard things at NASA. They've got a great team working on this and Just stand by we're going to show you that this can get done. Shed there seems to be just. Insurmountable odds against actually making this thing work. So how how did you navigate through all of these obstacles? What? How did you integrate with the international park partners with Russia to actually make the international? Space. Station. Become a thing. I don't think it's a simple answer. I think a lot of people. Own Parts of that story I I do think that One of things that it was really important was I stepped down from being a program manager 'cause I. The program manager has over splutter responsibilities to do A lot of the congressional liaison keep the funding for the program headed in the right direction. hand holding for a lot of. Higher Level forums, and I wanted to do the more focused on the technical work. So I was like what took on the role as a deputy program manager to do that? But That said. We started having pretty aggressive exchanges. Groups of people in Moscow talking to our Russian counterparts and having Russians in Houston and I think that was really the thing that made The. International Space Station? Program go. The, Russians. Came in Pan certainly did things differently than what we did. But but in the end The design and how was implemented. Added a Lotta Capability to the station and I'm probably jumping ahead. We can talk about this later in the podcast. But nobody at the time realized that how important having? multiple countries, multiple launch assets that could. Support, the station in orbit and had. Particularly, the the Columbia. Disaster we would not have a space station if the Russians were not able to fly crews and material up to the ISS and I I, I. Don't think we specifically foresaw that in nineteen ninety-three. But the fact that many countries. The Europeans the Japanese and the Russians in particular could have an opportunity to launch to the station on their own. That was a big part of our design. So Oh Station has. Even as a program, it had a lot of moving parts it's hard to. Cover it all you know in a short discussion. Well we can. We can zoom in on on hardware because I think one of the things you mentioned with some of the early years is we were doing a lot of studies on on designing what would be a space station, but never had any hardware to show for it so. During the space station, there were that there was that development process of the initial hardware of the international space. Station. I know there's there's components like to. Those Aria was a joint effort How about some of those those early space station, hardware, designs, and processes But I think you have to back up one step and think about his there a culture or philosophy that says. not only what you design, but y you design it the way you do, and that was really the most interesting thing to me our. Previous. Freedom. design. was dependent. On. Some Hurley Assembly flights were we didn't have a lot of Cooling. Communications Electric Power. Other capability and gradually the station build out in those utilities if you will. became more robust, but several of the aspects of this support. To keep the station alive. had. If you will allow technical risks that they were gonNA survive. The period before we had redundancy. The Russians on the other hand designed. smaller. Modules they weren't in essence all. Up. Vehicles. And when they launched it, it had life support in had environmental control. It had fire suppression detect computers. And radios, it had solar-powered had thermal control had docking mechanisms all that stuff. So The analogy would be to. Having a house that you're building in the United States or the US side of the partnership. We lay the foundation and we'd get the the studs in. And frame everything out put the roof on and. Months into the construction you might have a place. You could roll out a cot. Sleep. And the the Russian approach was. Cleared the driveway and pull the winnebago up and you know open the door and those are two really different approaches to doing. you know human capable facilities in orbit. And I think there's a lot of merit to their Russian approach frankly. is maybe a bit simpler so. I guess around this time, you talked about stepping down from program manager at what point did you start gearing up for training for what would be the first expedition? Nine hundred ninety six the first crew. It was determined by. The program management talking to the space agencies in the various countries. that. At that time this summer of ninety six, the launch was supposed to be nineteen, Ninety, eight somewhere. In everybody was assuming that the training was going to be a year and a half or so maybe a little bit longer and that was historical reference from what it would take the train shuttle crews and what the Russians normally would do for their Soyuz training. So midnight nineteen, Ninety six, it was decided that naming a crew to go to the station would basically start driving. The the training folks to get their training mature. And know get started with crew training. So we got named They WANNA was. Believed was sometime in the fall of nineteen, ninety six. And we started our training essentially that winter. And it turned out that due to delays and hardware launch schedules. The crew did not ended up flying until almost the end of two thousand. So our training flow was About four years plus a little bit about twice what we had originally intended. Very. Tedious If you're training but you don't know when you're GONNA fly it's somewhat akin to crawling over broken glass once in a while but But we all understood that this was a developmental thing and nothing was going to be perfect and If I can say patients had to be somewhat of a virtue. I did have the pleasure of having Kathy Bolt on this podcast to talk about training and how it's evolved over time and she did mention training the expedition one crew, and one of the things she mentioned when you talked about being tedious one of the things you mentioned was There was this idea to train you to the system level to train you to know the whole International Space Station inside, and now how to switch all the buttons and and how everything worked in that training evolved over time because to a more general. Approach since the space station for the most part could be controlled from the ground. Did you did you find that some of those some of that tedious training was just knowing like every system on the space station inside out. Well I I WANNA commend. Kathy and all the people who worked on expedition one in particular. Did a great job training. But I think the reality that was Not. The. Easiest critic to train and that. Was True for a couple of reasons one was. particularly, Sergei curricula who was a enter engineer and he was basically our flight engineer on board. Both he and I had been in Italy involved in mirror to and all the nuts and bolts of the US side of the. ISS program so we knew a lot about the hardware. And so. The other thing was we knew when we flew. That although the the ideal case was the ground could do everything the reality was that they were not going to be able to. because. Particularly really in our flay. We only had direct communications line of sight. From the to the ground, and we had to have a ground station relay. Hold the calm to Houston or Moscow. So this meant that her coverage was not gonna be anything like. What we have now on ISS or what we were used to. On spatial with the tedious relay satellite. So we had periods we were GONNA have periods on it. Sometimes four to six hours long. Where we weren't talking anybody and nobody on the ground could see what was happening on. ICS. So with that in mind you got to step back and say, well, am I going to wait for the ground? Tell me what to do when something Something big is up for my going to figure out. What I have to do the interim and Try and you know prevent it from getting worse or fix it make it better. So we were pretty hard over that. The right way for us to train has the first crew in probably the early crews up there was to know as much as we could about everything because the chances were good then in a big crunch up there. We were going to be on her own. That's that's why we did. Very very critical thing to to be able to do for sure I wanna take a step back. And Zoom in on the fact that this is the first expedition, which means you are going to be up in space for much longer than some previous previous shuttle missions. So Expedition One was one hundred and thirty six days. Let's take a step back to your shuttle missions and talk about what they were like, and then how that compared to expedition one you have three listed for U. S. T. S. twenty-seven forty one and fifty to your experiences on those. Well they're all different flights. Twenty seven, forty, one, we're we're, pretty, short. up and down flights. Twenty seven high inclination permitted defense mission. The idea was to launch. swing the orbit around two fifty, seven degrees inclination fifty, seven degrees. And then as soon as we're ready put an object out into orbit and check it out and come back home. So. It was a great mission but. Almost stay up by the time you are. Really accustomed to where to look to see the ground and what the food was going to be like you were getting ready to land and come home sorta. The same thing on us he has forty one our big mission there was a planetary probe. built by the Europeans called Ulysses. that was A. Launch. Ulysses pretty interesting object at Carry the. Inertial upper stages and went to a trajectory that Senate over the back of Jupiter. And did that to give it an adjustment to its orbital inclination where it would fly. down in the Southern Hemisphere of the. Solar system and fly over the South Pole the sun. but again, Short mission up and down in a couple of days. Has It's fifty to launch day. Laser reflector satellite, but did about a week and a half of materials experiments, but that was pretty much it. So in contrast. To Russian crewmates Sergei in particular at spent a year. In, orbit on the Mir he was the. The Soviet cosmonaut who launched and came down a year later without a country because in the meantime. The Soviet Union had gone away and the Russian Federation than setup. So in your had experience on the mirror as well. So My Position has a low time flyer was not something that the Russians were particularly happy with. Well, then let let's talk about expedition one nine. Let's let's Let's zoom in on the training there I. Think what's one of the major differences is the vehicle that's GonNa take you to and from orbit all of your previous flights were on the space shuttle. Now, you're getting ready to learn everything about the Russian Soyuz. The Russians. Have had the Soyuz spacecraft since the sixties. And they had a legacy of training quite a number of foreign cosmonauts or astronauts from different countries has guests to ride on the Soyuz. So the mode of their training was that the Americans that showed up to work on space. Station. Where is it or there was started? On, a training floor that. Basically. saw them as guest cosmonauts. And we had a big problem with that because we said look we're going to be up there. We're not going to be in contact with the ground all the time limited number of crew and we've got a no no way What happens when this button doesn't work but maybe Y is something is. Impeding it or what's behind the bandler? What's going on at this thing needs to know or do to make it work and this is not really a Russian. Train their cosmonauts. But we said Hey This is a new ballgame and this is the way we wanna do it and. After many many battles with the training staff and The program managers we we? Made that happen and so You know big thing about training and Russia and for the Soyuz in particular was. All the Russian training. Wasn't Russian. We had lesson plans that were translated to English, and we initially started down the road saying, okay, we can. Sit there and with an interpreter looking at the translated script for the training, we can get what we need to get but. Soon became obvious. So we need to be really proficient in Russian so. Everybody from the US side that was training for Isis in Russia learned Russian and it had some other benefit and the big one was. Many of the people who were in the training flow as instructors had involvement in the Russian space program that went back. Ten Twenty thirty years. There were people there who had worked on sputnik and who had trained Erie Garin, and so these people were walking encyclopedias for. How the Russians did things and I thought you know I could talk to these people with interpreters but I really, WANNA. Know what they're thinking about why they're doing something a certain way I have to be able to talk to him in Russian. So that's what we did and it was not an easy part of training but it was necessary I think in hindsight I think everybody's really glad. That we were able to do that because it gave us a necessary insight into. How this other space entity? Works and thinks. And it's very interesting because all the astronauts I talked to today right before their launches. And I'm talking in the past couple of years. They always talk about you know Russian training. We're still doing it that a lot of them say it is one of the harder parts about training a lot of them with tech backgrounds able to understand that a little bit easier than maybe the Russian language. But still a very valuable part of what it is to be an expedition astronaut even today. One of the things that came out of that before we leave the language issue. It made me think of. How would I approach this? If, I was Japanese or if I was an Italian or The many other countries that want to be involved with helping to crew the station and I'm going you know for somebody who's Who doesn't have English or Russians the first language? It's it's double heart and I'm going. There's got to be a way that we can bridge that. With controls and displays and training material diagrams explain if you will what the crew has to deal with in such a way that. The need for complete. Textual understanding and what you're doing is reduced. and. So we created a graphic environment that's used on the ground using training us on displays on the space station. and today is is really part of how station is operated. And it was designed at the time to be. Somewhat. Universal. So people ask me. Once in a while they say shop well. One Hundred Years from now what do you? What do you think people will remember about the International Space Station? I say well. If. We're if we're really lucky they will. They will remember having heard the name but not much else about it. But I think one thing that will endure is this approach to having multinational crews who have to travel in space and do pretty complex things. This. kind of human interface is something that I think we started. I think it's GonNa last for a long time. Sarah Cool I wanna I wanNA jump over to. Your expedition and talk about the journey there. Because because now we're here twenty years later from from when you were getting ready. To launch. Talk about your experience I guess after training in biking or preparing for, launch. Well I would say it's not too different than what the US and American astronauts do between Houston and the Cape and the shuttle launches. you go down to bike and you're about three weeks before your launch for a practice countdown. And then. About five days before you fly, you show up again you know final checks and vehicle. The castle gets me to the booster rocket that goes out to the PAD. And then the launch countdown starts and. Morning of October thirty first get up early in the morning. Get a bite to eat. jumping the bus, go down to the Assembly area where we getting space suits and get those checked out. Take the bus out to the pad and get on the rockets so that That whole process was. I wouldn't say it's familiar but the the sequence and the steps involved were were very understandable to the Americans their I'd say the only difference really was. The Russians had set the the launch date and the liftoff time. About Four months in advance three or four months in advance. And that did not change. So we got out biking. kind of on the high desert very flat terrain almost no vegetation. This is. The middle of the fall you get up early in the morning and it's kind of kind of misty and foggy, and then the fog Kinda glisten a little bit. But at ten thirty in the morning, there was still about two hundred foot ceiling means you go two hundred feet up and you're up in the clouds nobody can see what's going on. The. Russians push the button lit the fuse. We launched boom up into the clouds away we went. Shuttle never would have flown in those conditions so You know that. I I think that says a lot about differences in how the to space cultures operate. Now about that right in the Soyuz. That was your first launch on a Soyuz vehicle. How did that compare shuttle? Nothing really bad. Say about it. I, think there's a lot of goodness in the vehicle and the castle itself there abort regimes. Where you can stop doing what you're doing and get to a safe place. They're they're really pretty good. the rocket itself I think when we flew. Soya's which is also called the booster rocket the Soyuz launcher. Had Been to the pad that we flew on and they had four, hundred, sixty one. Successful launches without a failure. or at least a fair threatened the crew and you know those are pretty good numbers and so Despite the fact that the inside of the vehicles extremely cramped. The couches are quite uncomfortable. The suits are obtained the but essentially new. -Absolutely. But you gotta ask yourself do you want do you what comfort or do you want robustness and reliability? I think for most people? That's an easy choice. That's right now was a longer journey I guess compared to what we're seeing nowadays with A. Six hour rendezvous you're were orbiting the earth for two days before actually rendezvous with the International Space Station and finally getting ready to enter. Can you describe that journey? That was historically how the Russians plan there. Launch. Dynamics. If you will we were launching in the plane of the station. But well behind it and below it in every route that we go around because we're we're. Circling they're somewhat faster were gradually catching up when we get within striking distance the last day we do little little burn. Zip Up to the station and doc I, think that was a consequence of. The the ability of the Russians to have really good knowledge. Of were the Soyuz vehicle was and where the target vehicle was and what the potential errors could be. And so Driving around in orbit to do docking burns up a fair amount of fuel. You only have so much. So I think they were. Initially, very conservative about how they plan their flights. up until about maybe six years ago. that was the way they did it but then they started doing rapid rendezvous within four to six hours to catching up. It's just a little different play. it. It takes more precision, but somehow the Russians were able to change that. Now. When you actually docked to the International Space Station, this was going to be the first I. Guess A. Term Crew you had yet stf eighty eight before that visit the International Space Station but what were some of those things you had to do to get the space station ready for continuous human habitation? Well the docking was automatic was controlled by Mission Control Moscow I'm sure that. People have seen the videotapes of the down link and all that we drive into a docking cone. And In, once we get the hook. So the probe in the right spot in the cone couples which get flipped and the to. rings of the spacecraft get made it together and sealed So We open the hatch we check the pressure everything's good open the hatch One of my first job was to sample the. Composition the atmosphere make sure nothing toxic was in there. in surrogate were running around with checklists. There was stuff that they had to do, but I guess the biggest. Panic if you will that we had on our First Day docked was. We alive precedent that was scheduled for. About, three or four at the end of our day, but three or four hours after we had docked. and. It required getting a television camera out getting some lights wearing everything up during everything on. Assembling in the service module looking at the camera and then doing live down like to Moscow and we could not find. The cord that we needed to hook the camera. To the port where it was going to be on the radio system just frantic for. About an hour looking for the Dang thing and we finally got it. Done but that was that was pressure. Well. You know you talked about going through the hatch and getting everything prepared. But what was going through my mind is actually entering through the hatch now I know. Today we see Cruz being welcomed by crew members that are already on board station since we do have continuous presence but you being the Ones on board to start this continuous presence. Did you do anything special any sort of ceremony? Any any words even just between each other to really recognize that moment of entering the station for the first time Not, really. We did ask we were on the phone with Mr Cop Taboos head of the Russian Space Agency and Mr Goldman who was a necessary administrator they're both in mission control in Moscow. And each Each Russian crew that flew on a stage, the space station. Had Had their own call sign and it was generally one that stayed with various astronauts cosmonauts rather during their career. So. One astronaut would they're usually astronomical names like Mars or mercury or something like that? And you're it gets Inca who was the. Commander if you will for the the Soyuz capsule. His Russian. Call sign was Iran. and. One of the choices was going to be that during the mission, our expedition was going to be referred to as Iran. And your would be Iran one and circe would be who run to and I was probably going to be run three. And I did not like that for a couple reasons. So we kind of jumped the gun. and asked if we could use the radio call. Sign, Alpha. Space Station Alpha. And the the ground was Kinda apoplectic they said, okay for the President Radio Call Sign we'll call you that and That was a little bit of hubbub about that, and I think that that finally went away six or eight missions later, but people don't realize that. Not, all words in English translate well into Russian, and the same thing is true with the Russian words. To English and Ron Is the name of the planet Uranus, and so I saw that as probably public relations minefield that we didn't want to go in. Well. Let's talk about the. You're the first expedition. So I keep relating to the space station as I. Know it today, we're in a period of utilization the the mission is research. But I'm sure in the early years, your mission was getting station ready for research and getting it. There's Assembly efforts. Especially in the beginning years, and of course, you had to activate the space station get ready for future crews. Can you talk about some of your mission objectives in your multi-month stay? Exactly that we had initial work to. Get the oxygen generation system of the bigger tissue was the carbon dioxide removal system that. That had some hiccups getting started We had a number of systems that did not cower up correctly. Some of them had components that we're inoperable or one in particular multi ten connector pins were but. The work that we had for expedition one was troubleshooting all that and inserting tabby into slot B. will and we were all very hands on guys, and that's what we thought. We were GONNA be doing on orbit. We're very happy to be in orbit doing all that because that's what we trained for. So that was a really rewarding part of The I certainly the first half of our expedition I gotta say one thing about that. we we were told, and at least three times a day I can remember. Where we had come in and that particular piece of hardware was not functional or something is broken or wasn't working the way it was supposed to. And we say, okay fine what what's the grounds plan to fix this? And the Capcom would say, okay space station. We'll get back to you on that in about a day. Later, we'd get the read from the ground and they would say well, we've got that got the plan to fix. Whatever that thing is it's broken in and we said, okay, Great. What is it and they said, well, we're sending up spare as we said, great. When are they going to get here? She was. Six months after you guys leave and we said Whoa. So In all those cases that I can remember. after a couple of days, we have a discussion with Moscow or Houston and the discussion would be. Hey we see that console or that component it's up and running now can you can you give us Any words on what's going on and we would say look, we spent the last three days Sharon that thing apart at night trying to figure out why it wouldn't work and fixing it. And the ground would say, well, where did you get the procedure to do that and where did you get the spare parts where where'd you get the tools or you know who told you? You could do that? And we said, Hey, well, we figured we couldn't make it any worse. So we try to fix it and we did. And, we could break it again if you guys want to break it and. Say No no, just just keep running. and. The thing about that was with we were constantly. Going back and forth with the ground on. Essentially what the capability of the crew was. And I it Kinda got down to. Try not to be too restrictive. You know let us do some thinking about what we can and can't do. Try Not to get ahead of us on this and I. Think. That's Probably. Not something they do a Lotta Today on station 'cause it's so mature but. When we go back to the moon I'll guarantee it's going to be doing an awful lot of that in the question is, how do we learn? Where and how to be able to do that without making things worse and that's one of the big questions for the future we've got to have people who have the mindset. Yeah that that mindset of autonomy I know I know definitely talked about. Not only for the moon which I'm sure it will be implemented but from Mars whenever just like you had experienced on expedition one where you had several hours of communication gaps there's going to be significant communications delays for Mars mission, and so that level of autonomy and the crew being able to solve problems real time. Without the help of the of the ground is absolutely. Something to consider. What I think. If there's one comment that I would have. I have not seen enough of that. Thinking if you will on how NASA is planning to go back to the moon I think maybe don't need it for the moon. for the outset to do lunar exploration but we certainly need to be good at it when we start talking about going to Mars and practicing that on a moon mission is the way to go. Zooming back to expedition one for just a second. You talked about some of your mission objectives but I'm I'm curious about life As I mentioned before the station and as I know it today very big lots of space lots of lots of food, lots of things to do exercise equipment. And they've been doing it for twenty years. So it's it's It's very much routine. But what was life like four the first long duration crew aboard this? Spacecraft. Well it. It. It had a routine to which we liked Initially. We really constrained because we can only get in service module that gradually as we were able to add more power and open the note up, we got the lab brought on board. It got to be really expensive and life got pretty good because. You know we had a routine we marched through the day and. Things were really good I've gotta say that One of the things that a couple of things really surprised me though. One was. I was in the middle of the service module. We got the note opened up were running around doing something mill the day. Late morning and I'm. Gliding over the viewpoint and service module, which is facing nadir looking down the earth. And we're going over the mouth of the Mediterranean straight-set Gibraltar and this is. The third time, maybe that morning that we had been in that neck of the earth. Since we woke up and I looked over two year who was over by the Galley where all the food is. I said, we have any more coffee over there. And he was rifling through the coffee packs to see what was there and I thought about it and I said, you know. I. I'm looking at the most fantastic view probably anybody ever has at this moment on the planet, and all I can think about is you know, is there another cup of coffee in the Galley? And it struck me. How normal. Being in this really abnormal situation had become an on going. Wow. This is really surprising. I saw that A lot on our flight and I've seen many crews after us in their on-orbit discussions and their debrief. Exactly. The same thing. It's incredible. How adaptive? Humans are and how quickly these completely bizarre. Circumstances become routine. Now I hear that all the time just how how this life on board becomes routine. And and just you know this view, you see it because you're circling the earth. Sixteen Times a day so it so it does become very regular thing. Still you know amazing to think about from from here on the ground especially for those of us who have not had that view. But just. Just an appreciation for for the ability to adapt. As you're saying, you know the space should now I as I said, can you not only do you get used to it but you you have You have so many amenities I guess on the station. Now you have you, you have your own place to sleep. You have you have a sort of a dinner table where everybody can get together and eat off of the same dinner table. What was what were some of those elements of life on station with only three modules? Where were you sleeping? Where were you? Where were you eating together? Didn't seem like you had a lot of room to spare. Well. Surrogate and I were in the service module. Sleep quarters little rooms in the back end of A. Service Magic Yuri had eary's. He chose to bunk out I in the Soyuz he slept in his Soyuz couch, which was kind of his command chair You're in zero gravity as long as you're not banging into stuff, it really doesn't matter where he asleep because your body position is is kind of this slightly contracted relaxed position. Both Sergei and I had these little sleeping bags you kind of Zip yourself up in it. So you're not banging around but quite comfortable. You already had a seatbelt. He put that on the way we went we did not have a kitchen table. and. This was a big issue with ground because we thought we were told we trained and we thought we come up and we'd find the kitchen table in a bag or a box or something we talked to the ground after we can buy a couple days after we can't on said Hey soup the Russian. Center was Where's our kitchen table I said well, we we left off the flight because we had Stojan weight problems and we'll send it up to you and we said, okay fine. When's it can show up and again it was Oh yeah. Six months after you guys get there. So for about. Three weeks. We had a stealth project and we took. Parts off of if they if you will shipping containers came up in the Progress cargo ship. They were these aluminum racks and bars. And we build our own kitchen table out of scrap and again the ground went nuts but. Not to be a very workable arrangement second expedition accused liked it a lot and I thought. Actually from a design standpoint because it was a little bit smaller than the big kitchen table that was originally designed that it was a little more workable wasn't in a way as much but. That got D- manifested win the Big Table came up and I think that. That piece of hardware is in the museum somewhere. But again it's it's A. It's a question of letting the cruise kind of a gap to their own space. To build on that a little bit more. Every crew. I've seen on station. That? Get to the point where they. See themselves in an environment. That's really not part of the earth anymore at least for a couple months and that's a really important kind of mental construct has to how astronauts see themselves in relation to her. Now you mentioned you when you were talking to the ground, you said Oh that's not gonna come for six months was that the arrival of the one Oh to crew the the space shuttle that arrived and what else did they bring? Well. Actually the table came after the one or two crew. So I think the six months might the table showing up might have been the at the end of their expedition but? One or two brought up the. MP L. The The. Italian logistics module that Italian Space Agency was providing and That was also Susan Helms Tim Vass, and commander Yuri USA Jeff, and we spent a week with them on orbit. people outside Hook and stuff up and then Jim and Susan I. Guess It'd spacewalk or two. And then When we do these docked events with a shuttle because of the. Reduced. Pressure. That's the shuttle has to be at for the as we generally have the hatches closed. So it's. Shuttle Docks. You have some initial meeting grade than a couple of days of hatches closed and we open the hatches up on the as or done so. If, very hectic time lot of running around moving. Bags and cargo. Get any MP L. M. A.. But It was great to see. All these people that we had worked and trained with for years, and now they're up on orbit and. We're going to get on discovery close the hatch go home. Now one thing before you went home that I believe it was it was you who instituted this was a tradition that still carried on today. Handing over command of the International Space Station you as the first commander that change of command ceremony with a bell and handing over of I think it was a key. That was started by you and there was inspired by your time in the navy. Is that right? Yes I and. It was something that we had talked about both with the Russian cosmonauts, the other astronauts in in Houston that we wanted to do Simply, because we had to control centers. At that point, we have four now. Have Five I'm not sure but the WHO. was in charge of the space station in later years in in in the modern era. definitely gets. Passed around from country to country, and even you know nationality nationalities whereas a station commander. So anticipating that we thought you know The navy has a long tradition of doing this and it's the Royal Navy in the UK the Russian Navy does the US. Navy does it then. You have the school ceremony where he say, okay fine. Here's the crew and we're gonNa tell you something and here's the new guy who's in charge and how. He's GonNa do, and so it's a chain of command and we thought that was a really important. cultural thing to introduce to the space station. I think at first the Russians were gone there scratching their heads saying. What are these Americans doing now? But? I think today. they and the Canadians the Japanese Europeans really like it because. It really sets the tone for the next phase of station operations and how it's going to be run. Now when you came home, you came home on the space shuttle and this was a little bit different for you in that. The tiny spent in space was much longer than you had previously on your other shuttle missions. How're you feeling when you came back? Now that you had spent so much time in your space, your your body adjusting to one g after a long expedition. I. I had a really good experience I. Don't really know why I always spent a Lotta time. hunter days. On orbit. getting what exercise we could We had a little jungle gym there we worked on the was new that really seemed to be beneficial. My experience coming back after I assess flight. was probably as good as my shorter shuttle flights and I I felt really good. I did not have Any particular Uneasiness you know nervous tubular issues or anything like that. Has has a little experiment. Day After we got back the morning after the day we had landed. we were gonNA pile into van. How in the parking lot get the Kennedy Space Center we're going to go somewhere for some kind of test. And when you're. Walking around to do these things you have. A flight surgeon right with you and maybe one or two other handlers just in case you start going wildly they'll. They'll catch you. And I I've felt pretty good and so we're out in the parking lot. And I, talked to my flight document said the Terry and he was going to drive the vantage Tara. Let me Let me try driving the van. Oldest him on his head since Sunday morning and it's like six o'clock in the lobby in the lot outside the. Building at KFC, there's nobody in the parking lot. There's no cars in the parking lot. And he says, okay but just take it really. So I got I got in the car driving around really slowly I could turn really slowly. Didn't like breaking abruptly but. It was easy on the controls it was. Okay. and. Then I did that for about three or four minutes I stopped got out. And I thought to myself. This is the kind of thing that we're. GonNa we're GONNA be doing when we go to Mars and we have a long journey, we're going to be weightless. We have a landing. We're all GONNA pile out and we're GONNA be in rovers and things like that and I thought about that I said to myself we can do this. That's big. That's that's berry big. That means that. You know as we're shaping what that's going to look like that. That little experiment you did it in the parking lot might actually prove useful as to as to how humans can perform on another surface. You know we've learned so. Not Well documented but I think that's the kind of stuff. That's right. You know we learned so much just from the International Space, station just pass yours I. Know I know you retired from NASA in two thousand one but taking a look at the whole space station program after your mission. Going from starting in two thousand now here we are twenty twenty. You know what do you take away from the experienced of what you've seen maybe from the outside of what we have our what value the International Space Station throughout these past twenty years has brought us. But I think people Maybe. Have not experienced or don't remember. What pay technical and programmatic and possibly disc diplomatic challenge the space station really was. In the fact that we're able to do it I don't think the state space stations had a major technical casually that I'm more of since we launched we had what sixty three expeditions on there that have all been very successful We have multiple ways to get to the station now So you gotta step back and say. Well. What does this really mean in terms of? the future what you know, what what does this say about what's next and I say well. If we'RE GONNA go. Past. The moon out to Mars, and maybe other places, asteroids and things like that. The character of how we will do this it's going to have several aspects. One is the vehicles that we send and they're probably going to be more than one of them are going to be very big they're going to be. Such a size that they can't be symbol on the ground in launched in a single lift, we don't have the boosters that are going to have enough power. So they're going to have to be assembled in orbit with. Ada In robotics and they're gonNA have to combine the resources of more than just one country because the the expense of Mars mission is not something. Any single country's GONNA be able to afford nor would they have all the technology and capability that will be required? And so if you look at. International Space Station. It's really a blueprint for how to do this. So I think all those questions there behind us. Does just an incredible thing to think about the space station not only for informing. Exploration plans for talking about the moon we're talking about. Mars and. Of International. Cooperation. Is is really thanks to the Space Station Program I. Know One thing we're looking forward to in the near future you talk about multiple ways to get to the space station. Now, that's an era of commercialization with commercial crew and I know there's efforts to commercialize low-earth-orbit and thinking about what else is going to be low-earth-orbit in the future and it'll be thanks to the space station that's informing some of those commercial enterprises Do you think there's there's value there to space station as a platform to help build an economy in low-earth-orbit? Well I. Think it's a big question that hinges on What what do Commercial. Operations really are commercial enterprises. What do they look like I? Think it's hard to have. A. Commercial Market. When Nastase the only customer it kind of stretches the question of is it really commercial event If, we were able to. Find some material invent or develop something that could only be done in St Louis had tremendous value either in the space based economy or back here on earth then I think you'd see commercial space really take off. Everybody's very optimistic that we are going to find something like that. I know that if we if we don't look for then we're not gonNA find. Now thinking about that, you know you gotTa make sure that Nastas just the only customer that we're one of many customers and we're also looking at exploration. We've got this artist program and that's going to inform our exploration plans from Mars. How do you see Nasr's role for the future? said. Open question right now I would like to see NASA. Take a strong role and leading the technology development and organizing the architecture for our we're GONNA do Lunar Exploration and certainly Mars Expeditions I. think that's the right place for. NASA. The one negative comment that I would have is the. Were NASA as a political animal if you will, and we tend to have a great periods of very robust development and operations, and then a stand down for a decade or two before we do the next big thing we did that in the Moon Program we did that shuttle were. Probably going to do that when space stations. Pass, passed its peak and getting ready for some sort of disposition I don't think gets a very healthy way to. Have a robust space capable organization. If we could change that for the better I think it'd be a tremendous thing. I absolutely believe that too bill shepherd. Thank you so much for coming on Houston. We have a podcast and sharing. The history of what it took to get to expedition one year experience there, and then what you helped shape for twenty continuous years on board. The International Space Station. I very much appreciate your time. To be with you and your audience. Thank you. took. The bring. Your. Hey. Thanks for sticking around. Hope you enjoy this conversation with ship as much as I. Did we've been putting together a collection of episodes about the international, space, station, and celebration of the twentieth anniversary of continuous human presence. Go check us out at NASA DOT GOV slash podcast. You can click on us used to we have podcast and off to the side, we have a collection of space station episodes you can listen to them in no particular order. This has been a very dynamic time for the International Space Station this month and we got a lot more coming up checkout NASA DOT GOV for the latest launch and landing schedule of crews going up and down to and from the International Space Station. You could talk to us at Houston. We have a podcast at the NASA Johnson Space Center pages of facebook twitter and Instagram is the Hashtag ask NASA on your favorite platform to submit an idea for the show just make sure to mention it's for us at Houston, a podcast. This episode was recorded on August Fourteenth Twenty twenty thanks to Alex Perriman, Pat Ryan Nor Moran Belinda, Toledo and Jennifer Hernandez things again to Bill Shepherd for taking the time to come on the show. We'll be back next week.
20 Years and Counting
"On October Thirty First Two thousand veteran astronaut William Shepherd left Earth on a journey began two decades of continuous human presence in low earth orbit. This is a special series of innovation now, celebrating twenty years of continuous human presence on the International Space. Station. Commander Shepard's launch the International Space Station was an orbiting complex of three small modules, not the sprawling research complex that is now today state of the art laboratory facilities on board help NASA increase our understanding of what it will take to expand human exploration beyond low earth orbit and new activities including the flight of commercial crews and scientific investigations will keep the station useful and thriving for years to come for shepherd and the two Russian cosmonauts who made up. One that first mission marked the beginning of an unprecedented. Of peaceful cooperation in space. Now, celebrating twenty years of continuous human presence on the International Space. Station we continue to see benefits for all humankind and a launchpad to future destinations for innovation. Now, I'm Jennifer Poem Innovation now is produced by the National Institute of Aerospace Through collaboration with NASA and is distributed by w HR V..
"These unpredictable bubbles can disrupt key communications and GPS signals without warning. This is innovation now. Nasr's NASR'S ENHANCED TANDEM BEACON experiment explores bubbles in the electrically charged layers of upper atmosphere. This region called the yeah honest. Fear is home to the International Space Station and many other satellites critical signals for communications and navigations like radio and GPS. Pass through the ionosphere but conditions in this region sometimes create plasma levels which can distort communications signals to learn more about these bubbles. NASA launched to cubesats which emits signals in several different frequencies. The signals are sent to receiving leaving stations on the ground where scientists can measure disruptions. The primary cubesats also work in concert with six Noah satellites allowing wing scientists to study the bubbles from multiple angles at once ultimately this research NASA trace possible causes for the ionospheric bubbles apples and proposed strategies like shifting to a different frequency or changing encoding techniques when bubbles are detected for innovation. Now now I'm Jennifer. Police innovation now is produced by the National Institute of Aerospace through with Nessa.
"It can be really difficult to adjust to social distancing in quarantine. Fortunately, we can turn to some experts for advice. This is innovation now bringing you stories behind the ideas that shave our future. No one understands isolation better than the astronauts who have successfully lived on the International Space Station for days weeks and months over the past twenty years. They've shared some tips to keep us emotionally healthy. During this trying time on earth, self care is critical whether you're going out in. In public or not personal hygiene, getting enough rest and balancing, work and personal time are all important. Get organized and establish a teen to reduce stress. If you're stuck in the house with other people, it's important to be good communicators talk when something isn't right. Actively listen and offer solutions, not just problems. If you're by yourself, find ways to be social while still following social distancing guidelines. This is a great time to make phone calls US video apps or write letters. Most importantly remember we are not in this alone and together we will be earth strong. For innovation now I'm Jennifer. pulley innovation now is produced by the National Institute of Aerospace Through Collaboration with NASA and is distributed by w HR V..
Mimicking Human Cells
"Tissue ships could help predict to the effectiveness of medicine in humans innovation. Now a series of investigations have been conducted aboard the International Space Station to test tissue chips in microgravity made a flexible plastic tissue chips have ports and channels to provide nutrients and oxygen to the human cells contained inside them. The chips provide a home for the cells outside. The body. Tissue chips behave much like an astronaut. Spotty in space rapidly experiencing changes often associated with ageing scientists can make observations over the course of a few weeks in microgravity. That would have taken months or years to happen. On Earth fluids that mimic blood can be infused with drugs and passed through the chip by analyzing the chips. Once they are returned to Earth researchers are able to measure the effectiveness of potential treatments without conducting human or animal trials and personalized chips could be used to monitor cell changes and propose counter measures to keep astronauts healthy on missions to the moon and Mars for innovation. Now I'm Jennifer. Pulley innovation now is produced by the National Institute of Aerospace Through collaboration with NASA.
Welcoming the New Year
"From discoveries that help us better understand earth two missions that help a stretch. What we know about the universe. Nasa has had a memorable year. This is innovation now bringing you stories behind the ideas that shaped future. In twenty twenty spacex falcon nine and crew. Dragon became the first commercial system in history to be certified by nasa for human spaceflight and marked the return of american astronauts launching to the international space station in american rockets from us soil. In spite of the work from home situation nasa successfully launched the mars twenty twenty mission which sent the perseverance rover and its companion helicopter ingenuity on their way to mars nasa science missions continued to uncover new discoveries about this planet. We call home including a better understanding of when hurricanes develop or the impact of sea level. Rise twenty twenty has been challenging year but among those challenges have been reminders that together we remain strong so as the year comes to a close all of us at innovation. Now wanna wish each of you. A new year filled with health happiness and memories. you won't forget for innovation now. I'm jennifer poet. Innovation now is produced by the national institute of aerospace through collaboration with nasa.
"There's no need to reinvent the wheel when it comes to navigation but astronauts are being asked to test some new ideas about how to use a very old technology. This is innovation now bringing you stories behind the the ideas that shape our future Nasr's sexton navigation investigation is testing the use of a handheld sexton aboard the International Space Station Sexton's have a small telescope like optical site that allows how's the user to take precise angle measurements between pairs of stars enabling accurate navigation sexton's have been used by sailors for centuries NASA's Gemini missions conducted the first sextant sightings from spacecraft off and Jim Lovell proved on Apollo eight that sextant navigation could safely bring a space vehicle home but to rely on the sextant. You must be able to take multiple sightings through a window so space station astronauts are our testing techniques to compensate for the challenges of taking steady cleaned sites on a vehicle hurtling through space with the right techniques. The sextant could become the emergency backup system that would allow future explorers to navigate.
Small Steps, Giant Leaps: Episode 47, ISS 20 Space Station Complexity
"That's the legacy I think it'll be most relevant coming from the station is the international cooperation. It's the I and I S. It's a monstrously complex vehicle. You name the system. There has been an evolution in there about how we actually operate. That's just Station and that's been the most fascinating part from a pure white controller respective to watch that evolution over twenty years. And to imagine what that would look like twenty years now, something I probably Brechfa. Welcome back to small steps. Giant leaps a NASA apple download services podcast featuring interviews and stories that tap into project experiences to share best practices lessons learned and novel ideas. I'm Dean naughtily. We're approaching twenty years of continuous human presence in space on the International Space. Station. Today, we'll conclude our two part series ISS twenty. In the first part episode forty-six, we talked with NASA astronaut Tracy, Caldwell dyson about her experiences living and working aboard the ISS. Guest in the second segment of the series is longtime I S S Flight Director Royce Renfrew. Royce thank you for joining us. Thanks for having deputy. Says has been part of your career with NASA for many years would you share with us your story and how you currently support I'm says. So. Let's see coming up on twenty four years Johnson Survey Center the majority of that too as A. Civil servant I started out as a contractor years years ago. United Space, alliance was looking to. Expand their instructor core from just a bunch of mechanical electrical. Etc Engineers to folks who actually had some. BACKGROUND IN EDUCATION PLUS A. Technical degree in and. Or not one of the reasons I got the job because I was a high school math teacher for seven years and had a degree in computer science and that was. That was one of the reasons they thought I would be able to do good job. I started out there before the first element flew train the. Expedition to and four crews. How To. Operate the robotic system on board, the space station, the space station, remote manipulator system, or Esera mass. Part of the rationale they hired me for that as well as because I put myself through college as a heavy equipment operator so I had the. Hand eye coordination that was necessary to do the job. I had. Several different jobs out there from being an instructor, a transferred to be a controller in the Robo grew. And then I transferred out of there, which was a specialist physician at transferred to a group that doesn't exist anymore called Odan. which was one of the core system like control. That manages the computer system on for space station. Then I was the. First Fine Group lead for. When I was selected as a flight director in two thousand eight. So been out there for a very long time I'm currently in the flight director office. the other hat that I wear in the Director Office is. As one of the directors who is working on Artemis in particular I'm working. The human land, her system Rachel S. portion of artists were were a currently competing with three different companies. Set when that down to to select the two companies, it will take the. Down to the lunar surface and support them while they do spacewalks unfortunately because that's still somewhat of a competition, I really can't tell you too much about what I'm doing with artem 's. Okay we'll we'll try not to pry too deeply here. From your perspective as flight director what's most remarkable about twenty years of continuous human presence on the ISS. It really is a a remarkable accomplishment when you when you really step back and look at that. My. My daughter is twenty four years old. One of the can order remember how much time spent out there. But For the vast majority of revive and the entirety of about people's by observing been human beings aren't living on earth right? They're out there on the space station. We've had a continuous presence out there on the Space Station for coming on twenty years here. Really close. That I think is one of the one of the most interesting things about the space station is the continuous human presence effect that we've had. All earthlings are not on earth The fact that we have representatives from countries all around the world who have been there from Japan Russia to Germany United States obviously, we've had Canadians any A. Large number of countries around the Earth have flown. Crew members to the space station. Through the Russians or the or US but. That's the legacy I. Think it'll be Moshe relevant coming from the space station is international cooperation. It's the I s. so the International Space. Station we do have people on board to station have been there and little boys and girls that the know with somewhere in some country that that I have never been to can turn on the news at night and see their pro or read in the paper and maybe maybe inspire recep that spark in their mind that something an engineering or they want to be an astronaut, they wanna be a flight controller. Maybe, that's something that. I can contribute to. The Human Spaceflight Program generically by supporting those folks on board I. Think That's the most interesting thing that you get out of the space station is the international cooperation that that allowed us to get there. Was Working on an international program enhanced you and your team's experience supporting I guess. It's been very a very interesting experience. We we haven't always seen eye-to-eye with our international partners and I think if you ask them, they would say they haven't always seen eye-to-eye with us. But once we as a community came to understand that. You know we're all really driving for the same end goal is to expand expand. Humans presence in the sewer system, we go about it. In different ways writer, we have different approaches to how to do fly control. We'd have different approaches on how to do training. so what I think. I and the rest of the team really got out of that relationship is a growth in our own ability to operate in space 'cause. Obviously, we don't do everything perfectly, and there are a lot of people do things better than we do and the ability to see somebody. Generate procedure execute. some type of commanding or bill tool to generate timelines or what have you amongst our international partners. We all learn from each other when you when you broaden the input availability and the number of really smart people who are contributing to the program everybody gets better I I'm sure they've learned stuff from us we've learned from them. I honestly believe that that when we go to Mars, it's going to be an international program. So leveraging on what we have done on board, the space station with our international partners for these. Two decades now. To leverage that into designing and building a mission that's going to allow the human race to go to Mars or build a colony on the moon or or a deep space space station or what have you I think that benefit from the International Space Station will be a measurable because we won't be starting from scratch like we did with the space station. Can you walk us through some of your experiences and what you've observed as the space station has evolved over the past couple of decades? Okay. I like I said I started out as a robotic officer, the Canadian Space Agency. Contributed the space station remote manipulator system, and the special purpose decades dexterous manipulator when we first started with the fledgling space station and the and the arm arrived there on the I assess six eight flight. That we really only had the Arben we didn't. We knew how to operate a, but we didn't know how to operate it as as we do today. In in when we first got the arm on board every time you wanted to operate that system crew had to move it. Right. We designed procedures for the crew when we verified all the trajectories and we understood all the forces and moments and how much the arm take how fast it could move and we did all that Legwork Ford eminem produced a procedure for them to go execute they then they did that. In today's world, the crew hardly ever touches the SRS except to do grapples of free flying cargo vehicles. But the rest of the operations for that system is done from the ground either from Houston or for. Montreal. With the flight controllers doing those activities remotely. So there they are actually operating the arm from Houston for Martha algae and all those maneuvers. The crew to my knowledge is never actually even operated the special purpose dexterous manipulator, the spam. And we use that all the time to change out broken hardware or do this survey or or a number are closed doors on payloads do a number of things with the SP dance. So the point there is That where we started from and where we are today has has evolved greatly over the years and the the same thing holds true for all of the systems on space station, I remember being a robotics flight controller. On console for some shuttle mission. When the shuttle arrived, there the flight it had suffered a failure going up hill and and did not have its Vernier jets available only had its course jets available. So per the flight rules. Going in the mission the the step down from shuttle Vernier jets was to use A. Progress or so US I don't remember which one it was. it must have been a progress. Jets, to the newer the ISS backwards with which is the way we always with shuttle missions and it took us the entire progress vehicle worth of fuel to do that. And today we can very smart about how to do those things we could actually translate their rotate the. Hundred and eighty degrees using just a pittance. Maybe you know eleven or twelve grams prop because we do these things called zero prominent over. So the point is that's another evolution we went from. The having to fly all of our water up to recovering eighty percent of the water on station that we do today the the CD, a the command and data handling system has evolved to where we have new processor cards in the end the. You name the system. There has been an evolution in there about how we actually operate that system of station, and that's been the most fascinating part from pure flight control were perspective to watch that evolution over the twenty years that we've been there and to imagine what that would look like twenty years from now something I probably couldn't even recognize. Thinking about the complexity of ISS. How would you characterize the magnitude of the space station and what it takes to keep it operating with humans living and working in space twenty, four, seven year after year. It's a it is a very complex vehicle, right? It really is. And the complexity is increased obviously because the international component right we have to, we have to match up all of those systems on one international partners element to another international partners element. So the code that. Some some person here in the states, rights in the code that somebody in Japan wrote have to talk to each other right. So the when you get down to engineering and computer science, it's probably easier to do that than it is to do with the human stock into each other, but but it is a hugely complicated vehicle. And what we try to do with the ISS is manage all of it from the ground. So we fly it. We keep it pointed straight and level or backwards, and upside down depending on on what the case may require We we make sure the air's breathable in the water is drinkable in the toilet works and all of those things that that would normally have to be done by the crew member on board that say the shuttle we do from the ground and what that enables is the crew to to do as much science as they possibly can and that's really been. The biggest evolution that we've had for ISS is going from a vehicle that we were assembling. Until we got to the point where we call it assembly complete even though we still added a few more modules in an updated a few things but add assembly complete we started looking at how to do scientific research on the vehicle. So, that's what we use. The crew for do as much scientific research as they can hands on in an ever again, help us out because we need somebody to turn it rancher throughout Switcher, check a circuit breaker or something power all laptop. That, we can't actually do from the ground. So you take all of the complexity of the vehicle and you add five international partners in control centers all over the world. The vehicle itself has complicated the systems we have developed on the ground to be able to coordinate the operations between all of the control centers adds to that complexity I. Really think it is a hugely complicated vehicle fortunately, you never really hear A. Whole lot about space station anymore used to when we were building out of out of feathers but we really know how to much better about how to operate the vehicle now so that you don't hear a lot about I s in the in the news anymore because the complexity we have, we have managed to start getting our hands around the complexity of the vehicle and understand how how it actually operates in Oregon. Really what's it like to be a flight director and to be that person who is ultimately responsible for the wellbeing of humans in space and the orbiting facility that keeps them safe and provides valuable science far planet. it being a flight director is eight hours and forty five minutes of not doing a whole lot followed by fifteen minutes of sheer terror often right? It really is it's It's it's staggering sometimes when you allow yourself to think about the responsibility that you have. the six human beings that live on board the space station whose lives are literally in your hands when you're setting in the in the control, center at the flight director console that's where the buck stops there there is no other option. The flight director has to make the calls in real time. Those are the agreements that we have with the program by the way. And those are the same agreements we've had with all programs. NASA has flown in the human spaceflight program is that the flight director is authorized to take any action that the that he or she deemed necessary to to save the crew vehicle. or to complete the objectives of the mission. So that's an awesome amount of power in an awesome amount of responsibility, but I will tell you that that. Though I showed her all that when I go on console would enables me to do that are the people who surround me right the the people who were sitting at those consoles around me in e those the Capcom that send me or the. Air Space Walk Officer who set behind me. You're the ground controller who's operating the building. I am heavily reliant on all of those individual council operators at any time I in that room, it's we talked about the complexity of it earlier it's it's a monstrous we complex vehicle. There is no way that a single person can can operate all of it. So not even the flight director, the directors donal everything. Some time surprises, the junior flight controllers but I am very much dependent on the junior and senior flight controllers in my room the flight controllers in in Munich in those in Scuba nosing over at the soup in Moscow, all of those folks Who are professional flight controllers? It is their job to monitor those systems control vehicle under the direction of a flight director set in there, and the flight director in Houston is the person that is the last gas, right? The the person who has the last say on how something is going to occur is that person that set in that flight director. Counseling. HOUSTON. What are some of the key lessons learned from says that you think could be difference makers for program and project managers across the Agency I. Think it's very important for people to understand at going forward in what I envision as a renaissance of space. Exploration. In this century where we really start looking to the moon, we start looking we have a space station spinner for twenty years maybe we built another one. We're going to go bill a facility on the moon more than likely. We're GONNA, go build a facility on Mars where people can live their lives for auct-, wretches at a time. The biggest lessons learned that I would take away from us as being able to do that is it's it's not the hardware it's not the it's not the software it's not the Whizbang new drive that we've developed for some spacecraft. It literally is the people that make that happen right it's the people that work for the program. It's the people that worked for flight operations. It's the people that work in the engineering directorates and do all the tests analysis. I can't go do something that's as outrageous as bill the habitat for someone to live on the surface of boon for extended periods of time and not be an inaccessible danger without that person who did the all those tests on that software? Who did all that all those tests on that processor for the Otago system or that water system that toilet system or whatever system you want That's the biggest it's. It's always going to be the people and and That's what we should recognize going in and do whatever. We can as managers to enable people to do their job. Quickly successfully. Efficiently and have all the materials and and communications links and flat or as flat as we can get it communications, lines let them do all that vertical integration to us, but make sure they have the ability to do all that horizontal integration to all those people that are doing all those other things. That's the most important. That's the biggest takeaway I think I've got out of working in the space program period is that one of the things they say, Jaycee, all the time is that it's the people that make us fly in that in. That is absolutely true. When you reflect on the ISS team and success stories over these twenty years of continuous human presence. What are a couple of your favorites? You know what? That one of the favorite stories I have about ISS generically. Or tying the last conversation that I had talked about people into that conversation. Houston several years ago had the ill fortune of being on the dirty side of hurricane name Harvey that came in well south of us, and we all thought that we were going to get a little bit of rain and that was gonna be okay. Because it was gonNA come in south of us and we weren't GonNa get the brunt of the hurricane-force winds in Houston. As it turned out, it did come in south of us in the folks down south of us really got battered by those hurricane force winds. But what Herbie. Did was set up a chain of rain bands that that effectively rolled right over the city, a Houston and clear like where. Webster were Johnson Space Center is ray effectively straight up interstate forty five from Galveston to Houston just got rained on perpetually for five days. And it was a huge event. Everybody in Houston was somehow impacted. We we had hundreds if not thousands of of. Houses that were flooded and and cars were stalled and it was just a mess. As it turned out, there was a flight control team in mission control in Houston because we literally had not anticipated that Harvey was going to be that bad, right. We have a bunch of protocols that we use during hurricanes where we send people. To. Marshall Stand up a backup control center if we need to set her for hurricane and we've exercised that a number of times over the years. But because of what we thought was going to happen with this hurricane, we did not exercise protocol. Because we thought we were going to get some rain and it was GONNA be bad but it wasn't gonNA be terrible. No one ever expected the five hundred year flood. So we had a, we had a group of flight controllers who were in Houston in the control centre, and we actually had enough flight controllers there to to stand up to different teams. So each team was executing thirteen hour shifts with what our handover in between. Perpetually, we normally have three shifts a day. So we were down to just two. And they were literally sleeping in the control centre because they were trapped they're the only way that they'd get out of the control center is with a high water vehicle and and. I my house is close enough to the control center that I managed afford some of the streams and get there in my high water pickup. And I spent some time with those folks that have to tell you the only time in my entire career at NASA that I ever saw the white flight control room where the shuttle all the time the only time I've ever seen that room completely powered down was during this event where they turned off all the lights in the clocks and the whole nine yards and went in and put in. cots between the consoles there where people could come off console and grab some sleep before they go back on council twelve hours better and to me the the fortitude and the professionalism of the people who did that during Hurricane Harvey, just really demonstrates the the cavalry of people that NASA. Attract right the they. They weren't complaining about the fact that they were scavenging Outta, the vending machines nobody had a place to shower for five days right? Then we finally found a in close enough that people could walk to overtake share but they haven't acquaint caused with them because they were trapped there right. So but there wasn't any complaining about this or complaining about that they just did their job and I think the they're really telling piece of this relatively long story I apologize. Is that the crew who did not know that the flight controllers were trapped in Houston One of the fight directors who was on console happen to be friends with the kindergarten teacher teacher whatever it was. And they were communicating back and forth about what was going on and they were trapped in the building that Cetera et Cetera. So this kindergarten teacher had all of her students make some really adorable little cards for the flight controllers saying thank you for you know keeping the astronauts safe and I'm sorry you can't get out of the building and Blah Blah Blah and sent them all to this fight director who then turned around she thought they were adorable. She turned around and set them up to the to the crew on orbit in a little while. Later somebody opened their email and calcified record council. Wants this mean you guys have been trapped on console for the last five days in and she had to confess at that was true. Right they could get out of the building. but I think that is completely indicative of the professionalism of the people that NASA attracts right the timelines were were not any different that commands were coming up when they were expected the crew is still executing doing science they were doing you know invite maintenance they were doing whatever task needed to be done on board station at a rhythm and pace just like we had when Harvey wasn't there. So one of my favorite stories about NASA in general is, is that story about the flight controllers who did their job? So well, the crew couldn't even tell that they were having a problem. How would you summarize the significance of I? S S and its impact on humankind? Do you find that people understand the significance of ice says? You know I don't right I I don't think that the. Public at large really has a good understanding of what I s is and what I isis does for them. There are literally hundreds of scientific experiments or longtime longer. Projects that are being conducted on board the Space Station every day some of them involve the crew, some of them are outside. Never really fascinating payload on the outside called, the Alpha, magnetic trauma ter- that is trying to find dark matter in the universe right? It's collaboration by a bunch of. ASTROPHYSICISTS that work out at Cernan and France. That have a collaboration with hundreds of of like minded scientists around the world and built in. We flew this piece of hardware called the AMS input on the outside station, and we're looking up to see You know if we can discover dot matter and the. Crew members on board. The station are perpetually using themselves as a research subjects working at osteoporosis and and. How vaccines could be generated the Salmonella. Actually mutates incredibly fast onboard the space station which allows researchers to really understand that particular bug. And and it's not the only one that mutates fast something about being in zero g environment does that and we're also spending a great deal of time looking down on the earth from a from a very unique perspective with human beings, taken pictures or robotic cameras, taking pictures or various instruments that are looking at wave heights and ozone concentrations and deforestation or their growth of Phoenix Arizona for the last twenty years because we over at every couple of days and we can take pictures right. So, I think the the population at large really doesn't appreciate or understand what the ISS is is trying to do for them and I think that primarily comes from the fact that we don't launch things right? There's no. There's no fire and smoke at Kennedy, with a vehicle lift off the pad, we just go round the Earth fifteen and a half times a day traveling you know seventeen and a half thousand miles an hour every day for the last twenty years in, and if we don't know something doesn't break on board station or one of the crew members is not doing. A public affairs event with their hometown in high school or something public large really doesn't know where there and I've had. I've had a number of people over the years express you know alarm that NASA still exists and tell me that I can't believe Johnson Space. Center is still there after the shuttle stop flying what have you guys been doing for the last seventeen years? That's always disheartening I don't know how to solve that problem, but I do know that that station. Long after I'm gone, they'll still be figuring out answers from the research that has going on onboard station today. Do, you anticipate the future. Of ISS. One of the one of the things that we have been working on diligently is is what's referred to as the commercialization of lower orbit right so There are a number of contractors out there who were looking at. Adding elements to the space station that the contractor buys and builds and flies and we attached space station. That allows them to use the space station as a platform. With, the power data and video and all the resources that they need right there but then they can add their element to do whatever scientific research that they want to do There are a number of entities out there that are doing things. Talking about flying civilians to the space station that I've seen that in news a couple of times. It. Is My belief in and and maybe I'm paraphrasing a bunch of folks who have said this. Is the what NASA needs to do is get out of low-earth orbit, the business of lower orbit and turnover to commercial partners commercial entities. Maybe eventually someday actually turning over the ISS to some commercial entity to continue operating and and redirect those funds that that NASA is currently pouring into the Iot says to to pushing the envelope out to the moon out to Mars. Maybe another the gateway space station we're talking about orbiting the moon or maybe there's something in the range points that we need to build. something. I I'm not sure but I do think that we have demonstrated enough years that people can fly safely in low-earth-orbit. and and we should turn it over to commercial elements and do things that governments need to take the risk sean rather than add companies right? It's a it's a very risky proposition to fly somebody the moon it really is, yes we did it a long time ago but now we want to go back to stay and and that is a very risky proposition and that risk pales in comparison of flying people to Mars and and maybe building habitat on Mars. Where we can stay. So I think you know do the Moon I get comfortable that go to Mars and eventually turn over the moon to those commercial entities and eventually turn over marsh of commercial entities. So we could go look at things like the moons of Jupiter or a move farther into the solar system. I think that's the progression that we need to go through and I think we're GonNa see that first step when when Moore commercialisation of low-earth orbit occur. Really, it has been so enjoyable having you on the podcast. Thank you so much for joining us. I. Am happy to be here. Thanks for having me and asking a lot of good questions hopefully folks got some insight. Alan sure that they did I know I did really do appreciate. Do you have any closing thoughts? I have done this for a very long time. As thing about the almost sixty, I've spent a large portion of my of my life involved in. The brand. That is NASA. I, think that. It is recognized worldwide as the really cool people science folks that work at NASA you go one of the things i. Always tell young flight controllers that come to work out a JSE is. that. They should take a vacation at once a year where they travel at least a hundred miles away from Johnson Space Center. Go home go someplace. They'd never been go to you know a breakfast place or go to a go to a bar or some time in the union in eventually somebody is GonNa ask them what they do for a living. And when they say they work for NASA. That's GonNa be the start of a conversation because you can't tell someone in the United States anyone. You can't go anywhere in the United States say I work for NASA and have that person shrug their shoulders and say, well, that's cool. It just doesn't happen right that they're curious. They're interested they want to know what you do and where the aliens buried and know. All of those questions that you yet and to me what that does for those young flight controllers is explain to them again or emphasize them again why they came to work out here the first one. And recognize how cool really the job is that they have that they get push the envelope of the human presence in this solar system. That's really what they do for a living. Right there might be a flight controller engineering they might work program, they might design you know the flux capacitor or whatever it is that they're working on the job description really is if you work for NASA that you're they, you are pushing the envelope of human presence in the cellar says, that's what you do. No matter what your dial in. And if you lose that. Excitement for too long you shouldn't be working at your yearly. But if you start losing. Go somewhere let people recharge your batteries, but if you can walk into your office or I walked the distance from my bedroom to my dining room that as with all this stuff going on. But I'm still completely jazzed every day to set down and talk to people about how we were going to land human beings on the face of the moon and return them back to Earth happy and worked through all those problems wicked, all those Engineering Zion cases and and talk about this controller that controller this aspect of that system or another, and that's what I spend my day doing in I can't get excited about doing that job than than I should quit. I should just hang up, hang up my spurs and go home because that's the coolest job on her with the there is no cooler job. You throw a job out there and I will challenge you that and I assess flight director who's news real job description is I said on council on operate a multibillion dollar spacecraft where we do scientific research was sixteen things. That's my job. Right. If I can't get excited to do that I should just be. linked. To topics discussed during our conversation are available on our website at apple dot NASA dot Gov Slash podcast along with Royce's bio and to show transcript. For more interviews about the twentieth anniversary of continuous human presence on the INS s check out Houston we have a podcast and other NASA podcasts at NASA dot Gov Slash podcast. If there's a topic you'd like for us to feature in a future episode. Please let us know on twitter at NASA apple that's APP e. l. and used the Hashtag small steps. Giant leaps as always. Thanks for listening.
Continuous Human Presence
"On october thirty first. Two thousand veteran astronaut william shepherd left earth on a journey began two decades of continuous human presence in low earth orbit this is a special series of innovation now celebrating twenty years of continuous human presence on the international space station. Commander shepard's launch. The international space station was an orbiting complex of three small modules. Not the sprawling research complex. That is now today. State of the art laboratory facilities on board help. Nasa increase our understanding of what it will take to expand human exploration beyond low earth orbit and new activities including the flight of commercial crews and scientific investigations will keep the station useful than thriving for years to come for shepherd and the two russian cosmonauts who made up expedition one that first mission marked the beginning of an unprecedented era of peaceful cooperation in space now celebrating twenty years of continuous human presence on the international space station. We continue to see benefits for all humankind and a launchpad to future destinations for innovation. Now i'm jennifer poem. Innovation now is reduced by the national institute of aerospace through collaboration with nasa and is distributed by w hr v.
Space Tourism and Commercialization
"Houston we have a podcast welcome to the official podcast of the NASA Johnson Space Center episode one. Oh three space tourism and commercialization. I'm Gary Joining W host today day on this podcast we bring in the experts neces- scientists engineers astronauts to let you know the coolest information about what's going on right here. NASA so on June seventh twenty nine thousand nine NASA announced a new directive that further opens up the International Space Station for commercial use this means a really brand new way that businesses done in space and it widens the possibilities commercial companies to explore different markets to manufacture goods to test thrown habitable structures to conduct marketing and sponsorship activities and to send more people to who space through space tourism and private astronauts. This announcement was a big deal for us because it's a significant shift from how we normally do things but why do this at all we'll. Nasr's going full full speed ahead to make a landing of the first woman and the next man on the moon a possibility and developing a robust economy and low-earth orbit or basically creating a space in space for companies needs to succeed is a good way to make that happen developing this economy with many companies means. NASA can focus its resources on moon exploration will still need low-earth orbit but with this model we can purchase services from companies in low-earth orbit and a much lower cost than doing everything ourselves because the ultimate goal would be to be one of many customers a self off sustaining economy. The idea here is not to make money a reduced cost just to enable this to happen but really this is all just skimming the surface. This announcement was densely packed with tons of of details and nuances so today we'll be talking more in depth about these efforts on the International Space Station with our guest Mike Reid. He's the Commercial Space Utilization Manager for the International Space Space Station Program here in Houston. Mike is Great at explaining all of this in a way that makes sense so I was excited to bring him on so here's everything about space tourism commercialization and marketing with Mr. Mike Reid enjoy and county. We have how Mike <hes>. Thank you for coming on the podcast today. We'll thanks for inviting me to do this. I know you've been waiting a long time for this to happen and I know just back and forth from the time that we've been working together. This is this idea of commercialization has is not new we've been we've been working on it for a while right. <hes> actually we've been working on it longer than I even thought wow so this this goes all the way back into the days of shuttle where we launched <hes> commercial communications satellites we flew payload special from Hughes Gregory Jarvis who passed away on fifty one hour <hes> was a commercial astronaut may be the first commercial astronaut and in in <hes> in the ninety S.. We flew space missions on shuttle. I think we flew about a dozen at least of those <hes> through the Mir program as well shuttle. Mir and we've been doing commercial research in space for all of that time and through the two thousand two to date. We've had a number of commercial companies. Especially since we started ended the National Lab Beckon Twenty twenty eleven started operating it for commercial purposes and I think that's important to know this is this is something that's existed for a long time the idea of commercialization socialization. I think some of the some of the things we've been announcing recently are a little bit noon. We can go into those later but <hes> give us kind of more of that historical perspective active. What is what is the traditional model of how we've been working with these commercial companies like he sang over the past couple of decades well so the traditional model of research is government funded Carolina Mr Academia through <hes> <hes> through other government agencies for we we issue grand announcements and we select period science and we go. I'll do it. <hes> the commercial aspect of it is is <hes> is different in that. It's more towards improving products or developing products. <hes> perhaps <hes> proctor and gamble has been doing research on college which are the <hes> micro elements inside of a fluid <hes> to keep things from separating keeps your your here <hes> ketchup from Heaven Water and Tomato on the shelf right for instance but they've been doing college for probably about fifteen years with us. <hes> Merck is now doing China <hes> protein crystal growth. We've got <hes> pharmaceutical companies. June rodent research <hes> so it's really it's really grown where they're covering their cost. Whereas as before it was grant funded <hes> we still help them with the implementation partner cost because it's expensive to adapt <hes> a research investigation from terrestrial to space and so we we help with that helped him to prove that there's goodness and doing research in space and that that's a totally different model and traditional grant funded model yeah and a lot out of this is a lot of this through the <hes> Isis national lab it is okay so where does where does that come in the difference. I guess for those who don't may not understand the DIFFERENCE BETWEEN ISIS national lab and research like you're talking about and some of the stuff that necessary so massive we go by what we call the Decatur Service and so that that <hes> it's it's done as it suggested about every ten years and it influences the kind of research that that <hes> <hes> the community believes we ought to be tackling and funding so we have our own fundamental and applied research interest and that's that's half of all of the research that we do the other half falls under the national lab which is other government the agency's doing things similar to NASA driven by different goals <hes> it's academia and in its most importantly the commercial sector so companies that want to do research to help their product-development would come in through the national lab and that's the other half of all the research yeah. It's it's the idea that the International Space Station is a laboratory in in and of itself but the difference is that you take microgravity out of the equation and there's a lot of things that you can figure out by by doing so yeah. Sometimes it <hes> it speeds things up. Sometimes it slows things down down so the the colloidal separation gravity is much quicker. It's it's minutes <hes> because of the gravitational pull but in space it's days and so when you slow slowdown that that <hes> sedimentation you can really see the interactions between the different <hes> <hes> elements that are within those fluids. Francis <hes> <hes> flames are totally different. There's there's convection so he doesn't rise in space and so a flame is much more uniform and it's <hes> it's it's much different studying things like that. In space with without the gravitational and a lot of this <hes> like you're saying is is for researching is for figuring out what exactly is happening thing then later down the road. The idea is to commercialize something that you have figured out through that research the on the commercial side it would be I mean their goals are going to be whatever ever their business model says they should be right and so if they can if they can find a way to build a product <hes> that <hes> doesn't separate meaning doesn't look <hes> <hes> done look as attractive to a potential purchaser on on a store shelf well that's to their benefit or if they can figure out elements of muscle wasting or you know <unk> <hes> bone deterioration that can lead to <hes> treatment for that then that would be in pharmaceutical companies interest but doing things in space just allows allows. You take a little bit different approach than the long traditional ten year twelve year drug development program on the ground. Yeah I know definitely drug. Development is one of those was areas. That's particularly interesting for microgravity but the going back to this this idea that commercial activity in space is not new in fact. It's it's something that we've actually invested in and it's become regular. As part of operations. I know particularly is commercial cargo transportation. Now you know what we used to be. The space shuttle taking up <hes> cargo to the International Space Station. Now we have SPACEX Dragon. Now we have north of grauman's Cygnus. We have commercial vehicles close as part of that was was it partly the success of that program that kind of sparked this idea <hes> maybe commercialization in space can actually can actually be something. Something we should look into. I think that definitely is where we're at now. <hes> what we did with the Commercial Cargo Program we first released an announcement in two thousand six for that. I think the first just actual cargo delivery was in two thousand twelve about half a dozen years later commercial crew was announced in two thousand nine it fed off how we what we learned in how we did commercial cargo <hes> but I think all of those were in those were set in a different time when we knew shuttles only gonna fly so long at the time we didn't know when the last shuttle flight was going to be but we also knew that doing this traditional government <hes> program way was probably not GonNa be affordable in the long term so those are the first big big steps was getting NASA way from paying for the Vehicle Launch Vehicle Operating Vehicle <hes> it's a totally different model because our our commercial social partners now do that and we'll assume that crew yeah that's right and that's the commercial crew or talk and SPACEX and Boeing developing crew capabilities and that's obviously you know NASA is a big big part of that because we want a ride to the International Space Station but that idea of a commercial company like you're saying owning and operating their own vehicle now it opens it up for more opportunities opportunities beyond just providing that service for NASA well in the next step of courses is a commercial destination. I mean that's that's what we really want to see. I mean we're we're always going to have a need to be in lower orbit and the space station for certain is going to be the U._S.. Government driven platform and low-earth-orbit. It's just it's it's not affordable to to sustain a government program. When you want to go do a deep space or moon mission yeah it's definitely an important thing and and I definitely want to get into the nitty gritty of especially especially the recent <hes> commercial and marketing policies that have come out <hes> but you know going back to the general idea <hes> this is something that's important right? Why why is it important to allow business opportunities in low-earth-orbit? Oh it's self serving. It's totally self serving for us as an agency because we are always going to need a Leo Platform low-earth-orbit Platform Platform. We're going to need to do our fundamental and applied research. We're going to need to do crew training and proficiency because we're not going to send a crew to the moon on their very first mission. That's just not going to happen and we're we're always going to need to test new systems because systems influenced the operate differently in microgravity than they do in one G and we we've learned so much about what we didn't know <hes> by running systems over long periods of time on space station so it's a it's a commercial and business testbed S. bed but it's also critical to us in our in our exploration needs so given I assess will be the last government driven program and given we're always going to need to have a place Jason. Leo If there isn't other demand for this we're stuck holding the bag for the entire operating cost of whatever the next destination looks like and that's not tenable either so we are doing this in our own best interests to help companies leveraging assets of the space station to help them see if there's a business model in space whether it be for tourism for marketing <hes> for for <hes> cell line development personalized medicine <hes> pick it in space manufacturing. We don't know Oh but we're we want to enable them to try out those ideas and see if there's if there's goodness and doing things and microgravity if there is then those kind of things are scalable. They'll they'll need a good bit of the next destination in space and that way we become one of many customers rather than the only customer yeah which is critical to our ability to continue to afford to do expiration version yeah which is at the at the very core of the reason why this policy change is more of that enabling part the idea is to is to at least make available the opportunity four an economy to grow and become some something robust so that we can get to that point like you're saying one of many customers so policy was was was a big big change in direction for us. It's been as you mentioned at the outset. It's been a lot of years coming <hes> and frankly it's taken <hes> administration the the hill. It's taken a lot of people to to nudge us in that direction telling us. It's okay this is this is what we want to see you do <hes> and so the policy was was developed over <hes> <hes> over a number of years but it all came together in the last year so it it's it's really different for us. You know the Russians have done spaceflight participants a number of are those <hes> back in two thousand one when they were doing those it was difficult for us because it was an interruption in our mission and it was it was interruption day-to-day ops ops on station and and frankly we weren't enamored of it at all to say the least <hes> but we did a bunch of commercials studies less for and one of other things that they they all pointed out virtually all pointed out was that you know allowing private astronauts tourists to professional astronauts from other countries <hes> to access space station was a big portion of revenue that could close business model yeah so and that was part of those studies. He's that and you kind of listed off a couple of already. You talked about <hes> in-space manufacturing. You talked about drug development. These are some of the areas where we said as NASA NASA. Hey commercial sector. Hey Hey private sector. If you were to make money in space where would be your opportunities and I guess yes space tourism spaceflight swipe participants is is <hes> is a big place for a commercial sector to thrive and we came. We came full circle on us. When you know we not only does it help stimulate like demand for a platform but it also drives demand for the access to space transportation which the more yoursel of anything economies of scale? We'll tell you the cheaper it's going to get which benefits us as as well so that was <hes> that was a very important aspect of of deciding to allow these standalone private astronaut missions to exhibition yeah yeah and that's part of the economy is in upfront. It's going to be it's. It's going to be a little bit more difficult but eventually really the idea is the more frequent it becomes the in the more regular it becomes <hes> the cheaper it'll get which is huge for us and I think you so you mentioned cost already cost. I think is probably one of the one of the greater barriers to entry for a company to start becoming <hes> <hes> I guess commercial official air profitable in space right well access to space is the long pole in the tent yet <hes> the cost the cost of doing business in space the biggest the biggest cost is is access exists so <hes> one of the things we we rolled out on our commercials strategic plan <hes> couple of weeks ago was <hes> a solicitation looking for ways to drive down that that very thing the the cost of getting space so we'll see what what <hes> the private sector has you know as a mind for how we could tackle it how we as a government agency doing things that are inherently governmental that we can bring a special project together <hes> to to maybe drive down <hes> whatever whatever the technologies are that makes us so difficult. Maybe it's supply hi chain management we we we don't know maybe it's <hes> financial incentives to do business in space that don't exist right now so we have multiple government agencies working with US F._A._A.. <hes> commerce I and others are all they're all on board and wanting to wanting to help enable us because they recognize. It's not just a nice thing. It's a U._S.. Thing yeah yeah very much so oh so let's go into the nitty gritty. Let's talk about what <hes> was talking about. What has been announced <hes> most recently? I think <hes> one of the top things is is just the policy itself on on commercial activities what can what can and cannot be done of regarding commercial activities and the time allocation that we're dedicating advocating to doing that so what's what's happening there so we've we've never allowed marketing on the I._S._S.. <hes> it <hes> other other countries have done it. The Japanese have done at the Russians have done at Isa has done at European Space Agency. We've we've never participated in that and and <hes> there there's been reasons for ward because we had a <hes> a research mission Ryan. We had a systems development mission but we also recognize that it <hes> it's important us to enable it because there might be additional demand for space as I said earlier Things that are being done up there already. Let's say let's say procter and gamble. They've been doing college research on space station for years if they wanted to do a marketing campaign using using some of our cameras on on space station and showing their hardware talking about it our crew can't be in that we we don't we can't interesting be seen to endorse things but we can be operating camera and we can downlink the data to them and that's not a problem but because it's tied to something that they're doing on space station and <hes> when private astronauts are up there they'll be able to go one step further which is do things such as marketing of products that don't have anything to do with things going on on space space station so if if McDonald's wanted to do <hes> an advertisement filmed in space those private astronauts could do that Arthur's cannot but they could and so so that's that's a huge shift at that. We're we've come out and said now not only are we not gonNA fight this but we're actually going to announce that. We're going to enable it which I think is that's pretty cool. Enable it and dedicate time to it. I think that's a big that's a big part of this. Whole thing is <hes> you said you know why? Why couldn't we do some of these activities before is because we had a research mission and if you want it to do something else besides that research that's time that's time that's you're taking away from research? <hes> now we're actually using a using a part of NASA's time to actually do that to pick to have an astronaut pick up a camera and film something or to do something like that we we have. We still have a research mission and we always will sure <hes> we crew time has been and likely we'll be again one of our our limiting resources <hes> but we felt it was equally important. Help stimulate <hes> a nascent demand for Leo that we'd never tried before so we've we've set aside about ninety hours a year <hes> for for these commercial marketing activities <hes> and and we've set aside some some kilograms of of up to to support whatever never there needs might be as well as small <hes>. It's about five percent of what we have available to us so it it doesn't impact our research. The crews do a marvelous job of getting more time than what what we actually schedule for them. They work. They Work Saturdays quite often. I work long days so it really it will not impact our research mission but it's it's equally important to see if this can develop so at least we're you know we're we're dedicating that time and I think that's that's the majority of the commercial and marketing activities Jesus saying that this is something that we're going to allow and it's a big. It's a big <hes> <hes> I guess caveat what you said between what An- NASA astronaut can do <hes> it it has to be related to space <hes> and it you can't have the astronaut in front of the camera personally endorsing anything a little bit more freedom when it comes to private astronauts which like you said dead space tourism spaceflight participants. This is a big <hes>. This is a big commercial opportunity so what's what's happening there in the world of private private astronaut. How's it all going work with <hes> the I guess the difference between that's there's a big question? I know that that we're getting in our office. Is You know how does this work. What do you have to do to become a private astronaut? If the train yeah our which companies do you go for what what are you right on. You know how this all work and the beautiful part about it is. It's all business a business yeah we we have to enable them on our side. There's a lot of things that we have have to do but we've pointed them to the two crew providers grew vehicle providers that we've already or will have already fled certified once they fly as Boeing and spacex if another one develops and we certify it and well okay. We got three of them now but they have to go to a U._S.. Provider <hes> we'll get away from <hes> our citizens paying variety on a Russian Soyuz vehicle which doesn't do our economy and he good <hes> we we we will have to work them into the flight plan <hes> so it's probably an for training purposes. Just tireless depends on what they WANNA do if they're if they're <hes> <hes> a country that doesn't have a presence on the I._S._S.. Now that wants to space program the they could have selected one of their <unk> astronauts it becomes what we would call sovereign astronaut they could train professionally just like our crew does to be able to do research and and other things on board they wouldn't need to know how to operating systems because that's what are what are crew and the Russians accrue in our partner crew but <hes> that that could be easily a two year program to to train <hes> and it's probably that long for us to get it in and planned in in flight sequence anyway <hes> to accommodate them. We think we can accommodate. Maybe two of these a year less less than thirty days any longer than that you start getting into some medical <hes> requirements and and exercise requirements and things that are going to be hard for us to accommodate because our crews have subscribed subscribed that but if you wanna go up spaceflight participant what we call space tourists <hes> it could be a lot less time now we teach you how to use the com- system <hes> <hes> the <hes> the Internet satellite phone if you're gonNA use that <hes> how to use the Galley in waste and hygiene compartment and what not to touch your here here in here right <hes> so that's a lot less time than what it would be if you're going to go up there and you're going to operate as one of our crew would operate yeah the I mean. The idea is no matter what there's GonNa be some training involved at the very bare minimum. You have to know how to work stuff and then in event of an emergency you have to know how to properly get out exactly in your training using our emergency equipment. It'd be another thing that they would do. Maybe a bit of the medical but but it'd be minimal but the idea is the now we're we're at least the opening up the International Space Station allowing the commercial marketing activities <hes> enabling the space tourism and and private private astronauts more professional astronaut depending on the training <hes> but this this whole idea of destinations and I think this is a very exciting one <hes> like you said you know the International Space Station station is not going to be there forever. Let's develop this list this space this Leo Lower Orbit <hes> where there can be commercial destinations <hes> flying and the the idea is we are enabling the ability to test those things so what's the what's the destination. I think that's a that's something that we kinda throw out there but it might not be kind of something that people really grasp grasp onto a destination could be a commercial module Camacho element on space station. <hes> which I'll come back to in a minute it could also be a free flying in platform it might be in proximity to the space station so that it could take advantage of the cargo vehicles that are already going to space station. Maybe maybe they visit space station in a visit to the Free Flyer Commercial Commercial Free Flyer and then and then you know come back and return or <hes> <hes> I it could could look like several of those I mean we're going to always have a need for space and so we want that platform whether it's tested on I._S._S. separates or whether it goes direct to free flee flyer easy for me to say whether it goes director Freeh Flyer doesn't really matter as long as it is capable of functioning providing getting the research combinations that we need that that's the long term goal <hes> part of that part of the strategic plan roll out to the other week was to enable both of Ah Flanks and no solicitation should be hitting the street <hes> this week <hes> to to announce that we're we're soliciting <hes> proposals tools to put a commercial module on the note to forward port of the I._S._S. to extend that <hes> it would operate as an element of I._S._S. S._S.. But it would have <hes> different <hes> rules of the road if you will on things that they can do inside especially with with private crew <hes> such as those pure marketing marketing activities that we were talking about share <hes> at that's probably going to be the easiest thing to enable because it doesn't really require any other equipment other than whatever props they're going to use in in in the spot right our <hes> we don't know exactly what that destination with a commercial module could look like so. Let us know what you think would be a commercially viable thing. That's the the what we're kind of requesting. That's pretty much the case. We'll we've part of the part of the roll out the other week. Was We quantified what our long-term needs were going to be in in low-earth orbit and companies can look at that say okay. What would have those things does it make sense for me to try to provide so that I can get the government is a customer because they are the studies we did? They not all of them but most of them need to government as a primary customer in some way shape or form the ones that have have business models that look like they can work have us as maybe maybe a large customer but not majority customer <hes> other ones that need us as eighty eighty nine percent customer is probably not <hes> probably not very attractive to us <hes> same reason that you don't want to be the only big box store to mall and have everything be empty because you're GonNa pay the whole cost of operating them all. We don't want to do that and that's that's just not. That's that's not a good recipe for a robust bust economy and Laura Tober so who can participate in this. I know this is another big question that we've been we've been getting a lot is <hes> i. I believe it's a U._S.. Company endeavor so it's so when we're talking about all these different commercial companies that can do this that and the other thing it this is this is a U._s.. Company thing absolutely Lee is I mean the American taxpayers have put billions of dollars into developing and operating and doing research on space station <hes> the creation of the national lab which to start it providing some <hes> returned to the U._S. economy in the form of commercial research on space station that was important <hes> but for the long haul we're going to enable the using the resources that we have rights too. We NASA have rights to on station. We're going to enable a broader participation by the U._S.. Economy U._S. commercial sector <hes> in developing these elements in in doing <hes> scaled scalable research on I._S._S. and and in developing the free flying platforms yeah yeah but that's not to say that you know the customers don't necessarily have to be U._S.. It's it's the it's the businesses themselves so like you're saying for the example of private astronauts. If a company offer a different country wants to have their a representative of their country has the first astronaut from whatever country it may be they will just have to go through. Are These U._S.. Companies to make that happen absolutely true. We've got commercial companies that own an operator own hardware space station right now to bring in <hes> users researchers from all around the world <hes> maraks located right right here in Houston <hes> they did a they've done investigations for I don't I don't know how many countries but they they had a Beijing Institute of Technology Investigation last year <hes> Vietnam <hes> schools in Vietnam have done research on their. They've deployed cubesats for other countries so it's happening right now. It's just we're scaling it up in in in size yeah so let let's look a little bit towards the <hes> towards the future because I think that'll kind of lay out what the ultimate goal is. <hes> you know we talk about developing this row robust economy and low-earth orbit. Let's just say eight. Let's just say timeline x and at let's go to the very end of that the art we have completed all of our mission. What does low earth orbit look like in this scenario in Ah best-case? There's multiple destinations operated commercially that each can satisfy some of nashes needs for systems development crew training training and research <hes> two or more. Let's put it that way. It's <hes> it's going to be an expensive environment to sustain a business model in but if it's a it's a multifaceted business miles probably got the most likely hood of success and <hes> for for sustainability so that's the idea is this is the destinations are commercially operated. NASA is doesn't have a thing in space but we are purchasing services that already exists or purchasing purchasing transportation were purchasing capabilities on board the destination and the idea I think is because we're focusing a little bit farther out. That's exactly right. We we want to go back to the moon. You've been given a charge to do there by twenty twenty four which is going to be very aggressive but <hes> it's going to be very exciting. <hes> we have got to be able to utilize space waystation so companies can learn to do business and then they can sell business sell services to us. That's the that's the end goal we have to be able to do that. When BEC in the eighteen seventies we built a transcontinental railroad government had a need for something but didn't have the funds to do so private companies consortium built F East West west-east and they met in the middle we we backed it with bonds promises to pay right and we gave away resources? We gave away land for every mile track. We're doing the same thing thing was was space station and low-earth-orbit. We have a need to see destinations appear in space for as I said for our own self interest and long-term needs and we're giving giving away resources or giving away the up mass and the crew time and the power and data and on over at volume and all of that because it makes sense to do it yeah the transcontinental railroad of low-earth orbit <hes> I think one of the one of the other I think good benefits of doing this especially in low-earth-orbit Earth orbit especially with the International Space Station is it. I think it's a good representation is a good model for what we can do again. On the Moon <hes> International Space Station Ocean. We've been working with international partners. Were working with commercial companies. It's not new we're we're doing. We're getting pretty good at it. I think so I think using lower orbit as a a test which has been the the purpose of low-earth-orbit really is to test different capabilities and systems <hes> you can take a lot of those same concepts and apply that to the moon the administrator has already talked about working with commercial companies to actually make this moon landing and a artem is program a success. It's it's it's something that's what's needed yeah well. The administrator has multiple degrees in business and finance so it's not <hes> it's not a surprise that he's on board with this commercialization <hes> else this commercialization effort will mike. I think that's a very good <hes> Snapshot Really <hes> and just indepth description of all of this low-earth low-earth orbit commercialization efforts. It's very exciting time and you need unique model for the way that we're actually doing human space exploration so I really appreciate your time. You Bet it'd be interesting to see how this all plays out going forward <music> unlike hey thanks for sticking around. I hope you really enjoyed this discussion. Washing with Mike Reid he did a great job. I think of explaining everything about that went into not just this announcement but a little bit of the history of all the commercial activity that's been happening in space over these past couple of decades dates but if you really want to know more about this announcement specifically and everything that has to do with it there is a lot of information and we made it all available online. It's on NASA DOT Gov of slash. Leo Leo Dash Economy. If you go to that site you can really dig into <hes> all the different elements of what's gone on <hes> ah I guess because of this announcement and then all the opportunities that are available for you to do on board the International Space Station otherwise if you curious on what is the International Space Station I I hope you check out some of our other podcasts that really go into depth there but otherwise you can just go to NASA dot Gov Slash
Glimpse of Home
"This unique observation deck is a window to the world from space. This is innovation. Now bringing you stories behind the ideas that shape our future designed to improve the view of the exterior of the International Space. Station. The KUPA was added to tranquility node three in two, thousand, ten, this small module houses the workstation controls for the large robotic arm that is used to grapple visiting. Cargo vessels and assist astronauts during spacewalks. The circular shaped module is just under ten feet in diameter and comes equipped with special shutters to protect from contamination and collision with orbital debris or micrometeorites. But the Dome which was placed on the Earth facing side of the station provides a unique opportunity for photographs and video. In fact, astronauts can often be found here with camera in hand. Made up of seven windows six around the sides and one in the center. The Cupola provides spectacular views of earth and other celestial objects and for astronauts live aboard the orbiting station for days weeks or even months at a time. These bay windows offer a comforting glimpse of home for innovation. Now, I'm Jennifer pulley innovation now is produced by the National Institute of Aerospace Through collaboration with NASA.
A Revolutionary Collaboration
"The american rockets american spacecraft american soil nasr's commercial crew program is enabling safe reliable and cost effective crew transportation to and from the international space station. This is innovation now bringing you stories behind the ideas that shaped our future masses commercial crew program is a unique collaboration enabling nasa to work side by side with american aerospace companies the commercial companies chosen to carry crews to and from the international space station own and operate their own hardware and infrastructure nasa engineers and aerospace specialists will work closely with the companies to ensure the successful launch of spacecraft from american soil commercial crew astronauts will train like other nasa astronauts astronauts will prepare to live and work in space for up to six months at a time that these astronauts will also work closely with boeing and spacex to understand the new spacecraft launch systems and space suits they will be using the successful launch of crew won the first nasa certified commercial flight marked the move of this revolutionary collaboration from development into regular flights for innovation. Now i'm jennifer. Pulley innovation now is produced by the national institute of aerospace through collaboration with nasa.