The Russian FKA site has a page of children’s space paintings, which are colorful and imaginative!
Some Novosti Kosmonavtiki news №666 items for 16/11; reports from the 7th International Scientific Conference “Manned Flights into Space”.
16/11/2007/00:03 – ISS operations are considerably less effective than those on Mir, says the chief of the Cosmonaut Training Center
In six years of ISS operation the volume of scientific works at the station grew threefold, reports ITAR-TASS. Such data was announced on 15 November by the chief of the Cosmonaut Training Center, Vasilii Tsibliyev, at the opening of the 7th International Scientific Conference “Manned Flights into Space”.
“Since 2001, 240 different experiments were carried out on the ISS, the main themes of the NPI applied-scientific studies being biomedical, biotechnological, geophysical and physics of the sun,” he said.
Tsibliev, however, recognized that by volume the NPI ISS operation is considerably less effective than that of the Mir orbital complex, where each crew perfomred up to 250 experiments during the flight. In his opinion, “When the construction of the Station is finished, the science portion will grow.”
The TSPK chief focused attention on the problems which decrease effectiveness of NPI on the ISS. One of the basic problems: “searching for the necessary scientific gear aboard,” because of which “sometimes an experiment is not carried out by the crew for which it was prepared, but a following crew […] There has even appeared a joke: an engineer is not one who knows, but who knows where to find things,” noted Tsibliyev. In his opinion, for increasing the return of scientific work “it is necessary to develop more efficient mechanisms for crew accountability, more actively to use incentive leverages, including material from both the cosmonauts and the specialists who prepare experiments, and to also prepare cosmonauts as specialist researchers.”
The chief of the flight-test center of the Energiya Rocket & Space corporation, ISS-14 commander Pavel Vinogradov, in turn emphasized that the colossal scientific potential in space is used very poorly, the returns from ISS crew activity is considerably lower than 10-15 years ago. “From the idea of experiment to obtaining the first concrete results there passes years, and even decades,” the cosmonaut complained. Furthermore, “There are only 1 or 2 new, bright experiments on the ISS; the rest are repeats of those performed on Mir.
One of the basic problems, in his opinion, is the absence on the ISS Russian segment of a normal communication channel with the Earth. “That that we have is the Stone Age in comparison,” said Vinogradov. To work and not to have any possibility transfering acceptable volumes of information is unacceptable.” Furthermore, the cosmonaut issued a call for the producers of the experiments to support closer contacts with the crews and to inform them about the results of the onboard studies carried out by the crews. In the opinion of Vinogradov, if scientists and cosmonauts exchanged information more often, the effectiveness of scientific studies would improve.
The cosmonaut also noted that at present, “scientific gear occupies only a small percentage of general goods traffic […] when half of the Progress cargo ship will be loaded with science, we will begin to obtain real results,” Vinogradov is convinced.
16/11/2007/00:03 – since 2001 the quantity of experiments conducted on the ISS has grown three times
In six years of ISS operation, the quantity of scientific experiments conducted by crews has grown threefold. The crew of the 16th ISS Expedition will conduct 48 scientific experiments in the course of their flight, while the first crew conducted only 15, reported the leader of the Cosmonaut Training Center, Vasilii Tsebliev, at the opening of the 7th International Scientific Conference “Manned Flights into Space”.
Meanwhile cosmonaut Pavel Vinogradov, coming forward after he critically answered about the experiments conducted on the Station, said: “We repeat the fact that most were done 5-10 years ago. The experiments – two or three are new but not more […] in this sense I do not agree with the opinion of our leaders that everything is good. When half of the Progress cargo ship is loaded scientific gear, then only then will I agree that everything is good,” said P. Vinogradov.
Today, he noted, in the total volume of cargo delivered to the ISS, only a small percentage is allotted to scientific equipment. Furthermore, P. Vinogradov came out with criticism of the communications system of the ISS Russian segment with the ground. Thus, because of the absence of the specialized relay satellites, video images and data for Russian Mission Control Center TsUP during the presence of the ISS beyond the zones of radio visibility not controlled by Russia are downlinked via the American satellites (TDRSS).
Cosmonaut Pavel Vinogradov had a lot of criticisms about aspects of the Russian program in an NK interview last year (see my 14/1/2007 entry) – at least someone involved is trying to draw attention to this!
A report on preparations for the “Mars-500” experiment:
16/11/2007/00:03 – crew of volunteers begins checking the systems of the “Martian ship”
At the Institute of Biomedical Problems IMBP/RAN (Russian Academy of Science), on 15 November there began the first 14-day stage of the experiment on the preparation of the manned space flight to Mars. The IMBP deputy director, Boris Morukov, announced this at the 7th International Scientific Conference “Manned Flights into Space”.
Previously the IMBP director, the RAN Academician Anatolii Grigor’ev stated that prior to the beginning of the “manned space flight to Mars”, which was planned for the end of 2008, at IMBP two preliminary experiments will be carried out: a 14-day and a 105-day. “During the 14 days we will verify technical equipment, and then in the 105-day experiment we will conduct the selection of the Russian and European scientific proposals, which then will be realized in the ‘Mars-500’ program,” he explained. According to him, the international crew of the 105-daily experiment will be formed prior to the end of this year, which will begin in the beginning of 2008.
In parallel continues the intensive selection of basic crew for the “Martian flight”, that will comprise 4 Russians and 2 Europeans. The main requirement for the candidates are possession of Russian and English languages, outstanding physical fitness and professional qualifications in several specialties is desirable.
Grigor’ev noted that among the aspirants, whom they already passed dispensary inspection, there is one woman. However, the gender composition of crew will be determined not earlier than the end of 2008, when it is planned to promulgate the list of the happy fellows, who during 520 days will completely isolated from the external world aboard the created “Martian” ship in IMBP with a volume of 550 m³ and communicate with the external world only through electronic mail. All the life-support systems of the “ship” are designed to be completely independent.
Requirements for the international crew are most serious. Preferred professions are doctors, engineers, biologists, specialists in computer technology. Moreover it is desirable that the candidates would combine several specialties. Furthermore, they must provide proof to the selection commission of the absence of serious diseases, harmful habits and problems with the law.
Future projects at Khrunichev:
16/11/2007/00:03 – the Khrunichev space center is developing rockets for manned space flights and habitable complexes for the lunar and Martian expeditions
In the State Space Scientific Production Center GKNPTS Khrunichev, work is continuing on the creation of rockets for manned space flights and habitable complexes for lunar expeditions. The division head of KB Salyut GKNPTS, Sergei Pugachenko, reported this on 14 November at the 7th International Scientific Conference “Manned Flights into Space”.
The discussion, first of all, deals with the modification of the future rocket of the RN carrier of the Angar-5 heavy class. The Angar-5P “can be used for the launch of manned ships, including the following generation.” For the delivery of cargo to Low Earth Orbit it is intended to also use the superheavy Angar-7 with a load capacity of 41 tonnes.
But to deliver a crew in orbit is only half the battle; it is necessary to create standard conditions to support human life. In GKNPTS, where the first ISS module was built – the Functional Cargo Block Zarya, and also the airtight housing of the official module Zvezda – already they are working on a new, more contemporary inhabited module. “Over the long term the creation and installing on the RN Angara “of a housing of a larger volume, which will improve the conditions of crew stay aboard,” explained Pugachenko.
Furthermore, the specialists at GKNPTS are developing their versions of a lunar orbital station and manned lunar base, which is intended to be delivered into Earth orbit with the aid of a superheavy RN with a load capacity of 100 tonnes. The lunar orbital station will be intended for the transfer and the storage of cargo and fuel, temporary crew stay, and also studies of the Moon, explained Pugachenko. But the manned lunar complex will serve as a home for the cosmonaut-trailblazers. An analogous complex is also being developed for Mars. “In GKNPTS there are all the basic technologies for the lunar missions,” said Pugachenko.