ISS is the International Space Station. For the last 160 billion dollars the Space Station has been “International”. The United States, Russia, Europe, Canada and even Japan have worked together to design and build this permanent presence in orbit around the Earth. In 2012, the last addition (from Russia) will go up and complete the construction.
Up until lately there were two ways to get to the ISS. Russian in the Soyuz and American in the Shuttle. NASA has closed the books on the Shuttle. Like your old pick up truck, it was reliable but getting kinda pricey to run and well…maybe not that safe any more. No sweat, NASA had big plans for a new (?) reusable rocket called Orion. We were going back to the Moon. It was going to be great.
Then Obama cancelled Orion.
Wow? How convenient. Just as the ISS is completed, Russia winds up having the only access to it. Soyuz! The SAME rocket they were using back in the sixties. There are plans for the Americans, Europeans and the Japanese are designing robotic delivery rockets to service the ISS. Now I ask you, if someone hands you keys to the house, who owns it?
Because they have sole access, the Russians own the ISS. But we get to be the UPS guy. No joke..read on Loyal Reader.
Whoops. Now the story gets good.
Russia announces it will destroy ISS in 2020.
Read all about it. Wasn’t ISS a “permanent” presence?
Then NASA announces…
NASA ANNOUNCES END OF ISS IN 2012.
FYI: All of Life on Earth goes with it. Apparently the Sun (probably fed up with not getting credit for the Global Warming Thing) will kick our ass with the Mother of All Solar Storms. Click here to get the info.
ISS WILL HAVE TO BE ABANDONED
Apparently, those trusty, rusty Soyuz rockets can’t get it up anymore. Here’s the story.
Wow? Who da thunk? As soon as we finish the ISS, we can’t get to it. Has the new owner issued an eviction notice?
How come we can’t fly the same equipment for 50 years? Here’s why. When NASA needed a pen that would work in zero gravity the Parker Pen people designed one for 2 Million Bucks. The Russians used a pencil.
Don’t believe for a minute there’s anything wrong with Soyuz.