Friday, 29 October 2010

Space station on to the 2nd decade (ISS)

NASA astronaut Tracy Caldwell Dyson, Expedition 24 flight engineer, replaces a dewar tray containing biological samples in the Minus Eighty Degree Laboratory Freezer for ISS in the Kibo laboratory of the International Space Station. Image Credit: NASA
Provided by JPL/NASA (news : web)

The second decade of a new era in human history -- when not everyone lives on our home planet -- begins Nov. 2, 2010, as the International Space Station crosses the 1.5 billion mile mark of its travels with six residents on board and six visitors en route. 

 On Oct. 25, the station also set a record for being the longest continuously inhabited spacecraft. On that day, the eclipsed the previous record of 3,644 days set by the Russian Mir Space Station. With each new day, NASA and its partners are pushing the envelope of human achievement in space into uncharted territory.
Ten years ago, Bill Shepherd, Yuri Gidzenko and Sergei Krikalev launched into history as the first crew to live on the International Space Station. They blasted off from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on Oct. 31, 2000, and docked with the station two days later. From the moment the hatch of their opened and they entered the fledgling space station, there have been people living and working in orbit, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year.
“As we look forward to the next 10 years, taking us through 2020, the space station will serve many roles,” said Mike Suffredini, International Space Station program manager since 2005. “With its permanent human presence, it will serve as a foothold for long-term exploration into space, being an integral part of testing human endurance, equipment reliability and processes essential for space exploration.”
Before his launch, Expedition 1 commander Shepherd explained that the station “gives us unique access to the space environment where we hope we can do very interesting and productive research, but it really means we [will] develop a lot of the capabilities and technology that’ll allow humans to go elsewhere away from the planet.”

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