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UK News ‘You can’t put a price on it’: International Space Station marks 20 years

06:25  29 october  2020
06:25  29 october  2020 Source:   msn.com

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Space scientists are preparing to celebrate a remarkable astronautical achievement. In a few days, they will mark the 20 th anniversary of humanity’s For two decades, teams of astronauts have made their homes 250 miles above our planet through their uninterrupted occupancy of the International Space

The International Space Station ( ISS ) is a multi-nation construction project that is the largest single structure humans ever put into space . Its main construction was completed between 1998 and 2011, although the station continually evolves to include new missions and experiments.

As humanity marks the 20th anniversary of continuous human presence in low-Earth orbit, a leading space expert in the UK has described the International Space Station (ISS) as an invaluable scientific resource.

Libby Jackson, who is the human exploration programme manager at the UK Space Agency, said having an orbiting space lab, which cost more than 100 billion US dollars (£75 billion) to build, is something “you can’t put a price on”.

She said: “It is a unique scientific laboratory and the science that we are doing on the space station cannot be done anywhere else on Earth.”

Construction of the ISS began in 1998, and its first inhabitants – US astronaut Bill Shepherd and Russian cosmonauts Sergei Krikalev and Yuri Gidzenko – arrived on November 2 2000.

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Fly to the Space Station for million! NASA will send TOURISTS on 30-day trips aboard the International Space Station starting in 2020. NASA said it will allow up to two private astronaut missions on ISS per year . Each will last up to 30 days, and is currently estimated to be ,000 per

a group of people wearing costumes: Expedition 1 crew William Shepherd, centre, Yuri Gidzenko, bottom, and Sergei Krikalev posing for photos prior to their launch (Nasa) © Provided by PA Media Expedition 1 crew William Shepherd, centre, Yuri Gidzenko, bottom, and Sergei Krikalev posing for photos prior to their launch (Nasa)

Since then, human occupancy on the 420-tonne space station has been uninterrupted, with 240 men and women setting up camp over the last two decades.

Ms Jackson said: “There have been over 2,775 different experiments (conducted in the space station) involving more than 100 countries.

“We have been looking at how cells change, how humans change and how materials change in space.

“All of these things are answering questions that are of benefit to everybody on Earth.”

One such space project involved primary school children across the UK who took part in a gardening experiment with salad seeds.

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It was called Sputnik 1. Scientists are already at work on the International Space Station , a “city of space ”. It will be the size of a football field and will weigh over 200 tons. The next step will be the first moonbase. 20 or 30 scientists will live inside a dome with an artificial atmosphere.

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British astronaut Tim Peake took charge of two kilograms of rocket seeds during his stay on the space station, which were returned to Earth in March 2016 and distributed to some 10,000 schools.

The children then grew those salad seeds into plants to see if they have been affected by space travel.

Tim Peake took charge of two kilograms of rocket seeds during his stay on the space station (ESA) © Provided by PA Media Tim Peake took charge of two kilograms of rocket seeds during his stay on the space station (ESA)

Major Peake also participated in more than other 250 experiments devised by scientists from around the world, one of which involved taking part in an airway monitoring test developed for research that could benefit hundreds of thousands of people suffering from asthma on Earth.


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Ms Jackson said: “You also have technology benefits that come from designing something in space which can have spin-outs into things (back on Earth).”

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When you see the International Space Station ( ISS ) in the night sky it appears as a fast-moving star crossing from horizon to horizon. Astronauts can ’ t burp in space . This is because the lack of gravity in space means the air in astronaut’s stomach doesn’t separate and rise up from ingested food.

You can travel on it or jump in it to cool off on hot summer days. Many of the products that you use every day contain water or were manufactured using it . Last year , for instance, artist Anthony Antonellis had a chip put in his arm that could store and transfer data to his handheld smartphone.

About the size of a five-bedroom house, the ISS has six sleeping quarters, two toilets, a gym, and a set of bay windows that provide astronauts 360-degree views as it circles the globe 16 times a day, travelling at over 17,000 miles per hour.

But with around four billion US dollars (£3 billion) a year being spent on maintenance costs and service flights, questions are being raised about the future of the space station.

The ISS includes contributions from 15 nations, and Nasa, which provides the bulk of the funding, has indicated it plans to end support in the near future as it focuses on lunar and Mars missions.

But Ms Jackson said she is hopeful that private companies will step in to run it commercially.

One such company includes Texas-based Axiom Space, which recently signed a deal with Tom Cruise’s production agency to send the actor to space along with film director Doug Liman.

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“We want to send all kinds of people to space ,” says Benji Reed , director of crew mission management at SpaceX. “Everything we’re doing is to open that If the entirety of the demonstration flight goes well, SpaceX could launch its first operational mission to transport astronauts to the ISS , called Crew-1

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Ms Jackson said: “The space station delivers benefits to all of humanity but we can’t as governments afford to keep doing everything.

“We may see some of those costs met by people with very, very deep pockets.”

She said that even as human space exploration moves beyond low-Earth orbit, a research base will still be needed nearer home.

a satellite in space: International Space Station (ISS) (Nasa) © Provided by PA Media International Space Station (ISS) (Nasa)

Ms Jackson added: “We need the technical proving ground to allow us to check our toilets and our water recycling systems.”

Caroline Harper, who is head of space science at the UK Space Agency, said she hopes the international co-operation that led to the ISS will continue with future human explorations.

She said: “(Even when) politics on the ground is not great, it has been wonderful to see all that co-operation going on up there on the space station.

“International co-operation is a huge factor and I don’t think the academics will want to let go of that.”

Russia seeks star to send in to space - in a bid to beat Tom Cruise film .
Russia's biggest TV channel has launched a competition to find a woman to star in what it hopes will be the first feature film shot in space. © Other Tom Cruise has a race on his hands to star in the first space feature film. Pic: Getty/Russia Channel One Partnering with Russian space agency Roscosmos, Channel One aims to find a leading lady for the movie - provisionally titled "Challenge" - which will begin filming at the International Space Station (ISS) in October 2021. © Other The TV search is for a female star to blast out into space.

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