10 interesting facts about the International space station

The international space station (ISS) is a joint international project involving 14 countries, including: USA, Russia, Canada, Japan, and several European countries, acting under the auspices of the European space Agency. Its design began in 1984, with the orders of U.S. President Ronald Reagan, who had ordered NASA for 10 years to develop and build a new orbital space station. To the beginning 90-ready, it became clear that the scale and cost of the project will not allow the US alone to create it. The actual construction of the station began in 1998, when connected to project Russia put into orbit the first element of the ISS — functional cargo block Zarya.

Since the project at various times was joined by other countries, building and adding to the ISS design their own modules. In the end ISS “stout” up to 460 tons and covers an area of a football field. Today we will talk about 10 interesting facts about the ISS, which you may not know.

It actually drops

There is such a thing as gravity. The international space station is about 400-450 kilometers above the Earth’s surface where the force of gravity is only 10 percent lower than what we experience on our planet. This is enough to station fell to the Ground. So why isn’t she falling?

The ISS actually drops. However, due to the fact that the falling speed of the station is almost equal to the speed at which it moves around the Earth, it falls in a circular orbit. In other words, due to the centrifugal force she falls down and sideways, that is, around the Earth. The same thing happens to our natural satellite, the Moon. She also falls around the Earth. The centrifugal force arising from the movement of the moon around the Earth, compensates for the gravitational force between the earth and the Moon.

The constant decline of the ISS actually explains why the crew on Board is in weightlessness, despite the fact that the gravity inside the station. Since the falling speed of the ISS kompensiruet speed of its rotation around the Earth, astronauts inside the station, actually not moving anywhere. They just soar. However, ISS from time to time still decreases, closer to the Ground. To compensate, the Central control station carries out the adjustment of its orbit, briefly starting the engines and bringing to the same height.

On the ISS the Sun rises every 90 minutes

International space station completes one full revolution around the Earth every 90 minutes. Due to this its crew every 90 minutes watching the sunrise. Daily people on the ISS see 16 sunrises and 16 sunsets. Astronauts who spend at station 342 days, have time to see 5472 5472 sunrises and sunsets. At the same time being a person on Earth will see only 342 342 sunrise and sunset.

Interestingly, the station crew does not see neither dawn nor twilight. However, they can clearly see the terminator – the line separating those parts of the Land where currently a different time of day. On the Ground, the same being along the line people at this time see the sunrise or twilight.

The first Malaysian astronaut on Board the ISS had problems with prayer

The first Malaysian astronaut was Sheikh Muszaphar, sukor. October 10, 2007, he went to nine-day flight to the ISS. However, before his flight, he and his country faced an unusual problem. Shukor – Muslim. This means that he must pray 5 times a day as required by Islam. In addition, it turned out that the flight took place during Ramadan, when Muslims must fast.

Remember, we talked about the fact that the ISS astronauts meet the sunrise and sunset every 90 minutes? It turned out to be a big problem for Sokurov, since he, in this case it would be difficult to determine the time of prayers in Islam it is determined by the position of the Sun in the sky. In addition, when praying Muslims must turn towards the Kaaba in Mecca. The ISS direction to the Kaaba and Mecca will change every second. Thus during prayer Shukor could be first in the direction of the Kaaba, and then parallel to it.

The Malaysian space Agency Angkasa collected 150 Islamic clerics and scholars in order to find a solution to this problem. In the end, the meeting came to the conclusion that Shakuru should begin their prayers turning towards the ka’bah, and then ignore any changes. If to determine the position of the Kaaba he fails, then he can look in any direction where she is, in his opinion, may be. If this will cause trouble, he can just turn towards the Earth and do everything what he wants.

In addition, scientists and clergymen agreed that there is no need to Sokur knelt during the prayer, if it is difficult to do in zero gravity aboard the ISS. Also, there is no need to carry out the washing of the water. He was allowed just to wipe his body with a wet towel. It is also possible to reduce the number of prayers from five to three. Also decided that Shakuru not need to fast, because in Islam, travelers are exempt from fasting.

Earth policy

As previously stated, the international space station is not owned by any single nation. She belongs to USA, Russia, Canada, Japan and several European countries. Each of these countries or groups of countries, if we are talking about the European space Agency, owns certain parts of the ISS with modules that they were sent there.

The ISS is divided into two main segments: the us and Russia. The right of using the Russian segment belongs exclusively to Russia. The Americans allow you to use your segment to other countries. Most of the countries involved in the development of the ISS, in particular the United States and Russia, suffered his earth politics into space.

The result of this was the most unpleasant in 2014, after the United States imposed sanctions against Russia and to break off relations with several Russian companies. One such enterprise was “Roskosmos”, the Russian equivalent of NASA. But there came a big problem.

Since NASA closed the space Shuttle program, she has to rely on Roscosmos for the delivery and return their astronauts to the ISS. If “Roscosmos” will be released from the agreement and refuse using their rockets and spacecraft to deliver and return American astronauts to the ISS, NASA will be in a very difficult position. Immediately after NASA severed relationship with “Roskosmos”, the Deputy Prime Minister of Russia Dmitry Rogozin wrote on Twitter that the United States can send to the ISS of its astronauts with the help of trampolines.

The ISS has no Laundry service

Aboard the International space station, no washing machine. But even if it was, the crew still has no extra water to use for washing. One of the solutions to the problem is to take sufficient quantity of clothing to have enough for the whole flight. But that luxury does not always happen.

Delivery of ISS cargo, weighing 450 grams costs 5-10 thousand dollars, and nobody wants to spend so much money on shipping regular clothes. The crew, returning to Earth, just can not take the old clothes – in the spacecraft small. Solution? Burn it to the ground.

It should be understood that the ISS does not require a daily change of clothes, as we on Earth. If you do not take into account physical exercise (which we will discuss below), the astronauts on the ISS don’t have much strain in microgravity. The temperature of the body, the ISS is also controlled. All this allows people to wear the same clothes for up to four days before they decide to change it.

Russia from time to time launches of unmanned spacecraft to deliver new supplies to the ISS. These ships can fly only in one direction and can’t return back to Land (at least intact). As soon as they dock to the ISS, the station crew unloads supplies delivered, and then fills in the empty spacecraft of various debris, waste and dirty clothing. Then the device otstykovyvatsya and falls to the Ground. The ship itself and everything on Board burns in the sky over the Pacific ocean.

The ISS crew does a lot of work

The crew of the International space station almost constantly losing bone and muscle mass. Months of spending time in space, they lose about two percent of the reserves of mineral substances in the bones of the limbs. Doesn’t sound a lot, but this figure is growing rapidly. An ordinary mission to the ISS can take up to 6 months. As a result, some crew members can lose up to 1/4 of the bone mass in some parts of their skeleton.

Space agencies are trying to find a way to reduce these losses, forcing the crew to conduct daily two-hour exercise. Despite this, astronauts still lose muscle and bone mass. Since trains almost every cosmonaut, which are regularly sent to the ISS, the space Agency has no control groups with which to determine the effectiveness of such training.

Exercise equipment on the space station is also different from those that we used to use on Earth. The difference in gravity dictates the need to use special equipment for exercise.

The use of the toilet depends on the nationality of the crew

The first time the existence of the International space station, astronauts and cosmonauts have used and shared the same equipment, facilities, food and even toilets. Everything started to change around 2003, after Russia began to demand that other countries pay for their astronauts to use their equipment. In turn, other countries began to demand payment from Russia for the fact that the astronauts use their equipment.

The situation escalated in 2005, when Russia began to take NASA’s money for the delivery of American astronauts to the ISS. In return, the US banned Russian astronaut to use American equipment, hardware and toilets.

Russia can cover the ISS program

Russia has no way to directly prohibit the United States or any other country that participated in the creation of the ISS, using the station. However, to block access to the stations it can indirectly. As mentioned above, Russia needs America in order to deliver its astronauts to the ISS. In 2014, Dmitry Rogozin, has hinted that, starting in 2020 Russia plans to spend money and resources allocated to the space program, for other projects. The US in turn want to continue to send its astronauts to the ISS until at least 2024.

If Russia will reduce or even stop using the ISS in 2020, it will become a serious problem for American astronauts, as they will be limited or even denied access to the ISS. Rogozin added that Russia would be able, without the United States to fly to the ISS, the U.S. in turn, such a luxury is not available.

The American space Agency NASA is actively working with commercial space companies to transport and return American astronauts to the ISS. At the same time, NASA can always use the trampolines, which Rogozin mentioned earlier.

On Board the ISS have a weapon

Usually on Board the International space station has one or two pistols. They belong to the astronauts, but are stored in the “survival kit”, which is available to all at the station. Every gun has three trunks and is able to shoot signal rockets, rifle rounds and shotgun shells. They are also equipped with folding elements which can be used as a spade or knife.

It is unclear why the astronauts keep aboard the ISS are multipurpose guns. Not from the aliens to fight back? However, it is known that in 1965 some of the astronauts had to deal with aggressive wild bears who have decided to try to come back from space to the Earth people’s taste. It is possible that the weapons on the station is available just for such occasions.

Chinese taikonauts denied access to the ISS

Chinese taikonauts are prohibited to visit the International space station imposed on China sanctions from the United States. In 2011, the U.S. Congress banned any cooperation on space programs between the United States and China.

The ban was caused by fears that the Chinese space program behind the scenes is militaristic purposes. The US in turn does not want in any way to help the Chinese military and engineers, so the ISS to China is prohibited.

According to the publication Time, it is a very unreasonable solution. The American government needs to understand that the ban on the use of ISS China, and a ban on any cooperation between the US and China on development of space programs will not stop the latter from developing its own space programme. China has sent its taikonauts into space and robots to the moon. In addition, China plans to build a new space station, and send your Rover to Mars.

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