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Russia Eyes Longterm Plan To Keep Station Operational Until 2025

With the success of sending tourists and other paying customers to the ISS, Russia has many reasons to look at how the ISS can continue to operate beyond 2015.
by Staff Writers
Moscow (RIA Novosti) Jan 31, 2007
The International Space Station will likely remain operational until 2025, the head of the Russian spacecraft manufacturer Energia said Tuesday, adding that by 2009-2015, Russia will be the only country able to deliver crews to the station. "No one is going to sink or drop the ISS, as all countries realize that the station is becoming a full-scale industrial facility in space. Although it is scheduled for decommissioning in 2015, its operational life could be prolonged until 2025," Nikolai Sevastyanov said.

He said Energia has proposed making the station permanent.

"If we terminate its existence, it would be hard for mankind to implement such a project anew," he said.

Sevastyanov said spaceships destined for the Moon and Mars could be built near the ISS from prefabricated modules sent into orbit by Russian Soyuz, Progress and other booster rockets. He said that Energia is designing a shuttle to link the Earth, the ISS and the Moon, and that by 2009-2015 Russia would be the only country able to send crews to the station.

"According to NASA plans, the space shuttles currently being used will gradually be put out of service by approximately 2010," Sevastyanov said, adding that for an uninterrupted cycling of crews, Energia will have to double Soyuz booster rocket production by 2009.

The current ISS crew comprises U.S. astronaut Michael Lopez-Alegria and Russian cosmonaut Mikhail Tyurin, who began working on the world's sole orbital station September 20, and U.S. astronaut Sunita Williams, who replaced the European Space Agency's German astronaut Thomas Reiter in December 2006, and who will stay on board the ISS for another five months.

Source: RIA Novosti

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Expedition 14 Talks To Martha Stewart
New York NY (SPX) Jan 23, 2007
Martha Stewart, homemaking expert and popular television personality, chatted with the crew of Expedition 14 Monday morning. The event started at 11:40 a.m. EST and was shown on NASA TV. Stewart asked the Expedition crew members about their experiments on station, the view of Earth from their vantage point, and life in their orbital home away from home.

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