Monday May 21, 2018
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ISS Astronauts Await Science Cargo Aboard Japanese Spacecraft

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By NewsGram Staff Writer

Six crew members onboard the International Space Station (ISS) are waiting for more than 4,000 kg of research and supplies set to reach the orbiting laboratory on Monday.

photo credit: blogs.nasa.gov
photo credit: blogs.nasa.gov

If weather permits, the “Kounotori” H-II Transfer Vehicle-5 (HTV-5) from the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) will deliver a key science load to the ISS.

The supplies will carry a group of CubeSat-class satellites.

“These small satellites will capture imagery of Earth for use in humanitarian, environmental and commercial applications,” the US space agency said in a statement.

Meanwhile, Expedition 44 crew continued a series of biomedical studies, physics experiments and maintenance tasks.

Three cosmonauts participated in ultrasound scans and blood pressure checks.

photo credit: http://gadgets.ndtv.com
photo credit: http://gadgets.ndtv.com

The team, consisting of commander Gennady Padalka and flight engineers Mikhail Kornienko and Oleg Kononenko, also subjected themselves to vision checks for an ocular health study.

NASA astronaut Scott Kelly collected blood and urine samples and stored them in a science freezer for the “Fluid Shifts” study.

“Data from the expedition will be used to determine whether there are ways to further reduce the risks on future long-duration missions to an asteroid and eventually Mars,” NASA said.

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US Senators Want NASA To Extend The ISS Life Until At Least 2028

The aim was to save mony so that more resources could invested into deep space exploration of the Moon and eventually Mars.

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NASA ISS
Representational Image, VOA

NASA should extend the life of the International Space Station (ISS) until at least 2028, two US Senators said in a hearing to examine the future of the orbiting laboratory.

Senator Ted Cruz of Texas who is the Chairman of the Subcommittee on Space, Science, and Competitiveness convened the hearing on Wednesday, which was the first in a series of two hearings to examine the role of the space station.

In its 2019 budget request, the Donald Trump administration proposed ending direct government funding for the ISS by 2025, Florida Today, part of the USA Today network, reported on Wednesday.

“We’ve got this platform up there (worth) north of $100 billion, and it’s there,” Senator Bill Nelson of Florida, ranking member on the Subcommittee on Space, Science and Competitiveness, was quoted as saying.

“Abandoning this incredible orbiting laboratory where they are doing research, when we are on the cusp of a new era of space exploration, would be irresponsible at best and probably disastrous,” Nelson added.

NASA should extend the life of the International Space Station (ISS) until at least 2028, two US Senators said in a hearing to examine the future of the orbiting laboratory.
ISS is a permanent base for astronauts stationed in the outer sky. Wikimedia Commons

The NASA Transition Authorization Act of 2017 directed NASA to develop a plan to transition ISS from the current regime that relies heavily on NASA sponsorship to a regime where NASA could be one of many customers of a low-Earth orbit (LEO) non-governmental human space flight enterprise.

The aim was to save mony so that more resources could invested into deep space exploration of the Moon and eventually Mars.

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The space agency’s internal watchdog on Wednesday, however, said that private companies are unlikely to take on the more than $1 billion annual cost to run the International Space Station by 2025 as NASA hopes.

The report from NASA Inspector General provided a closing argument against the Trump administration’s proposal to privatise or abandon the orbiting laboratory so soon, the US senators said, according to the Florida Today report.

“The defence rests,” quipped Senator Cruz of Texas. (IANS)