Wednesday, August 31, 2011

NASA warns: Risk of losing space station rising

Washington DC - The risk of an unprecedented evacuation of the International Space Station will spike if Russian craft cannot resume their missions and return by November, a senior NASA official has warned. “There is a greater risk of losing the ISS when it’s unmanned than if it were manned,” Michael Suffredini, the ISS program manager for the US space agency, said in a conference call with Russian officials. “The risk increase is not insignificant,” he added. Russia delayed its next manned mission to the ISS by at least a month after an unmanned cargo vessel crashed into Siberia instead of reaching orbit. The head of Russia’s manned spaceflight program also warned that a significantly longer delay would force the six people on board the station to abandon the orbiter due to fatigue and supply problems. Russia had become the sole nation capable of taking humans to the ISS after Obama’s withdrawal of the US space shuttle.  More  

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