Thursday, August 12, 2010

Number of the Week: 2025

A NASA image of how the adapted spacecraft might look
That's the year when parts of the International Space Station could be ready to be sent to an asteroid.

NASA has this week held a conference to decide what to do with the $100 billion station after it retires in 2020 and, after Barack Obama's pledge to send astronauts to an asteroid by 2025, it seems a bit of recycling may be in order.

One suggestion for the retired space station is that one of its compartments, called Tranquility, could be attached to a pair of spacecraft capable of landing on the an asteroid.

Another option being discussed is the idea of creating a large centrifuge type structure in order to achieve some form of artificial gravity in space. This may prevent bone and muscle loss in astronauts experiencing zero gravity.

A (pdf) summary of the options as outlined by NASA at the conference is available here.


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