The International Space Station partner agencies will mark a major milestone on Nov. 2 with the 10-year anniversary of people living permanently aboard the space station. NASA will commemorate the event with a news conference featuring the six crew members currently in orbit.
NASA Administrator Charles Bolden will begin the event, speaking live to the station crew at 9:15 a.m. EDT from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. His remarks and the following news conference will be broadcast live on NASA Television.
Expedition 25, the 25th crew to live and work aboard the station, consists of Commander Doug Wheelock; his fellow NASA astronauts Scott Kelly and Shannon Walker; and Russian cosmonauts Fyodor Yurchikhin, Alexander Kaleri and Oleg Skripochka.
The crew is awaiting the launch of space shuttle Discovery’s six astronauts on the STS-133 mission to deliver supplies, spare parts and a permanent cargo module to the station. STS-133 is scheduled to lift off at 4:40 p.m. EDT on Nov. 1 from Kennedy.
“As we look forward to the next 10 years, taking us through 2020, the space station will serve many roles,” said Mike Suffredini, International Space Station program manager. “With its permanent human presence, it will serve as a foothold for long-term exploration into space, being an integral part of testing human endurance, equipment reliability and processes essential for space exploration.”
Since the Expedition 1 crew arrived at the station, humans have continuously occupied the orbiting laboratory. More than 196 people have visited the complex, and by the exact time of the anniversary (5:21 a.m., Nov. 2, 2000), the station will have completed 57,361 orbits of the Earth, traveling some 1.5 billion miles.
Representatives of the five international agencies that built and operate the station have agreed in principle to continuing its use for another decade. The governments of the 15 participating nations in the station partnership are in the process of formally endorsing that plan.
More than 600 different research and technology development experiments have been conducted on the station, many of which are producing advances in medicine, recycling systems and a fundamental understanding of the universe.
In addition to the crew news conference, NASA is updating the content of the International Space Station section of its website in recognition of the 10th anniversary. The update supports the on-going transition from station assembly to utilization. The website now will focus on the research in the unique microgravity environment of low-Earth orbit.
The updated section ofthe NASA website incorporates an improved organization system to help visitors find what they are looking for with regard to research and technology development, crews and expeditions, international cooperation and the new capabilities of the station as a U.S. national laboratory.
The new space station section also provides better linkages with social media applications, including a new International Space Station Program scientist blog, and Twitter accounts for astronauts aboard the station and the National Laboratory. For more information, visit: http://www.nasa.gov/station.
Julie Robinson, space station program scientist, is sponsoring an inside look at how research is conducted on the station through a new blog. The blog will bring to the public the stories of the researchers and their discoveries as they unfold.
For the new program scientist blog, visit: http://go.usa.gov/atI
There are a handful of Twitter accounts for the program as well:
- Station science: @ISS_Research
- National laboratory activities: @ISS_NatLab
- Updates from Expedition 25 astronauts Wheelock and Kelly: @Astro_Wheels and @StationCDRKelly
For NASA TV downlink, schedule and streaming video information, visit: http://www.nasa.gov/ntv .
With all of that – consider yourself properly INFOtained !