NASA engineers are in the process of making some changes to the International Space Station. Because of the successes currently being enjoyed by Boeing and SpaceX in the arena of low-Earth orbit travel, it will not be long before U.S. astronauts will be traveling to the ISS aboard US vessels from US soil. To put this in perspective, the last time NASA sent an American astronaut to the ISS aboard an American vessel was 2011 on the space shuttle Atlantis. Since then, NASA has scuttled the space shuttle program and has been relying on Russian Soyuz rockets to get staff and supplies up to the ISS.
Astronauts and engineers will unbolt and detach a large multipurpose module from one section of the space station and move it to another. This will make way for the conversion of that area into a new primary docking port for US commercial crew spacecraft. The relocation of the multipurpose module is scheduled to take place from May 26 – May 28, with the finalization of the new crew berthing sites being completed later this year. SpaceX will send their seventh Dragon spacecraft to the station with the new adapters the conversion, along with new science experiments and cargo.
This is an important development for the American space program, as tensions with Russia continue to be a concern for NASA. It was not too long ago that NASA told its staff to stop cooperating with the Russians because of Russia’s actions in Ukraine. This led to a series of semi-heated exchanges that seemed to politicize space travel and the International Space Station. With these new developments, NASA will no long need to rely on Russian rockets to transport American astronauts to and from the space station.
With any luck, this will bring the American manned space program back from the brink. This may inspire a new generation of children to look at the stars with the same longing and wonder their parents and grandparents had watching the Apollo and Gemini missions.
Born and raised in Orange County, I’m Just your average guy with delusions of grandeur. Part time poet and full time geek, my interest run the gamut from video games and sci fi movies to newly emerging tech and various Cons.