Divorce is impossible: why the ISS cannot be divided

Divorce is impossible: why the ISS cannot be divided

What could be the consequences of the “cosmic scandal”.


Recent media information that the depressurization of the ISS could be the handiwork of American astronauts, added fuel to the fire of controversy about the possible termination of its joint operation. Iz.ru studied the probable consequences.

In the name of the ISS (international space station), the word “international” was not accidental. This is really a project that appeared only thanks to the serious work of 14 countries — the US, Russia, Japan, Canada and member States of the European space Agency Belgium, Germany, Denmark, Spain, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, France, Switzerland, Sweden.

Currently, the international space station is one of the most expensive and complex man-made objects created by mankind.

And it’s not the size — the length of the station is just 109 meters, which is less than any modern frigate.

The main station is the possibility of safe stay and functioning of a team of astronauts at the height of more than four hundred kilometers. And it’s not so easy. All objects in orbit, should have sufficient speed to stay on it. Roughly speaking, the station all the time falls to the Ground, but misses due to its great speed. Unfortunately, at the altitude to 1000 km is maintained, albeit very weak, effect of the earth’s atmosphere. Gas particles colliding with the station, gradually slowing down, which leads to a decrease of the orbit.

So from time to time, the station has to raise. “Lift” is not entirely correct. Station with engines docked to it space ships dispersed, which increases the height of the orbit.

You need to understand that the station is alive and working just yet on it are the astronauts. It is almost impossible to preserve for a long time.

At whose expense Banquet

The international space station is very expensive to maintain. While there is no single budget that does not allow to accurately calculate the annual contribution of each party. Besides, most of the deposits of each of the parties introduced no cash, and services, launches spacecraft, replacing equipment and so on. Although indicative costs each party to be calculated.

Only maintenance of the ISS spends about $ 6 billion annually.

The main financial burden falls on the shoulders of the United States. According to 2017 programme for the care and use of ISS from the NASA budget is spent from 3 to 4 billion dollars annually. While ongoing operational costs make up a large part of the money spent than the cost of construction of modules and other station devices, and the training of crews and create space ships.

The European space Association (EKA) costs much less, and make less than a billion dollars annually. The Japanese and the Canadians put the project in monetary terms and even less. Mainly their merit is the creation of a multifunctional experimental module “Kibo” for the us segment and preparation of the main station’s manipulator — a robotic arm Canadarm.