The Response to the Launch of Sputnik 1

 

Monday was the 65th anniversary of the launch of the first satellite, Sputnik 1.

It has been called the “shock of the century.” This shock grew over the next few days and was a major crisis for the Eisenhower Administration. For the people working on the Minitrack tracking system of Project Vanguard, there was the problem that it was set up to track satellite signals at the International Geophysical Year approved frequency of 108 MHz. Sputnik sent out signals at 20 and 40 MHz. Thus, the Mintrack system needed to be modified ASAP. Marty Votaw worked for my father on this. He recalled in 2008:

The Vanguard program was run on paid overtime from the beginning of the program. On Wednesday [October 2nd, 1957] at work, a memo came out that said there will be no paid overtime after Friday. And I thought “Phew!” we are going to get some time off.  And Friday came, I went home from work tired, and, we had company that night, I sat down to dinner and the phone rang.  And Roger [Easton] says, “They launched Sputnik.” And I said, “Good, now we know what can be done.” He said, “You don’t understand; we’ve got to track it.”  And I said, “Can I eat supper first?”  He said, “Well, yeah, but come back right afterwards.”

And we worked the next three days without going home. We would go to Blossom Point [where the nearest Minitrack station was located],  we made 40 MHz antennas, we had to set up new antennas for each of the mini-track sites, just a di-pole in each one, and we had to run the cables, and these things are a 100 yards apart, or something, and they had just plowed the fields to get rid of the weeds and it had rained and it was mud and we would go out and work and get these cables laid and get the antennas stuck in the ground and we would get tired and somebody would bring us food and we would eat and we would go back and work some more. Then, we would get tired. We would come back and take our jackets off and roll them up for pillows laid down on the floor of the trailer or the house, or whatever it was, and we would sleep a while. And after three or four hours we would wake up, put our coats on again, and go out and do some more.

And we finally got antennas hooked up and Vick Symus, he was the receiver specialist, so he had to take a mini-track receiver and he had put in a multiplier to get the 40 MHz up to 108. So he got that done, so we had receivers ready, and we began tracking the signal as it came over. And we would get these long strip charts and Roger would say, “Come, on. Let’s take them to the computing place.”  IBM had set up a special computer center and we would go and knock on the door and they wouldn’t let us in, but they would take the records. As I remember, we did that for two weeks.

And, after three days, we got to go home and take a shower and then we went back to work. So, we were working hard throughout the program and there was never any unpaid overtime. The Sputnik launch overtook the memo. So, the stories about a space race, arrived in the newspapers and it was not generated by anybody at NRL. It was not supported by anyone at NRL. NRL’s responses were always based on the program inside and they were always full speed ahead. So, the space race is not a subject that fits into an NRL discussion. Period.

Minitrack.

Marty Votaw (L) and Roger Easton (R) examining Vanguard TV-3 in 2008.

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  1. Gary McVey Contributor
    Gary McVey
    @GaryMcVey

    This is a strange case of an event that shocked the nation but didn’t surprise a relative handful of knowledgeable insiders, who knew that the USSR had claimed that they’d launch a satellite during the IGY. It wasn’t exactly a secret, but few members of the public paid any attention to the clues until the Sputnik launch. 

    • #1
  2. Jimmy Carter Member
    Jimmy Carter
    @JimmyCarter

    Soviet Space Shuttle Kazakhstan

    I just think it’s a cool picture.

    • #2
  3. kedavis Coolidge
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    Jimmy Carter (View Comment):

    Soviet Space Shuttle Kazakhstan

    I just think it’s a cool picture.

    Looks kinda small compared to ours.  How far did they get with it?

    • #3
  4. Bartholomew Xerxes Ogilvie, Jr. Coolidge
    Bartholomew Xerxes Ogilvie, Jr.
    @BartholomewXerxesOgilvieJr

    Wow … I like to think I know a good bit about the history of the space program, and yet I always thought Sputnik was a complete bolt out of the blue. The idea that your father could just say “They launched Sputnik,” and expect that anyone would know what he was talking about, is a surprise. I guess this was one of those things where you just can’t get people to pay attention until they have to.

    • #4
  5. Douglas Pratt Coolidge
    Douglas Pratt
    @DouglasPratt

    There’s a great story in Ambassadors from Earth about Dr. Van Allen, in the south Pacific on a ship trying to launch rockets into the ionosphere, being called to the radio shack to hear the strange beeping. He timed the radioman re-tuning to keep the signal audible and calculated the Doppler shift to prove that the thing was in orbit.

    (If you want to listen to Ambassadors from Earth, or Eisenhower’s Sputnik Moment, or GPS Declassified,  PM me for a promo code.)

    • #5
  6. Gary McVey Contributor
    Gary McVey
    @GaryMcVey

    kedavis (View Comment):

    Jimmy Carter (View Comment):

    Soviet Space Shuttle Kazakhstan

    I just think it’s a cool picture.

    Looks kinda small compared to ours. How far did they get with it?

    Buran (snowstorm) made one unmanned orbital flight. Although it looked very much like ours, it had some interesting differences. It could land itself; it had jet engines that allowed it to maneuver to a landing, whereas ours was a pure glider.  

    • #6
  7. Hang On Member
    Hang On
    @HangOn

    Jimmy Carter (View Comment):

    Soviet Space Shuttle Kazakhstan

    I just think it’s a cool picture.

    Bald and Bankrupt is a blogger who broke into this facility and got caught. Here’s his video.

     

    • #7
  8. Bishop Wash Member
    Bishop Wash
    @BishopWash

    Richard Easton: We would go to Blossom Point [where the nearest Minitrack station was located],

    I think Blossom Point is still a satellite control center for the Navy. At least it was ten years ago when I was working with Air Force R&D satellites. Another team in the office was working with Blossom Point to transfer control of a satellite between us and them. 

    • #8
  9. Richard Easton Coolidge
    Richard Easton
    @RichardEaston

    Here are slides from a 2007 talk my father gave at the Linda Hall Library in Kansas City.

    https://www.cis.rit.edu/people/faculty/easton/Vanguard/Easton_at_Linda_Hall_Library.pdf

    • #9
  10. Columbo Member
    Columbo
    @Columbo

     

     

    • #10
  11. John Stanley Coolidge
    John Stanley
    @JohnStanley

    There was a large benefit to the USSR launching the first satellite, by putting up the first orbiting satellite, you waive any objections to other orbiting satellites.   Eisenhower had been planning, for years, of placing satellites in orbit to study and record the USSR, but worried if the USSR would object.  Sputnik open the door to “over-flight” for the USA, which the USA would take advantage of, in the upcoming years.

    • #11
  12. OccupantCDN Coolidge
    OccupantCDN
    @OccupantCDN

    Hang On (View Comment):

    Jimmy Carter (View Comment):

    Soviet Space Shuttle Kazakhstan

    I just think it’s a cool picture.

    Bald and Bankrupt is a blogger who broke into this facility and got caught. Here’s his video.

     

    Its sad that none of this exists any more.

    I think this is the building that roof collapsed and destroyed the orbiter.

    • #12
  13. kedavis Coolidge
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    OccupantCDN (View Comment):

    Hang On (View Comment):

    Jimmy Carter (View Comment):

    Soviet Space Shuttle Kazakhstan

    I just think it’s a cool picture.

    Bald and Bankrupt is a blogger who broke into this facility and got caught. Here’s his video.

     

    Its sad that none of this exists any more.

    I think this is the building that roof collapsed and destroyed the orbiter.

    And in expected Russian/Soviet fashion, they only built one?

    • #13
  14. Hang On Member
    Hang On
    @HangOn

    OccupantCDN (View Comment):

    Hang On (View Comment):

    Jimmy Carter (View Comment):

    Soviet Space Shuttle Kazakhstan

    I just think it’s a cool picture.

    Bald and Bankrupt is a blogger who broke into this facility and got caught. Here’s his video.

     

    Its sad that none of this exists any more.

    I think this is the building that roof collapsed and destroyed the orbiter.

    It exists. It’s not functional and never will be again. Watch the video and you can see the state of the building and the roof. 

    • #14
  15. Gary McVey Contributor
    Gary McVey
    @GaryMcVey

    kedavis (View Comment):

    OccupantCDN (View Comment):

    Hang On (View Comment):

    Jimmy Carter (View Comment):

    Soviet Space Shuttle Kazakhstan

    I just think it’s a cool picture.

    Bald and Bankrupt is a blogger who broke into this facility and got caught. Here’s his video.

     

    Its sad that none of this exists any more.

    I think this is the building that roof collapsed and destroyed the orbiter.

    And in expected Russian/Soviet fashion, they only built one?

    They built two, but the second one was not finished, not outfitted with the internal systems it needed to fly because the program ended. IMHO, and that of others, we should have done what they did–stick to expendable rockets for human space travel, and build only one or two orbiters as experimental craft. We would have found out early that the technology was barely adequate, and not give the Shuttle a monopoly on space travel. 

    If it wasn’t for the need to put everything on the Shuttle, including armed forces payloads, we wouldn’t have needed to build it large enough for Keyhole spy satellites. A smaller, lighter orbiter wouldn’t have been as expensive or dangerous to launch. 

    • #15
  16. kedavis Coolidge
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    Gary McVey (View Comment):

    kedavis (View Comment):

    OccupantCDN (View Comment):

    Hang On (View Comment):

    Jimmy Carter (View Comment):

    Soviet Space Shuttle Kazakhstan

    I just think it’s a cool picture.

    Bald and Bankrupt is a blogger who broke into this facility and got caught. Here’s his video.

     

    Its sad that none of this exists any more.

    I think this is the building that roof collapsed and destroyed the orbiter.

    And in expected Russian/Soviet fashion, they only built one?

    They built two, but the second one was not finished, not outfitted with the internal systems it needed to fly because the program ended. IMHO, and that of others, we should have done what they did–stick to expendable rockets for human space travel, and build only one or two orbiters as experimental craft. We would have found out early that the technology was barely adequate, and not give the Shuttle a monopoly on space travel.

    If it wasn’t for the need to put everything on the Shuttle, including armed forces payloads, we wouldn’t have needed to build it large enough for Keyhole spy satellites. A smaller, lighter orbiter wouldn’t have been as expensive or dangerous to launch.

    Maybe, but assuming for the sake of calculations that a smaller “shuttle” could lift only half as much payload, if it costs anything more than half as much to launch, or if you can’t launch them at least twice as often -allowing for time to prepare launch facilities for the next one, etc – or if you need an increased number of qualified crews etc, your total launch capacity is still reduced, and possibly at higher total cost as well.

    • #16
  17. OccupantCDN Coolidge
    OccupantCDN
    @OccupantCDN

    Gary McVey (View Comment):

    They built two, but the second one was not finished, not outfitted with the internal systems it needed to fly because the program ended. IMHO, and that of others, we should have done what they did–stick to expendable rockets for human space travel, and build only one or two orbiters as experimental craft. We would have found out early that the technology was barely adequate, and not give the Shuttle a monopoly on space travel. 

    If it wasn’t for the need to put everything on the Shuttle, including armed forces payloads, we wouldn’t have needed to build it large enough for Keyhole spy satellites. A smaller, lighter orbiter wouldn’t have been as expensive or dangerous to launch. 

    The Shuttle program as originally envisioned used the Saturn V first stage, the soviets went with this concept because they didnt have enough experience with solid rockets. The result was the Zenit launch system that became SeaLaunch and the Vulkan Booster.

    The HL 42 (a 42% upscale of the HL 20) could have fit this bill quite nicely, and some development work was done on this after the Challenger accident. Which eventually became the Dreamchaser project and the X 37. The Russians and the ESA cooperated on a similar project called Kliper – which was also would have been a great replacement for the Soyuz.

    What I wished the shuttle had been:

    1. using a reusable elongated (for a longer burn time) Saturn V booster… I imagine the booster skipping off the atmosphere and landing on a runway in Australia. The space shuttle’s external fuel tank was aimed to land in the Indian Ocean – so a recovery in Australia would not have been an outlandish stretch.
    2. An ejectable hardened crew cabin for launch – maybe not the entire crew cabin – but the flight deck and passanger deck – where astronauts would be seated during launch…The Challenger astronauts survived the explosion – had they been in an escape pod – they could have survived the accident.
    3. The shuttle launched as dead weight – like the Soviet version – it should not fire its smaller engines until after booster separation. This would make the orbiter lighter, simpler and cheaper.

     

    • #17
  18. OccupantCDN Coolidge
    OccupantCDN
    @OccupantCDN

    kedavis (View Comment):
    Maybe, but assuming for the sake of calculations that a smaller “shuttle” could lift only half as much payload, if it costs anything more than half as much to launch, or if you can’t launch them at least twice as often -allowing for time to prepare launch facilities for the next one, etc – or if you need an increased number of qualified crews etc, your total launch capacity is still reduced, and possibly at higher total cost as well.

    Most proposals for smaller space planes have no cargo bay at all. Only a crew cabin… Typically launching 6 – 12 astronauts. Like SpaceX, the Falcon booster is used to get Dragon to the ISS or satellites into orbit. It becomes a flexable launch system with a higher flight rate (to lower costs) if you can use common boosters for either purpose. 

    • #18
  19. kedavis Coolidge
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    OccupantCDN (View Comment):

    kedavis (View Comment):
    Maybe, but assuming for the sake of calculations that a smaller “shuttle” could lift only half as much payload, if it costs anything more than half as much to launch, or if you can’t launch them at least twice as often -allowing for time to prepare launch facilities for the next one, etc – or if you need an increased number of qualified crews etc, your total launch capacity is still reduced, and possibly at higher total cost as well.

    Most proposals for smaller space planes have no cargo bay at all. Only a crew cabin… Typically launching 6 – 12 astronauts. Like SpaceX, the Falcon booster is used to get Dragon to the ISS or satellites into orbit. It becomes a flexable launch system with a higher flight rate (to lower costs) if you can use common boosters for either purpose.

    Hmm, but what are 6 to 12 astronauts supposed to DO up there, if they didn’t bring any cargo: experiments, etc.

    • #19
  20. OccupantCDN Coolidge
    OccupantCDN
    @OccupantCDN

    kedavis (View Comment):

    OccupantCDN (View Comment):

    kedavis (View Comment):
    Maybe, but assuming for the sake of calculations that a smaller “shuttle” could lift only half as much payload, if it costs anything more than half as much to launch, or if you can’t launch them at least twice as often -allowing for time to prepare launch facilities for the next one, etc – or if you need an increased number of qualified crews etc, your total launch capacity is still reduced, and possibly at higher total cost as well.

    Most proposals for smaller space planes have no cargo bay at all. Only a crew cabin… Typically launching 6 – 12 astronauts. Like SpaceX, the Falcon booster is used to get Dragon to the ISS or satellites into orbit. It becomes a flexable launch system with a higher flight rate (to lower costs) if you can use common boosters for either purpose.

    Hmm, but what are 6 to 12 astronauts supposed to DO up there, if they didn’t bring any cargo: experiments, etc.

    They’d travel to the ISS or its replacement station.. Where experiments and equipment would be waiting…

    These projects are designed in support of space station operations…

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HL-42_(spacecraft)

    • #20
  21. kedavis Coolidge
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    OccupantCDN (View Comment):

    kedavis (View Comment):

    OccupantCDN (View Comment):

    kedavis (View Comment):
    Maybe, but assuming for the sake of calculations that a smaller “shuttle” could lift only half as much payload, if it costs anything more than half as much to launch, or if you can’t launch them at least twice as often -allowing for time to prepare launch facilities for the next one, etc – or if you need an increased number of qualified crews etc, your total launch capacity is still reduced, and possibly at higher total cost as well.

    Most proposals for smaller space planes have no cargo bay at all. Only a crew cabin… Typically launching 6 – 12 astronauts. Like SpaceX, the Falcon booster is used to get Dragon to the ISS or satellites into orbit. It becomes a flexable launch system with a higher flight rate (to lower costs) if you can use common boosters for either purpose.

    Hmm, but what are 6 to 12 astronauts supposed to DO up there, if they didn’t bring any cargo: experiments, etc.

    They’d travel to the ISS or its replacement station.. Where experiments and equipment would be waiting…

    These projects are designed in support of space station operations…

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HL-42_(spacecraft)

    So they were going to use a shuttle-replacement system to take crews to and from a space station that was built in large part via the heavier lift capacity of Shuttle launches.  Interesting.

    • #21
  22. Gary McVey Contributor
    Gary McVey
    @GaryMcVey

    kedavis (View Comment):

    OccupantCDN (View Comment):

    kedavis (View Comment):

    OccupantCDN (View Comment):

    kedavis (View Comment):
    Maybe, but assuming for the sake of calculations that a smaller “shuttle” could lift only half as much payload, if it costs anything more than half as much to launch, or if you can’t launch them at least twice as often -allowing for time to prepare launch facilities for the next one, etc – or if you need an increased number of qualified crews etc, your total launch capacity is still reduced, and possibly at higher total cost as well.

    Most proposals for smaller space planes have no cargo bay at all. Only a crew cabin… Typically launching 6 – 12 astronauts. Like SpaceX, the Falcon booster is used to get Dragon to the ISS or satellites into orbit. It becomes a flexable launch system with a higher flight rate (to lower costs) if you can use common boosters for either purpose.

    Hmm, but what are 6 to 12 astronauts supposed to DO up there, if they didn’t bring any cargo: experiments, etc.

    They’d travel to the ISS or its replacement station.. Where experiments and equipment would be waiting…

    These projects are designed in support of space station operations…

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HL-42_(spacecraft)

    So they were going to use a shuttle-replacement system to take crews to and from a space station that was built in large part via the heavier lift capacity of Shuttle launches. Interesting.

    The Russians built MIR without a Shuttle. 

    • #22
  23. kedavis Coolidge
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    Gary McVey (View Comment):

    kedavis (View Comment):

    OccupantCDN (View Comment):

    kedavis (View Comment):

    OccupantCDN (View Comment):

    kedavis (View Comment):
    Maybe, but assuming for the sake of calculations that a smaller “shuttle” could lift only half as much payload, if it costs anything more than half as much to launch, or if you can’t launch them at least twice as often -allowing for time to prepare launch facilities for the next one, etc – or if you need an increased number of qualified crews etc, your total launch capacity is still reduced, and possibly at higher total cost as well.

    Most proposals for smaller space planes have no cargo bay at all. Only a crew cabin… Typically launching 6 – 12 astronauts. Like SpaceX, the Falcon booster is used to get Dragon to the ISS or satellites into orbit. It becomes a flexable launch system with a higher flight rate (to lower costs) if you can use common boosters for either purpose.

    Hmm, but what are 6 to 12 astronauts supposed to DO up there, if they didn’t bring any cargo: experiments, etc.

    They’d travel to the ISS or its replacement station.. Where experiments and equipment would be waiting…

    These projects are designed in support of space station operations…

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HL-42_(spacecraft)

    So they were going to use a shuttle-replacement system to take crews to and from a space station that was built in large part via the heavier lift capacity of Shuttle launches. Interesting.

    The Russians built MIR without a Shuttle.

    Yes, and we did Skylab without a shuttle.  So what?  The ISS is already nearly 3 times the mass of Mir – 6 times that of Skylab – and can be further expanded.

    • #23
  24. OccupantCDN Coolidge
    OccupantCDN
    @OccupantCDN

    kedavis (View Comment):
    Yes, and we did Skylab without a shuttle.  So what?  The ISS is already nearly 3 times the mass of Mir – 6 times that of Skylab – and can be further expanded.

    Yes, but if the Russians take back their modules in 2024, the ISS is royally screwed.

    Considering how long it takes NASA to actually build something and fly it – there will not be a western space station for more than a decade… Maybe this could be a healthy thing, as the budget the ISS eats could be directed to the moon or Mars projects.

    • #24
  25. kedavis Coolidge
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    OccupantCDN (View Comment):

    kedavis (View Comment):
    Yes, and we did Skylab without a shuttle. So what? The ISS is already nearly 3 times the mass of Mir – 6 times that of Skylab – and can be further expanded.

    Yes, but if the Russians take back their modules in 2024, the ISS is royally screwed.

    Considering how long it takes NASA to actually build something and fly it – there will not be a western space station for more than a decade… Maybe this could be a healthy thing, as the budget the ISS eats could be directed to the moon or Mars projects.

    Well yes, but that seems to support my position more than the opposite, which seems to include Gary McVey.  Even without some need to replace much of the ISS, but especially with it, we’re going to need more heavy-lift capacity than we have now, not just some kind of passenger plane.

    I haven’t looked into it, is there some contract that allows the Russians to take back their modules in 2024?  If there was a contract, but the contract was with the Soviet Union, maybe it’s moot now.

    • #25
  26. OccupantCDN Coolidge
    OccupantCDN
    @OccupantCDN

    kedavis (View Comment):

    OccupantCDN (View Comment):

    kedavis (View Comment):
    Yes, and we did Skylab without a shuttle. So what? The ISS is already nearly 3 times the mass of Mir – 6 times that of Skylab – and can be further expanded.

    Yes, but if the Russians take back their modules in 2024, the ISS is royally screwed.

    Considering how long it takes NASA to actually build something and fly it – there will not be a western space station for more than a decade… Maybe this could be a healthy thing, as the budget the ISS eats could be directed to the moon or Mars projects.

    Well yes, but that seems to support my position more than the opposite, which seems to include Gary McVey. Even without some need to replace much of the ISS, but especially with it, we’re going to need more heavy-lift capacity than we have now, not just some kind of passenger plane.

    I haven’t looked into it, is there some contract that allows the Russians to take back their modules in 2024? If there was a contract, but the contract was with the Soviet Union, maybe it’s moot now.

    No the ISS was built after the collapse of the Soviet Union.

    The cooperation agreement between Roscosmos, ESA and NASA ends in 2024. The Russians have stated they want to take their modules back to become the building blocks of their next space station.

    Heavy lift capabilities will exist, between SLS, Falcon Heavy, Starship and New Glenn. The capacity to get a 20 ton module into orbit will exist. The problem is building that module. SLS has been in development for 20 years, and still has not flown. NASA seems to have lost the capability to oversee contractors and integrate subsystems into a predetermined design.

    The exciting part of Russia leaving the ISS, would be that the replacement spacestation could perhaps be moved into a lower inclination orbit – meaning that rockets launched from Kennedy could deliver higher payloads than to the ISS.

    • #26
  27. kedavis Coolidge
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    OccupantCDN (View Comment):

    kedavis (View Comment):

    OccupantCDN (View Comment):

    kedavis (View Comment):
    Yes, and we did Skylab without a shuttle. So what? The ISS is already nearly 3 times the mass of Mir – 6 times that of Skylab – and can be further expanded.

    Yes, but if the Russians take back their modules in 2024, the ISS is royally screwed.

    Considering how long it takes NASA to actually build something and fly it – there will not be a western space station for more than a decade… Maybe this could be a healthy thing, as the budget the ISS eats could be directed to the moon or Mars projects.

    Well yes, but that seems to support my position more than the opposite, which seems to include Gary McVey. Even without some need to replace much of the ISS, but especially with it, we’re going to need more heavy-lift capacity than we have now, not just some kind of passenger plane.

    I haven’t looked into it, is there some contract that allows the Russians to take back their modules in 2024? If there was a contract, but the contract was with the Soviet Union, maybe it’s moot now.

    No the ISS was built after the collapse of the Soviet Union.

    The cooperation agreement between Roscosmos, ESA and NASA ends in 2024. The Russians have stated they want to take their modules back to become the building blocks of their next space station.

    Heavy lift capabilities will exist, between SLS, Falcon Heavy, Starship and New Glenn. The capacity to get a 20 ton module into orbit will exist. The problem is building that module. SLS has been in development for 20 years, and still has not flown. NASA seems to have lost the capability to oversee contractors and integrate subsystems into a predetermined design.

    The exciting part of Russia leaving the ISS, would be that the replacement spacestation could perhaps be moved into a lower inclination orbit – meaning that rockets launched from Kennedy could deliver higher payloads than to the ISS.

    I was thinking, the main advantage to “losing” the Russian ISS modules is that, from what I’ve read, theirs have been the most problematic.  Among other things, I remember reading something about problems with replacing bad batteries because some Russian idiots had welded steel bars in place OVER them.

    • #27
  28. Sisyphus Member
    Sisyphus
    @Sisyphus

    kedavis (View Comment):

    I was thinking, the main advantage to “losing” the Russian ISS modules is that, from what I’ve read, theirs have been the most problematic.  Among other things, I remember reading something about problems with replacing bad batteries because some Russian idiots had welded steel bars in place OVER them.

    Thieves. They are sneaky, they are.

    • #28
  29. kedavis Coolidge
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    Sisyphus (View Comment):

    kedavis (View Comment):

    I was thinking, the main advantage to “losing” the Russian ISS modules is that, from what I’ve read, theirs have been the most problematic. Among other things, I remember reading something about problems with replacing bad batteries because some Russian idiots had welded steel bars in place OVER them.

    Thieves. They are sneaky, they are.

    Well I used to see open covers and missing batteries for night-time lighting at bus shelters in Phoenix, but I wouldn’t think you’d get much of that in orbit.

    Meanwhile, it might also be entertaining to see the Russians build a 100%-Russian space station and all the problems they end up having because of that kind of work.  Who knows, maybe their cosmonauts will all suffocate because someone sold their oxygen supply on the black market to build another Black Sea mansion.

    • #29
  30. OccupantCDN Coolidge
    OccupantCDN
    @OccupantCDN

    kedavis (View Comment):
    I was thinking, the main advantage to “losing” the Russian ISS modules is that, from what I’ve read, theirs have been the most problematic.  Among other things, I remember reading something about problems with replacing bad batteries because some Russian idiots had welded steel bars in place OVER them.

    Yes, they’re products of the Russian industrial complex and have quality control issues involved in their construction.

    The downside is that the Russian modules form the back bone of the ISS.

    Zvezda (DOS-8) is the core service module and Zarya (Functional Cargo Block) … Zarya was the first module launched, and flew independently for 2 years waiting for Zvezda to be completed.

    NASA couldnt replace these modules in 10 years – let alone in 2. 

    • #30
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