Why is ISS lifespan only 30 or so years ?

EL PIC

Techno Cat
Dec 21, 2019
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Presently some 22 years old we hear of age related problems. This seems to be a very short useful life span. What is the plan to increase stations lifespan ?
 
May 25, 2021
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The one we have now was modular add ons. Not one solid structure. Kinda like a mix and match. And they say it's a mess inside there.
 
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Wolfshadw

Moderator
Apr 1, 2020
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I'm assuming that most, if not all, of the internal components have been upgraded at sometime over the last 22 years. I know I wouldn't want to be up there using a 22 year old computer. All I could do would be sign on to AOL and maybe play the original DOOM! (j/k).

I think we're dealing with structural integrity more than anything else. At some point, you're just going to have to jettison some of the modules as it would be inefficient to repair them.

Also, let's not forget that 20-30 years in space is an awfully long time to be in such a hostile environment. I think that if we could create some soft of artificial electro-magnetic field to cocoon a future station in, we might be able to stretch it's life-span.

Another thing to remember is how fast technology advances. We may have technology, today, that we never even conceived of 30 years ago. The problem is, there may not be a way to make it compatible with what is currently up there.

-Wolf sends
 
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May 25, 2021
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It was better when a Suttle could go up there and repair / update things.
But of course the Shuttles are old and outdated also. And they were falling apart. Launch and reentry can be very brutal on just about anything.
The bumping and vibration alone can be devastating. That and human error, which was the root cause of us loseing two of them. And the loss of very experienced crews.
 
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EL PIC

Techno Cat
Dec 21, 2019
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It was better when a Suttle could go up there and repair / update things.
But of course the Shuttles are old and outdated also. And they were falling apart. Launch and reentry can be very brutal on just about anything.
The bumping and vibration alone can be devastating. That and human error, which was the root cause of us loseing two of them. And the loss of very experienced crews.
True !
But building a structure with out ability to service repair and maintain is Ludicrous.
Miss the shuttle but they declined to redesign this needed technology. Hubble also misses it and is in the same position as ISS.
Reusability and cost effectiveness should not apply only to rockets and needs to be applied every where.
 
May 14, 2021
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Some ships and aircraft can last upward of 30 years, but they have the ability for refurbishment on a regular time schedule. We don’t have dry dock facilities for ISS. There are a few cars and trucks 30 years old still out there, but that’s rare compared to what was built.
What would be needed for any space station are easily replaceable modules, solar arrays, etc. Make each one completely self contained so they don’t have to run cables and other services through hatch ways defeating the compartmentalization concept for safety.
 
May 25, 2021
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The Shuttle astronauts repaired the Hubble. The Shuttle was like a pickup truck. Pics of inside the ISS show it is very cluttered up. Wires and tubes hanging down and floating around. And the toilets mess up a lot. One astronaut said she was very glad to get out of there.
 
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Dec 3, 2019
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The ISS may be cluttered and 'old' by modern standards but, nevertheless, it remains the largest structure ever built in space. It is an important historical artefact, I believe the current plan is to deorbit the structure into the ocean when it is finally decommissioned but I believe that such important objects such as this and the Hubble should be saved for future generations (Imagine the Egyptians dismantling the Pyramids!). Perhaps a project should be put together to deorbit the structure to the surface of the moon, omething for future tourists to look at.
 
May 14, 2021
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I think so, too. Could become a future museum. But, it’s the tax money that pays for it, and many taxpayers don’t care about space, let alone saving something like the ISS. It’s their money, too.
 
Dec 3, 2021
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I think so, too. Could become a future museum. But, it’s the tax money that pays for it, and many taxpayers don’t care about space, let alone saving something like the ISS. It’s their money, too.
I mean, the two richest people in the world are obsessed with space, I don't think that the finances of it would be too hard.
 

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