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The International Space Station is a phenomenal laboratory, an unparalleled test bed for new invention and discovery. Yet I often thought, while silently gazing out the window at Earth, that the actual legacy of humanity's attempts to step into space will be a better understanding of our current planet and how to take care of it.
If the United States commits to the goal of reaching Mars, it will almost certainly do so in reaction to the progress of other nations - as was the case with NASA, the Apollo program, and the project that became the International Space Station.
Neil deGrasse Tyson
NASA will send up a big sun shade that will be in orbit between the earth and sun and deflect 2 or 3 percent of the sunshine back into space. It would be cheaper than the international space station.
The Environmental Control and Life Support System (ECLSS), which controls the living environment on shuttles and on the International Space Station, doesn't have the luxury of disposal: discharging trash into space has long been judged a bad idea.
Canada has made a strong commitment as a partner in the International Space Station and, like the other partners, wishes to see the assembly of this unique orbiting laboratory continue.
Through these ongoing activities and possibly in the future, a Canadian will go live and work on the International Space Station and we will continue to make Canadians proud of our achievements in space.
I'm a fully trained cosmonaut and have completed 800 hours training, which has made me the No. 1 civilian reserve ready to visit the International Space Station. I am determined to go up, and I want to explore the Moon, Mars and beyond!
I feel privileged and honored to have flown. It's been a tremendous ride, looking back on the legacy and accomplishments, like the Hubble telescope and the launching of the International Space Station in 1998.
Alan G. Poindexter
I think both the space shuttle program and the International Space Station program have not really lived up to their expectations.
Manned spaceflight has lost its glamour - understandably so, because it hardly seems inspiring, 40 years after Apollo, for astronauts merely to circle the Earth in the space shuttle and the International Space Station.
There is a project that's underway called the interplanetary Internet. It's in operation between Earth and Mars. It's operating on the International Space Station. It's part of the spacecraft that's in orbit around the Sun that's rendezvoused with two planets.
Finally my dream came true in that there was a possibility that I could travel to the International Space Station. I've gone through the medicals and the training and now I'm officially, by the Russian Space Federation, a cosmonaut in training.
After the Shuttle checks out on its two upcoming flights, it will be ready to take larger components up to the International Space Station later this fall.
I think the crux of the matter was that if we were going to become partners in, for example, the International Space Station, we had to gain the respect of a country like the United States and particularly its space organization, NASA.
Our goal is to tell people about the International Space Station. I think very rarely people look up 250 miles and think, What are those guys working on, what are those men and women doing at this moment... They're living and doing regular things, but also doing incredible work as well. We really want to bring that to people.
When you talk to crews that went to Mir or have gone up to International Space Station, they say that you go through different phases of adaptation or getting used to the space environment.
When the International Space Station is finally launched, it will be fitted with special nickel-hydrogen batteries weighing a total of several tons, with a lifetime of just five years, requiring spares to be brought up from Earth at literally astronomical expense.
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