Russia rejects a proposal by the US to continue doing research on the ISS.
NASA began sending a call out this week for a ‘research push’ after Russia’s deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin announced that Moscow will decline a U.S. proposal to extend International Space Station operations from 2020 to 2024.
His statement came as a reply to U.S. sanctions against Russia when the Crimean Peninsula was annexed. Rogozin commented about the sanctions on his Twitter account earlier this year, saying, “After analyzing the sanctions against our space industry, I suggest to the USA to bring their astronauts to the International Space Station using a trampoline.”
With politics cutting the life of the ISS science program short, NASA scientists plan to entice academics into getting their experiments lined up now. This might be their only chance to alter one of the greatest and most obstinate variables on earth: gravity. Many scientists believe a majority of the experiments done in the world, from antibiotic efficacy to ocean wind monitoring, may have potentially different outcomes, which will increase the understanding of what is occurring down here.
“People will come and do one to two experiments in space,” said Julie Robinson, NASA’s space-station research chief at the Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas, “and continue to do work in their lab for another 30 years to understand that insight.”
In order to accommodate the research push, facilities have been added in hopes to welcome more diverse research. In August, a supply run will be launched, carrying the largest ever rodent habitat sent into space – with a capacity of 40 mice – to be monitored for long-duration spaceflight. The data from this experiment will likely be extrapolated to predict long-duration spaceflight for humans.
Another series of experiments called geneLab will send model organisms like fruit flies and nematodes into space for several months to examine physiological functions in orbit and in their descent back to earth.
Since the first module was launched 1998, over 1,600 scientists from 69 countries have collaborated on experiments together. Many are upset over this discontinuation but with the clashes of nations creating dire situations across the world, scientists are working together to produce cooperation many have never seen. “There’s never been anything like it,” says Julie Robinson, “It’s like a university, all together with all the disciplines — I don’t know if we’ll see that again.”