back to article Whoa, humans have been hanging out and doing science stuff in freaking space aboard the ISS for 20 years

The world's space agencies (at least those involved in the International Space Station) popped the Champagne corks this week to celebrate 20 years of continuous human occupation of the orbiting laboratory. It is quite an achievement, although the figure for continuous human presence in orbit might have been even longer if a …

  1. Joe W Silver badge
    Pint

    If we as humankind work together...

    ... the sky is not the limit!

    We should all keep that in mind.

    -------> Now: drinks for all involved!

    Has it really been 20 years? I can remember them assembling this thing, and looking up at the sky with geek friends pointing the ISS out, I can remember the slight uneasy feeling accompaning the deorbit of MIR (will it hit something important or not...)

    1. Version 1.0 Silver badge
      Pint

      Re: If we as humankind work together...

      A drink for you Joe and one for Richard too - a great article, the world is a wonderful place when we all stop being stupid. The ISS was launched back in the days when politicians of all types listened to scientists. :-)

      1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge
        Meh

        Re: If we as humankind work together...

        "the days when politicians of all types listened to scientists."

        ...and funding was passed in Congress by a single, solitary vote.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: ...and funding was passed in Congress by a single, solitary vote.

          Well, you wouldn't want the scientists to get /too/ complacent, would you :-)

          1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

            Re: ...and funding was passed in Congress by a single, solitary vote.

            So nothing to do with making sure that Boeing, Lockheed, Rockwell and their Russian counterparts didn't suffer too much from the end of the cold war?

    2. You aint sin me, roit Silver badge
      Trollface

      Deorbit!

      I remember when Skylab came down, people were selling early warning hats...

  2. Marki Mark
    Mushroom

    STS-27

    Sounds like a very exciting trip. Balls of steel!

    1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      Re: STS-27

      "Balls of steel!"

      Does that come out of the 'nauts personal weight allowance?

  3. Gene Cash Silver badge

    Further viewing

    Scott Manley has a pretty informative discussion of what it took to get ISS to the permanently-habitable stage.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TnNNoVWFHUo

  4. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    So the ISS will be decommissioned in 2030

    What are the plans to replace it ?

    Or are we all just going to accept that we don't have the money to do that and leave space entirely to private entrepreneurs ?

    We reached the Moon because of a pissing contest between two governments. As soon as we got there, we basically turned back and forgot about it.

    We put space stations in orbit and now we can't be arsed to continue that either.

    It's all very nice to have lofty opinions about ourselves, but acts count more than opinions.

    We need a space station for science and experimentation in micro-gravity. If the only one we have left is going to shut down in a decade, we need to start planning its replacement now, because it'll take a decade to get something functional up there again.

    1. ThatOne Silver badge
      Unhappy

      Re: So the ISS will be decommissioned in 2030

      > What are the plans to replace it ?

      The plans are on the same shelf as the Moon bases and similar things.

      More so since now there is the convenient excuse of the private sector: "We don't need the ISS anymore, somebody will eventually build an orbiting amusement park up there". Unless of course the orbit is flooded with broadband satellite fleets first, which seems way more likely.

      We'll have to face it, nowadays if you dream about space, you stream a Star Wars movie. There is neither political nor popular desire to invest in the real thing, no matter the technical advancements or jobs created.

  5. You aint sin me, roit Silver badge
    Joke

    Tow it out to the moon...

    Ready made lunar base!

    1. frankvw

      Re: Tow it out to the moon...

      Getting ISS up to escape velocity without breaking it up and then decelerating it into a lunar orbit is going to be more complicated than building it on-site. Still, kudos for thinking out of the box. :)

  6. JCitizen Bronze badge
    Unhappy

    I remember...

    being extremely angry about having complete ignorance of the existence of the Mir space station, and blaming it on the news media; but most of it was because I not only didn't have the money to buy science magazines anymore, but I didn't have the time to read them either - so I guess it was my fault after all.

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