Flight to the ISS from 2022 will take two hours

(ORDO NEWS) — RSC Energia plans to implement a single-orbit flight to the ISS in 2022, which will take only 2 hours.

The timing of deorbiting the ISS and the work plan for its flooding will be decided by all 14 countries participating in the project. The International Astronomical Union has created a “Center for the Protection of Dark and Quiet Sky” from interference from satellite networks.

Getting Crowded in Low Earth Orbits

Until 2018, the flight to the ISS took two days. Although the height of the station is only 400 km, you cannot fly to it in a straight line. The ship went into near-Earth orbit and made 34 orbits, gradually approaching the ISS orbit. Without haste.

In recent years, ships have switched to a four-turn regime – it takes 6 hours. This is how the Craw Dragon, a SpaceX spacecraft, flies to the ISS. PKK Energia announced the transition to an even shorter one-turn flight mode – it will take about 2 hours.

This requires a very high accuracy of calculation and control of the ship. But according to RSC Energia ballistics experts, it will be possible to implement a single-turn rendezvous scheme as early as 2022.

The ISS is the size of a football field. And whenever a decision is made to flood it, the process will be very complicated and expensive. RSC Energia writes : “The question of the life of the station and, accordingly, the timing of its flooding is determined at the government level of the partner countries under the ISS program… objects.”

Today, the operation of the station has been extended until September 2024. The deadline has been agreed with 14 countries participating in the project, the USA, Japan, Canada and the European Space Agency, which includes Belgium, Germany, Denmark, Spain, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, France, Switzerland and Sweden. But it is highly likely that the service life will be extended until 2028 or 2030.

The International Astronomical Union (IAU) has created the “Center for the Protection of Dark and Quiet Sky from Satellite Interference”. Piero Benvenuti, Secretary General of the IAU and director of the new center, saysthat satellite networks pose a real threat to astronomy.

From the light pollution of modern cities, you can hide in the mountains or in the desert. But it is impossible to hide from the brilliance of near-Earth satellites. Benvenuti plans to bring together astronomers, satellite network operators and regulators to reduce the influence of satellites on observations. Today, there are already thousands of satellites in Earth orbits.

Soon there will be tens of thousands. Starlink satellites are especially disturbing to astronomers, they are located in low orbits – about 500 km. OneWeb satellites are about twice as high. But SpaceX is listening to astronomers and is developing special coatings on satellites to reduce their reflectivity.

You can, of course, send all astronomers to the moon. The sky is clear there. But apparently, this is also not for long. Startup Quantum Space plans to join NASA‘s Artemis lunar exploration program.

Quantum Space proposes to build a fleet of automated spacecraft that will be able to perform a variety of tasks near the Earth’s satellite. In particular, Quantum Space plans to offer its services in the implementation of the LunaNet communication system.

In the meantime, the sky is still relatively clear, and the ISS is still flying, you can look at it directly from the Earth. This can be done without any optical instruments.

The ISS reflects sunlight, and the best time to see it is either before dawn or after sunset. At this time of day, the sky is dark, and the ISS is illuminated by the Sun.

NASA has an app that lets you determine when you can see a station close to home. And you can see it from almost anywhere in the world. At least from Balashikha , at least from Cape Town .

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