Space station mission has changed

Jul 11, 2006

It's been 22 years since U.S. President Ronald Reagan proposed building the International Space Station, but its mission has since radically changed.

Initially the ISS was conceived as a laboratory for developing medicines and experimenting with a wide variety of substances, The Washington Post reported Monday.

Today, while only half finished, the station's primary mission has been shifted by President George W. Bush to support his plan of sending astronauts to the moon, Mars and beyond.

"As it was originally planned, the space station would be a facility for all users," Donald Thomas, NASA's space station program scientist, told the Post. He said any researcher with an interesting experiment would have been welcomed aboard the ISS.

Today, said Thomas, the ISS is being used to study such problems as how to keep kidney stones -- as well as bone and muscle loss -- from developing in astronauts and why astronauts' immune systems deteriorate while they are in space.

And experiments planned at the ISS include learning how to control bowling-ball-sized satellites that might be used in space missions.

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

Explore further: Start of dwarf planet mission delayed after small mix-up

Related Stories

Nepal quake: Nearly 1,400 dead, Everest shaken (Update)

1 hour ago

Tens of thousands of people were spending the night in the open under a chilly and thunderous sky after a powerful earthquake devastated Nepal on Saturday, killing nearly 1,400, collapsing modern houses and ...

Russian hackers read Obama emails, report says

1 hour ago

Emails to and from President Barack Obama were read by Russian hackers last year in a breach of the White House's unclassified computer system, The New York Times said Saturday.

Supermarkets welcome cold-comfort edge of F1 aerofoils

6 hours ago

UK-based Williams Advanced Engineering, the technology and engineering services business of the Williams Group, has collaborated with UK-based Aerofoil Energy to develop an aerodynamic device that can reduce ...

Public boarding school—the way to solve educational ills?

9 hours ago

Buffalo's chronically struggling school system is considering an idea gaining momentum in other cities: public boarding schools that put round-the-clock attention on students and away from such daunting problems as poverty, ...

Recommended for you

Can sound help us detect 'earthquakes' on Venus?

Apr 23, 2015

Detecting an "earthquake" on Venus would seem to be an impossible task. The planet's surface is a hostile zone of crushing pressure and scorching temperatures—about 874 degrees F, hot enough to melt lead—that ...

Titan's atmosphere useful in study of hazy exoplanets

Apr 23, 2015

With more than a thousand confirmed planets outside of our solar system, astronomers are attempting to identify the atmospheres of these distant bodies to determine if they could possibly host life.

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.