Watch the ISS dump 172 pounds of trash into space: The station is getting a new dumpster that shoots trash bags into the final limit for incineration in the atmosphere
- Nanoracks, a Houston-based private space company, has successfully tested new technology to streamline the disposal of space debris
- The waste bin can hold up to 600 pounds of waste in the company’s Bishop Airlock
- Currently, astronauts have to collect garbage and store it in the ISS for months while waiting for the Cygnus cargo vehicle to arrive and transport it away.
- “Four astronauts can generate up to 2,500 kilograms of garbage per year, or about two trash cans per week.”
Disposing of the garbage on the International Space Station just got a lot easier.
Nanoracks, a Houston-based private space company, has successfully tested a new technology that will streamline the process of waste disposal in space.
On July 2, Nanoracks deployed a special waste bin that can hold up to 600 pounds of waste stored in the Bishop airlock.
The waste bag is then released, where it burns up on re-entry into the atmosphere, and the airlock is reassembled empty.
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“Waste collection in space is a long-standing but less publicly discussed challenge aboard the ISS,” Cooper Read, Bishop Airlock program manager at Nanoracks, said in a statement. Pictured is the new Nanoracks technology that dumps trash into space
“This successful test not only demonstrates the future of waste disposal for space stations, but also underscores our ability to use the ISS as a commercial technology testbed, providing crucial insights in preparation for the next phases of the commercial LEO (Low Earth) orbit) -Goals,’ said Dr. Amela Wilson, CEO of Nanocracks, in a statement.
Currently, astronauts have to collect garbage and store it in the ISS for months while waiting for the Cygnus cargo vehicle to arrive and transport it away.
After Cygnus completes its primary mission on the ISS, the astronauts fill the spacecraft with garbage before it is released from orbit by the station – at which point the entire spacecraft will incinerate upon re-entry into Earth’s atmosphere.
The first test of the company’s technology, conducted in partnership with NASA’s Johnson Space Center, found about 172 pounds of trash, including foam and packaging materials, tote bags, soiled crew clothing, various hygiene products and used office supplies.
On July 2, Nanoracks deployed a special waste bin that can hold up to 600 pounds of waste stored in the Bishop airlock. Pictured is the International Space Station
“Four astronauts can generate up to 2,500 kilograms of trash per year, or about two trash cans per week,” notes Nanoracks. Pictured above is the use of the new technology
“Waste collection in space is a long-standing but less publicly discussed challenge aboard the ISS,” Cooper Read, Bishop Airlock program manager at Nanoracks, said in a statement.
“Four astronauts can generate up to 2,500 kilograms of garbage per year, or about two garbage cans per week.
“As we move into a time when more people live and work in space, this is a critical capability, just as it is for everyone at home.”
The new system is based on the flight-proven and successful Nanoracks Cubesat Deployer (NRCSD) and SmallSat (Kaber) Deployers.
The company notes that Bishop provides a platform for proof-of-concept operations, as well as the ability to test subsystems and robotics, expose hardware to the radiation environment, and deploy satellites.
EXPLANATION: THE $100 BILLION International Space Station sits 250 miles above Earth
The International Space Station (ISS) is a $100 billion (£80 billion) scientific and engineering laboratory orbiting 400 km (250 miles) above the Earth.
Since November 2000 it has been constantly manned by changing crews of astronauts and cosmonauts.
The crews came mainly from the USA and Russia, but the Japanese space agency JAXA and the European space agency ESA also sent astronauts.
The International Space Station has been continuously manned for more than 20 years and has been expanded with several new modules and system upgrades
Research conducted aboard the ISS often requires one or more of the unusual conditions found in low Earth orbit, such as: B. low gravity or oxygen.
ISS studies have examined human research, space medicine, life sciences, natural sciences, astronomy, and meteorology.
The US space agency NASA spends about $3 billion (£2.4 billion) annually on the space station program, with the remaining funding coming from international partners including Europe, Russia and Japan.
So far, 244 people from 19 countries have visited the station, including eight private individuals who have spent up to $50 million to visit.
There is an ongoing debate about the station’s future after 2025, when it is believed that part of the original structure will reach “end of life”.
Russia, a key partner of the station, plans to launch its own orbital platform around this time, while Axiom Space, a private company, plans to simultaneously send its own modules to the station for purely commercial purposes.
NASA, ESA, JAXA and the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) are working together to build a space station in orbit around the moon, and Russia and China are working on a similar project that would also include a surface base.