ISS Owner's Manual
February 29, 2012 10:25 AM   Subscribe

The International Space Station is a complex place, with loads of gear packed into its 916 cubic meters of pressurized volume. SpaceRef has an assortment of detailed technical documents describing everything from basic operations to emergency procedures. For a general overview, see the excellent NASA ISS Reference Guide (pdf).
posted by bitmage (12 comments total) 16 users marked this as a favorite
posted by Jofus at 10:30 AM on February 29, 2012

Oh my god.

When I was younger, maybe some time in the early 80s, I had a book called (something like ) The Mars-1 Operations Manual, which was a manual for astronauts on board the first Mars mission. It wasn't a real mission, of course, but as far as I know the whole thing was based on an actual NASA reference mission. This was back around the time Regan had first proposed a space station and (I think) a mission to Mars. I had a similar book all about the Space Shuttle.

I used to sit and look at that book for hours. Pouring over the information about sleeping quarters, meals, the various modules of the space craft. It was as real as something like that could be.

This PDF is basically the same thing only it's... real. It exists. People are up there right now. IT'S EVEN ABOUT TO FLY OVER JOFUS' HOUSE!

I know our progress in space sort of fizzled out a while back, but I still love knowing things like the ISS are up there. There are people in them. There's a group shot in that PDF showing thirteen different people gathered around in one of the modules. Thirteen people! In space! All at once! Sure more than half of them flew home on a craft that is no longer in use, but they were up there all at once. We're going slow, but we're getting there.

I'm really tempted to stay late so I can print that thing out on the color printer here. We're not allowed to use it for porn though.
posted by bondcliff at 10:44 AM on February 29, 2012 [3 favorites]

That's a lot smaller than I thought.
posted by DU at 10:47 AM on February 29, 2012

They have a bunch of video tours too. When she looks out the window near the end, it seems pretty huge, like "way over there is the other part of the station".
posted by smackfu at 10:53 AM on February 29, 2012

Bondcliff, you can get a printed copy from Amazon:
but it's $50

The station exterior is much larger, with all the extended solar arrays and radiators. It's impressive how much they have packed into the habitable interior. It helps when every wall/floor/ceiling is usable.
posted by bitmage at 11:01 AM on February 29, 2012

Is at least one of the emergency procedures simply, "Assume the Soyuz capsule is still docked and operational"?
posted by Slackermagee at 11:11 AM on February 29, 2012

So, assuming 8-foot ceilings, 916 cubic meters is about equivalent to a 4000 square-foot house, right?
posted by MrMoonPie at 11:38 AM on February 29, 2012

Besides just being there, what are they accomplishing? It seems as if the point of the ISS is simply for it to exist, and that is viewed as being enough.
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 2:03 PM on February 29, 2012

It certainly teaches about long term space flight, which is very useful if you want to actually have a long-distance mission at some point. It's kind of like the difference between vacationing somewhere and living there.
posted by smackfu at 2:28 PM on February 29, 2012

Good point. We need a site WhatTheF***HasTheISSDoneSoFar like the one for ignoramuses bitching about Obama.
posted by intermod at 2:29 PM on February 29, 2012

Here is a listing of research results that must be purely imaginary since, people keep saying, no science is performed on the ISS.

You can argue about the usefulness of research like this, or whether or not it is worth the cost, but lots of it is getting done and published.
posted by LastOfHisKind at 4:44 PM on February 29, 2012

Besides just being there, what are they accomplishing? It seems as if the point of the ISS is simply for it to exist, and that is viewed as being enough.
posted by Chocolate Pickle

The ISS has multiple experiments running 24-7 and it has been going on for years.

Where else are you going to do long-term zero-g experiments?
posted by psycho-alchemy at 7:53 PM on February 29, 2012

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