‘If It Wasn’t For Bad Luck…’

… The International Space Station “wouldn’t have no luck at all“:

For the past 11 years, the International Space Station (ISS) has been continuously crewed by astronauts from NASA, Roscomsos (the Russian Space Agency) and other space programs around the world.

Now, for the first time since its first occupants arrived on October 31, 2000, it may be abandoned and left to float in orbit without a human crew, all because an unmanned Russian Soyuz rocket carrying supplies for the ISS – one similar to another manned Soyuz craft meant to ferry NASA astronauts to and from the station in the void left by the retired Space Shuttle – crashed and was destroyed shortly after take off last week.

The two Soyuz spacecraft already docked at the station will be used to return the crew to Earth, and the station will be piloted remotely.

Who knew that, so soon after the retirement of the Space Shuttle, its retirement would remove such a critical redundancy. Spaceflight isn’t exactly a paragon of reliability in the first place. Now that there’s only one way to get to and from the Station, it’s scarier than ever.


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