International space

International Space Station set to upgrade this crucial component – New York Post

June 17, 2020 | 1:46pm

The International Space Station is an incredibly high-tech spacecraft. It’s packed with advanced instruments and the fact that it’s basically a floating science lab should tell you all you need to know about how important it is to NASA, the European Space Agency, and Russia’s Roscosmos. But, like any machine, it needs some love every now and then, and a couple of spacewalks will provide the ISS with some much-needed upgrades.

NASA just released a schedule for its upcoming spacewalks. The first will take place on June 26th and the other will happen on July 1st. During both excursions, astronauts will be tasked with swapping out old and outdated batteries with new, higher-capacity batteries. Both spacewalks will be conducted by NASA astronauts Chris Cassidy and Robert Behnken.

The International Space Station uses a significant amount of power, and it’s equipped with a solar power array to generate that power. However, because the space station completes over a dozen trips around the Earth every single day, the spacecraft is often shrouded in the shadow cast by our planet.

During those dark moments, the space station maintains its steady power supply by using juice that is saved in its batteries. The old, outdated nickel-hydrogen batteries are in need of replacement, and work on the project began three years ago. It takes several spacewalks to replace the many batteries affixed to the exterior of the ISS with the new lithium-ion versions.

NASA explains:

“The spacewalking astronauts will replace aging nickel-hydrogen batteries for one of two power channels on the far starboard truss (S6 Truss) of the station with new lithium-ion batteries that arrived to the station on a Japanese cargo ship last month. The battery replacement work is the culmination of power upgrade spacewalks that began in January 2017.”

Ensuring that the space station has a fully-functional power system is crucial not only to the science being conducted there but also to the wellbeing of the astronauts that live there. The ISS, which has been orbiting Earth since the late 1990s, still has plenty of life left in it thanks to regular upgrades and maintenance.

At present, it’s expected that the International Space Station will continue to operate and host astronauts through at least 2030. As is often the case when it comes to budgets, the space station may see life beyond that point as well, depending on how things shake out.

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International Pakistan

Pakistan International Airlines passenger flight crashes in Karachi – CNN

Islamabad, Pakistan (CNN)At least 11 people have been killed after a Pakistan International Airlines flight crashed Friday in the Pakistani city of Karachi, a hospital official said.

Pakistan’s Aviation Ministry said the flight from Lahore was carrying 99 passengers and 8 crew members.
At least 11 bodies from the scene have been brought to Jinnah Hospital, according to hospital spokesperson Seemi Jamali. It is unclear if those fatalities were victims from the ground or the plane.
The airliner came down in a busy residential area near the airport.
Flight PK 8303 took off from Lahore and was due to land at 2:30 p.m. local time in Karachi but went missing from the radar, Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) spokesman Abdullah Khan told CNN.
The pilot of the Airbus A320 airliner made a mayday call saying he was experiencing technical problems, Khan told CNN.
“He had been told both landing strips were available for his use but he preferred to use the go-around landing route, we are looking into the technical issue. Our prayers for the lives that have been lost,” Khan said.
An emergency response protocol has been activated, he added.
Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan posted on Twitter that he was shocked and saddened by the crash. An “immediate inquiry” would be set up, he said.
Footage posted from the scene on social media showed flames, plumes of smoke and a street filled with rubble in what appeared to be a built-up area.
Pakistan’s civil aviation authority allowed limited domestic air travel to resume Saturday after a two-month suspension imposed as part of efforts to contain the spread of the coronavirus.
International flights are not expected to resume until June 1. Pakistan started a phased reopening of its nationwide Covid-19 lockdown on May 9.
This is not the only crash in recent years involving a PIA aircraft. An ATR-42 twin-engine propeller plane operated by the airline came down in December 2016 near Abbottabad in Pakistan, killing all 47 people on board.
This story has been updated to correct the plane’s flight number.

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