Astronaut Who Helped Build Space Station Says Damage Is “Serious”

Bill Shepherd believes there may be other cracks that aren't yet found.
Warn Signs

Retired NASA astronaut Bill Shepherd has issued a serious warning for Congress. He was the captain of the first crew that worked on the International Space Station.

Space station is showing signs of age with various modules showing new damage and other signs. Russian cosmonauts discovered about half a dozen cracks in the Zarya module. Roscosmos and NASA both claim that the cracks don't pose a danger to crewmembers. However, Insider reports Shepherd addressed a House of Representatives panel on Tuesday to warn them about the potential danger.

Cart or Horse

According to Insider, NASA is trying to get funding for four more years for the ISS. This would allow it to continue operating the orbital outpost until 2028. Shepherd believes it would be foolish for NASA to make this request without first investigating the cracks and determining if they will get worse as Russian officials warned.

Shepherd stated to Congress that getting to the bottom is a serious matter. The stations are not in immediate danger, according to me. We need to be more aware of this before we remove the station from operational use for another 20 years.



Scratched surfaces

Shepherd informed Congress that there may be other cracks in the space station, according to Insider. He suggested that a more thorough investigation could help determine its current status and the viability of the station's last few years.

Shepherd stated to Congress that the Russian engineers and NASA engineers who analyzed the data didn't understand why cracks are appearing.

READ MORE: Former NASA astronaut says cracks on the International Space Station pose a serious problem. [Insider]

Russian Official: Space Station Damage May be Reparable



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