Suppose the ISS were instantaneously moved to the opposite side of the Sun from Earth - how long would it continue to function? Are there any systems aboard that depend on passing behind the planet regularly, or communications from Mission Control? What would be the first system to fail?

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ I'm under the impression that astronauts do an awful lot of maintenance. And stationkeeping would probably become an issue. $\endgroup$ – ikrase Feb 12 at 20:44
  • 5
    $\begingroup$ Thermal control will be trickier. 100% sunlight now only lasts a few days at a time. It will be constant away from earth. Some rotation might mitigate that, though. $\endgroup$ – BowlOfRed Feb 12 at 20:45
  • $\begingroup$ Also there is a lot of software changes that would have to happen. I am unsure how the ISS dues attitude control currently (is there an earth sensor?) and whether the solar arrays track the brightest point in the sky or are set to fixed angles for each time. $\endgroup$ – Hans Feb 12 at 20:47
  • 5
    $\begingroup$ Eating would be a problem within a couple of months. That's what I'd be worried about. $\endgroup$ – GdD Feb 12 at 21:17
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ I wonder how much protection the ISS receives from Earth's magnetic field and how long its systems and crew would survive without it. $\endgroup$ – Schwern Mar 4 at 21:19

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.