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ISS supplies getting tight
Posted: Sat, Dec 4, 2004, 9:57 AM ET (1457 GMT)
ISS illustration (NASA) Space station crews have been consuming more food and water than predicted, forcing NASA to make plans for an emergency evacuation should a cargo spacecraft not arrive as planned later this month. Florida Today reported Saturday that station crews have been consuming 25 percent more food than expected, upsetting earlier calculations that had the station's food supply reaching a critical 45-day level around Christmas, when a Progress cargo spacecraft carrying supplies arrived at the station. NASA believes that the current supplies on the station will be enough until the Progress arrives, and has asked the crew to cut their food consumption slightly to help stretch those supplies. However, NASA has also been working on an evacuation plan should that Progress spacecraft be lost on launch or significantly delayed; ISS rules require the station be evacuated should food supplies drop to a 30-day level so that there are supplies available when the station is reoccupied. The upcoming Progress launch, scheduled for December 23, was recently delayed a day to compensate for an ISS reboost burn that failed to raise the station as much as planned.
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