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Space

EU and Russia Show Off New Lunar Spacecraft Design 184

Posted by timothy
from the it's-only-a-model dept.
schliz writes "Space flight planners have unveiled a new spaceship design for a joint EU/Russian trip to the Moon. The EU will be building the crew capsule, using technology developed for the automatic cargo system used to supply the International Space Station." First one to link to decent pics (the article has none) wins undying gratitude and a warm feeling inside.
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EU and Russia Show Off New Lunar Spacecraft Design

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  • Space Unity (Score:3, Interesting)

    by inKubus (199753) on Sunday July 27, 2008 @12:30AM (#24355161) Homepage Journal

    Well, large joint missions to space tend to inspire unity in disparate peoples. I think it's great that East and West are working with one another to see the moon again. And I was thinking that we in America really need to rethink our economic system to work when we're all just getting what we need, rather than what we want. Really, even with prices rising, everything is as cheap if not cheaper than it's ever been in history. And not just in America but world-wide. A family of four can eat like kings in America for under $200 a month, which is only 11 percent of their annual income (at the povery line, 20,500).

    We could easily go to the moon again. Things cost much less than the estimates when people actually care. That's the thing about the past 30 years, and especially the past decade in America. We all knew that we were going to work and really producing nothing meaningful. Perhaps we might do some sort of creative service, but were we really fulfilling any useful cause? NO! And it was all for selfish reasons. A COLLECTIVE goal, like space travel, inspires people to do more work than what they are paid for. That means more productivity and a lower overall cost for the same work.

    In fact, why not OPEN SOURCE the entire lunar thing to colleges and universities, high schools, geeks everywhere. Using version control systems you could allow everyone to put in a patch, and of course it would all be reviewed before anythign was built but why not? The real problem with space travel in America is NASA, because they are so convinced they are the only people who know how to do it. But guess what, it's all old military people mostly (there's some good science, I'm not going to deny that) in the administration, a vestige of the cold war. It's still run like a branch of the military, and the contractors know how to exploit that for maximum profit. What we need is the contractors to ACTUALLY COMPETE, rather than consolidate. We need people to actually care, to bill 10 hours and put in 20, not MILK THE SYSTEM. Actually care about what you're building.

    That goes beyond space, to the country itself. It's a radical idea, actually caring. Don't wait for someone else to do it for you. And be persistent.

  • Re:About time (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Skrapion (955066) <skorpion&firefang,com> on Sunday July 27, 2008 @12:36AM (#24355193) Homepage

    About time someone (and not the US since the Iraq war has sucked up all our money) went there.

    That's funny, if the US has run out of money, how can they afford to stay in Iraq?

    The war is costing $720 million/day. I say they scale that back to $700 million/day and give the rest to NASA. That should be more than enough for them to work with!

  • Re:Simply not true (Score:5, Interesting)

    by sumdumass (711423) on Sunday July 27, 2008 @02:24AM (#24355805) Journal

    It isn't the government printing money that is causing inflation. In fact, we aren't printing any more then enough to replace the damaged money anyways. It is the cost of energy that is causing it. You have it right when your said "Especially when the currency is practically tied to the cost of energy (Joules)". Everything from growing things to using electricity to transporting products is going up. That causes prices to increase which gets us to where we are now.

    We have far more money recycled on credit then we have printed. The big problem is that in the late 90's, we removed regulations that were put in place during the 1970's oil crisis and now speculators can buy contracts for oil that have no capabilities whatsoever at all to take delivery of it. This takes oil off the market and causes the spot prices to drop to almost the same amounts as the contract prices. There used to be around a 10-20% differences in prices, this is down to less the 3% in most cases now. Currently it is going at a 42 cent loss. But to give an idea of how much of the market is given to speculation, we were at $147/bbl and dropped to $124 or so on the mention of a government report that we are using less oil. That's about a 15-16% drop all the sudden and it is still shrinking. Now even with this, people are still expecting to make money which means that speculation is still driving the costs to some degree.

    Combine that with low dollar values and poof, there is the problem.

  • Re:About time (Score:0, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 27, 2008 @02:52AM (#24355915)

    The EU is just using Russian technology and basically doing a few panel upgrades(RKK Energia doing all the layout work). Beating us Americans to Mars would be something to marvel at.

    Going to the moon just seems a little overhyped, I wonder if there will even be an audience to watch when it happens. To Mars is where the real challenge is at, constantly referencing a space build up to Nuclear arms with the Apollo program cannot be compared to todays funding so stop it please.

    Just seems there is a lot of ass kissing of the EU and constant criticization of NASA/America around here. Just gotta put this into perspective and see that what NASA does with little effort easily trumps what the EU would do; really just using Russian technology and footing some of the bill that they could not afford.
    Bush and Dick Head really has seemed to taint the public opinion on everything of American opinion around here, you cannot really voice your patriotisim around here without being modded away into oblivion and having to constantly re-evaluate history to make sure that Americans do not get credit for anything.

  • by S-100 (1295224) on Sunday July 27, 2008 @03:54AM (#24356123)
    Flawlessly? It almost destroyed the ISS in October, 2004. The automatic system unexpectedly accelerated the Soyuz TMA toward the ISS and the only thing that saved the ships was disabling the automatic docking system and taking manual control.

    And lest you think manual docking is safe, don't forget the incident where an ISS crewman took manual control of the docking of a Russian cargo ship and ended up smashing it into the station, fortunately at low enough delta-v to cause only superficial damage.
  • Soyuz ACTS origin (Score:3, Interesting)

    by MRe_nl (306212) on Sunday July 27, 2008 @06:52AM (#24356867)
  • by bihoy (100694) * on Sunday July 27, 2008 @08:46AM (#24357437)

    This fact was mentioned in the Wikipedia entry for the Kliper [wikipedia.org] which in turn mentions the Crew Space Transportation System [wikipedia.org].

  • Not here (Score:3, Interesting)

    by WindBourne (631190) on Sunday July 27, 2008 @09:59AM (#24357969) Journal
    W. pissed off the russians, but the next president is far more likely to see the advantage of working together. All in all, we have learned things from Russia, and Russia has learned from us, and perhaps more important, the other nations (EU, Japan, Canada) have also learned to work together as well as develop some fo their own tech. When it comes to going to the moon/mars, I see three major efforts.
    1. China; who said originally that long march 5 would be ready in 2014, is now in testing. That alone should be of interest to the West.
    2. America/Russia/EU/Japan/Canada,and will probably Australia and India as well, will join together to pursue the moon and mars.
    3. American private enterprise combined with support from our DOD will hit the moon the soonest.

    The last warrents more explanations. The DOD wants up their before China gets there. They are already dumping money into spacex and bigelow (Spacex is missing launches, but they are there). My guess is that either Armadillo or Blue origin will join the effort for a lunar transport (I think BO will get the nod due to secrecy). I suspect that Spacex will be given a contract shortly after falcon 9 flies to build the BFR. I would further guess that the initial RD will be done elsewhere perhaps even Kwajalein. These folks will be going there before 2016.

  • Re:Too soon (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Original Replica (908688) on Sunday July 27, 2008 @12:07PM (#24359151) Journal
    We've been there, and picked up enough rocks to last a while. What else is there to do...?

    We could start gathering/refining He3. It shows a lot of promise as a fuel source. [wikipedia.org]
    We could use the moon as a last refining step to the habitat equipment we plan on sending to Mars.
    Let us not forget the real reason we went the first time: Prestige. We could use a bit of that right now, sure it would be better to improve America's reputation by once again being a leader in Human Rights, education, and freedom; but with our international street cred this low we should take what boosts we can get.
  • That's only fair if you also include the Russian deaths on the ground. Who had the dubious honor of having the first space-related death? Why, the Russians with a training exercise in a pure oxygen environment. (Same issue that killed the Apollo astronauts.) Except that was 1961. Apollo wouldn't repeat that mistake until 1967. (Which was a perfectly avoidable mistake, and was a huge wake-up call to the NASA of the time.)

    Don't even get me started on the number of near-fatal collisions and separation failures the Russians had in space! All of which is nicely spelled out in the same Wikipedia article.

    I REPEAT. Space is dangerous business. Get over this idea that the Russians are inherently safe and the U.S. isn't. They're both as dangerous as you can possibly get. The different approaches to safety primarily yield different modes of failure rather than a superior safety record.

An inclined plane is a slope up. -- Willard Espy, "An Almanac of Words at Play"

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