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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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  • About time (Score:4, Insightful)

    by seeker_1us (1203072) on Sunday July 27, 2008 @12:04AM (#24354985)
    It's been.. what nearly 35 years since we've been to the moon? About time someone (and not the US since the Iraq war has sucked up all our money) went there.

    Interestingly, from TFA it sounds like they will NOT use the separate landing craft approach of Apollo.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Skrapion (955066)

      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: (Score:3, Funny)

        by david.given (6740)

        The war is costing $720 million/day.

        Where do you get your figures from? According to nationalpriorities.org (which given its bias would tend to overestimate, if anything), it 'only' costs $340e6 per day.

        (You may be amused to know that that would pay off my mortgage in slightly more than 30 seconds.)

    • Too soon (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Mad Hughagi (193374) on Sunday July 27, 2008 @12:45AM (#24355253) Homepage Journal

      We've been there, and picked up enough rocks to last a while. What else is there to do...?

      Until we can build largely self-sustaining colonies and prove them on earth the fuel and resources would be better spent launching probes, satellites, telescopes, etc. - not sending people on moon vacations.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by mpeskett (1221084)
        Baby steps, if we want to go on to bigger and better things then we need to build up some momentum... get the space programme rolling, inspire some more public interest in space, test the technology out and etc.

        Plus it can only help the people running the show to do a few relatively simple missions before trying anything ambitious.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        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 w
        • Re:Too soon (Score:4, Informative)

          by tftp (111690) on Sunday July 27, 2008 @12:52PM (#24359523) Homepage
          The lunar soil contains He(3) in 0.01 ppm concentration. If you want one gram of He(3) you need to excavate, process and dispose of 100 tons of regolith. This one gram will yield about 200 MW*h (per your link to Wikipedia.) This is also 272,000 hp*h which amounts to 1,000 hours of work of one machine with 272 horsepower engine. I am very much unsure if this budget is even enough to dig up and carry all this regolith to the processing plant - which also needs energy, which has to be taken from the mining allocation. So there is a good chance that use of He(3) on the Moon is cash-negative.
    • by mangu (126918) on Sunday July 27, 2008 @06:31AM (#24356735)

      not the US since the Iraq war has sucked up all our money

      And it would be interesting to note that the US stopped the Apollo moon project in the 1970s in part because the Vietnam war was sucking up all their money.

      • Actually, the Apollo project was stopped in 1967-68. Before we even landed on the moon Saturn V production had been capped and four of the planned landings canceled.

    • by Nimey (114278)

      Funnily enough, the Vietnam War drained enough money that we couldn't afford to keep sending up Apollo or work on lunar colonies.

  • If the U.S. Government still has the balls for it. Personally I am not so sure, though I am not quite sure where they lost them.
    • Not here (Score:3, Interesting)

      by WindBourne (631190)
      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 b
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      There's only going to be a space race if there's a political reason to have one.
  • by Mordok-DestroyerOfWo (1000167) on Sunday July 27, 2008 @12:06AM (#24354999)
    Here [bbc.co.uk]
  • Undying gratitude?? (Score:3, Informative)

    by conlaw (983784) on Sunday July 27, 2008 @12:08AM (#24355007)
    I'll just settle for the warm feeling, thanks. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/shared/spl/hi/pop_ups/08/sci_nat_enl_1216739410/html/1.stm [bbc.co.uk]
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by ben2umbc (1090351)
      mod parent +1 for undying gratitude and warm feelings from swimming in the kiddy pool.
  • by bogaboga (793279) on Sunday July 27, 2008 @12:14AM (#24355033)

    "...The EU will be building the crew capsule, using technology developed for the automatic cargo system used to supply the International Space Station..."

    I thought it is important for Slashdotters to know that when it comes to automatic docking of spacecraft in outer space, Russians have been doing this for decades without much fan fare!

    I just do not understand why we in the west always appear to get "full of it" when it comes to technology issues. Why?

    Even when we 100% relied on the Russian Soyuz technology not many years ago, this fact did not capture headlines in Russia. If it were the other way round, I am sure CNN, ABC and FOX would inundate us with the story as if nothing else mattered.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      Not so very long ago -- though it has been a few years -- the U.S. had to take over and dock Apollo and Soyuz capsules that were scheduled to be docked by the Russians, because the Russian equipment failed to handle the job. The Russians tried for like 2 hours, and could not get the two capsules to meet up within tolerance. The U.S. crew took over with the American equipment, and the job was done in 10 minutes.

      Nothing against the Russians, but their technology is still not a match for our own. Even thoug
      • Examples (Score:3, Informative)

        I do not think any of these are the circumstance to which I referred, but here are a few examples to back up what I say anyway. I believe one of them refers to the same situation as one of the others, but that still makes 3: http://edition.cnn.com/2001/TECH/space/11/28/failed.docking/index.html [cnn.com] http://www.powerset.com/explore/semhtml/Soyuz_33 [powerset.com] http://www.powerset.com/explore/semhtml/Soyuz_T-8?query=Soyuz+33 [powerset.com] http://english.people.com.cn/200610/28/eng20061028_315800.html [people.com.cn] I do not know whe
        • by Ihmhi (1206036)

          <p> and </p>. Please learn to use them so we don't have to be subjected to a garbled mess.

        • by khallow (566160)
          The US doesn't have an remote docking system in use. The Russians do.
        • by dbIII (701233)
          Sorry to rain on the flag waving most readers of this site were not born when Apollo last flew. Improvements have been made in the decades since and have been put into use on many occasions. The most recent is a European group adding yet more improvements to the Russian system that has been steadily improving in the three decades or so since the incident you are talking about. Meanwhile the USA excels in other areas - so I suggest waving the flag about those instead.
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Last time i checked Russian rockets and space capsules didn't explode on take off or re entry killing all the astronauts. Might want to reconsider what you just said.

        • by im_thatoneguy (819432) on Sunday July 27, 2008 @02:14AM (#24355757)

          Nor is their lift capability anywhere near ours.

          Sort of like saying "My bicycle never careens into a wall at 100mph killing everybody riding it".

          The Soyuz module with a crew of 3 delivers about 1 ton of cargo. The Shuttle with a crew of 7 can deliver 57 tons of cargo. That means a Soyuz rocket would have to make 57 trips to do what the shuttle does in one. Something tells me even with a 2% failure rate for the shuttle I would say it out performs the soyuz. Unless your metric is number of millionaires launched into LEO.

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by im_thatoneguy (819432)

            Sorry I'm calling bullshit on myself. It's too late.

            Divide Shuttle numbers by 2 I was operating on a nice easy 1000 pounds to a ton.

            Shuttle can take about 25 tons into LEO with 7 crew members and the Soyuz can take much less than a ton with 3 crew members.

            • Classic metric/imperial mistake. You accidentally used 1000 pounds since there are 1000 kg in a tonne.

              Do you work for NASA?

          • by Richard_at_work (517087) <richardprice@gm a i l.com> on Sunday July 27, 2008 @05:24AM (#24356425)
            Why does cargo need babysitting? Use the Progress resupply vehicle - no human lives to endanger while delivering new toilet roll to the ISS.
            • Progress (and ATV) can only dock to the APAS hatches on the Russian segment - which sharply limits the size of the equipment that can be delivered.

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by david.given (6740)

            The Soyuz module with a crew of 3 delivers about 1 ton of cargo. The Shuttle with a crew of 7 can deliver 57 tons of cargo.

            24 tonnes to LEO, actually. And if you want to lift cargo, you're hardly going to use a Soyuz. Use a properly designed heavy-lifter instead, such as a Proton or an Ariane 5, and launch your astronauts seperately in a Soyuz; that way you don't have to man-rate your heavylifter, which saves you vast amounts of money. The Shuttle's main problem is that it's designed to be a man-rated lifte

          • Shuttle LEO payload is 60600 lb to LEO.

            The Russian segments for ISS were launched with Proton, not Soyuz. Proton launches 46000 lb to LEO.

            The Soviet Energia, if it was still in production, would have 194000 lb to LEO capability. The US Saturn V used to launch Skylab could put 165000 lb in LEO.

            • by Rakishi (759894)

              The US Saturn V used to launch Skylab could put 165000 lb in LEO.

              This was not a full sized Saturn V and a fully loaded Saturn V could lift 200000+ lbs. Of course some Energia variants could have gone quite a bit higher but then again some planned Saturn V modification could surpass even that. The Ares V is if I understand correctly going to be somewhere above a Saturn V in lift capacity.

              Then again at that point it's almost a pissing contest since your failure rates and costs are probably much higher than doing individual launches (using a smaller rocket).

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by Rakishi (759894)

          Well they do explode on takeoff sometimes and they do fail almost catastrophically on reentry even more often. They however have a simple enough design that allows for enough safety features/margins to not kill the crew in the process. Some of the crew may get permanent injuries and never fly again (from the G forces) but they live.

        • *sigh* The AC above me was trying to link to the List of Space Disasters [wikipedia.org] article on Wikipedia. Which speaks of two major incidents resulting in the loss of crew. The first was a parachute failure which led to the death of the astronaut on board. The second was a valve failure that resulted in depressurization of the capsule and a loss of all crew members.

          Score Card
          ==========
          Russia - 2
          U.S. - 2

          Seems to be a parity to me. Also, there is the issue that the Soviet Union didn't always tell everyone when an accident happened. It's difficult to tell if there were further incidents that have gone unpublished.

          Regardless of that issue, there are more than enough near-fatal space accidents on the Russian side listed in the Wikipedia article to question whether the Russian space program really is safer. The truth is simply that space travel is risky business. It will continue to be risky business for a long time, unfortunately.

          • by dbIII (701233)
            Not really a fair comparison since you are ignoring the Apollo deaths but including the Russian deaths at around the same time. The deaths may have been on the ground but they were part of the Apollo program. Pointless flag waving is futile here since space travel is risky with the best from anyone.
            • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

              by AKAImBatman (238306)

              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

      • by Thagg (9904) <thadbeier@gmail.com> on Sunday July 27, 2008 @03:37AM (#24356055) Journal

        You know -- sadly what you are referring to was the Apollo-Soyuz mission of the mid 80's. The Russian KURS automated docking system is used all the time on the space station now, and it has worked flawlessly every time.

        It also worked perfectly on the Mir. They did have a docking mishap on the Mir, but that as when they tried to do a manual docking.

        Thad

        • 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.
          • The Russian crafts have done a lot of dockings. The European ATV uses the same docking system. Anyway, why are we debating whos docking system is the best? We are building the same space station anyway.
        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by meringuoid (568297)
          what you are referring to was the Apollo-Soyuz mission of the mid 80's

          1975, actually, the last American flight until the first Space Shuttle launch in 1981.

  • 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.

    • Simply not true (Score:3, Informative)

      Looks to me that my food costs have been about 165% what they were last year, and I don't know about you, but most peoples' paychecks are not 65% higher than they were at this time last year.

      Not to mention gas prices, and other things as well.

      If you call that "as cheap as it has ever been", then if I were you I would pull out my calculator and start re-figuring.
      • by inKubus (199753)

        I don't really see the "dollar price" of things as being relevant, since it's been drastically diluted by, well, the government printing money. By "Cheap" I'm talking in terms of Time (work hours) and Energy (joules). Money is not a precise way to measure the cheapness of things in real life.

        • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

          by im_thatoneguy (819432)

          Money is not a precise way to measure the cheapness of things in real life.

          Try telling that to the grocery store clerk.

          If you take the average price and subtract the average raise increase then you have a very very precise way of measuring the cheapness of something.

          In this case the cost is +.5 and the wages are +0 (.5-0)= +.5

          Unless you live in a fairy land costs adjusted for inflation and wage changes is an excellent means of determinig the cheapness of things in real life. Especially when the currency is practically tied to the cost of energy (Joules).

          By your own admission the

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

            by inKubus (199753) on Sunday July 27, 2008 @01:45AM (#24355593) Homepage Journal

            Yeah, but you're not thinking about the big picture. The ACTUAL cost to produce the food, house, clothing item, whatever, in energy and time (human time), is lower than ever in history. Because of the free market, the focus has been on efficiency. Tractors pretty much drive themselves nowadays on the big corporate farms. And they use less energy because their engines are more efficient. I can think of a thousand examples. I generalize it into basically robotics. A robot can give you time, in return for energy. Now we are at a point where a robot can do the work with less energy than a comparable human. Because they are efficently turning energy into pure work, not wasting it playing Gears of War or soemthing.

            What you're seeing is a temporary disruption in the free market because of lack of confidence in the paper we use to exchange. It doesn't change the fact that it is, physically speaking, cheaper. I understand that prices are higher, but the underlying physical concepts that "money" is just an abstraction of have changed for the better, and will continue to do so every year. It's a great leap to make, I understand, but I'm not a crackpot. I'm a scientist.

            • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

              by timmarhy (659436)
              i get what you are saying but you aren't communicating it that well. what i THINK you mean is that production efficency has gotten better. unfortunately the double edged sword of the free market is that costs have also risen, in part due to us being able to consume raw products so fast.

              what is needed is better economic policy and some smack down on the banks - we have made the mistake of letting too much of our economy rest in their hands.

            • As far as larger society is concerned, the cost to produce is pretty much irrelevant. It is the cost of goods at the retail level that matter.

              The "distortions in the free market" are largely due to government interference in the free market, not "lack of confidence". The public lacks confidence in it's government policies, which is sad, because if they were allowed to, they could have confidence in a free market instead. Unfortunately, they have not been allowed to.
          • 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.

            • by Gonoff (88518)

              Most "new" money only exists as an entry in a database somewhere. I believe that in the USA, the Federal Reserve (a private comany?) creates money and sells it to the government. In the UK, we have the Bank of England doing the same thing. Nothing is printed and no energy is used other than the negligable ammount used by swopping some ones and zeroes somewhere.

              • Money in the US is printed (for bills) by the Bureau of Engraving and Printing, or minted (for coins) by the US Mint, and both are divisions of the Department of the Treasury. The Federal Reserve itself is not a private company; it is a quasi-public entity with a few private aspects but with its roots firmly as a government entity, subject to congressional oversight and with all directors appointed by the president.

              • by sumdumass (711423)

                Actually, It isn't new money, it is new wealth that is created. There is a biog difference. The money is the same money that has been in existence. The wealth is something created by sectors and participants of the economy and the existing money is lent to people or banks for various reasons in which the money works for a profit.

                The idea is a complexed one and behind many conspiracy theories that just don't pan out.

    • 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).

      Eat like kings for under $200 a month!?

      That's just over $6 a day for 4 people. No. Fucking. Way.

      Let's see you live on $1.60 per day for food. Get back to me on how that works out for ya'.

      You can barely buy an apple for $1.60.

      I would debunk the rest of your crazy ass bullshit but that sentence alone illustrated just how dellusional you truely are.

      • by inKubus (199753)

        That's absolutely false. Starch, in small bulk quantities that are readily available at your local supermarket, is available at no more than 5 cents per ounce, even in today's dollars.

        45 grams of rice has approximately 160 calories.
        45 grams of rice = 1.59oz or about 8 cents.

        A normal human, doing real work, needs about 2000 calories a day. If eating only rice or potatoes or any of the other starch items available at your supermarket for 5c/oz, an American could "get by" with 562.5 grams or 19.84 oz or abou

        • You spend $4 at starbucks and as a result 5 people are employed.

          Unless the cup of coffee actually depleted $4 worth of goods the waste is only the depletable resources expended to deliver it.

          You have to remove wages and renewable goods from the cost to determine the actual waste.

          If you pay a farmer for beans which will regrow then nothing was actually lost just redistributed. Starbucks is really a subversive organization redistributing disposable income from the wealthy to a little above minimum wage emplo

          • by inKubus (199753)

            Ok, bad example. What about waiting in the McDonald's drive-thru with your car running?

            The hours that barista could have spent bettering humanity instead have been spent receiving a handout from the rich? Is that any less wasteful now that you've clarified there's no waste in the actual product?

            Man, this has digressed. NASA is the epitome of this. Except the handout is going to the shareholders of a contractor (a group I might be a member of) and the handout is coming from the taxpayer. But what if we

            • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

              by im_thatoneguy (819432)

              I've worked with a large aerospace company's Advanced Research Group before. There is a LOT of waste involved. You will have no argument from me on that one. It's largely a question of management though not inspiration. They were all really excited about what they were doing... but completely lacking in focus. The Manhattan project succeeded because it had incredible leadership and a very clear directive. The amazing leadership directed a large number of theoretical scientists to focus their eff

              • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

                by inKubus (199753)

                That's sort of what I'm talking about. Perhaps not doing actual calculations and stuff. People could contribute in any way they could. Some people might just make a logo for the craft, others might help write some code.

                I understand what you're saying; there's a lot of space travel that can't be done by ordinary people, and bringing those extraordinary people together safely is expensive. But there is a vast untapped reserve of undiscovered genius in this country, who don't think they will ever get a cha

                • by Rakishi (759894)

                  You need to manage such people and their contributions which is not trivial. In fact with something as sensitive (to fuckups) as a spaceship it'd essentially cost more effort than you gain. It works in areas where contributions aren't tightly controlled and mistakes aren't expensive. In this case that bit of code may cause an error by interacting with another system through purely hardware means that crashes the spaceship. That logo may be too dark, absorb too much sunlight, overheat a wire and explode the

                  • by Alex Belits (437) *

                    You need to manage such people and their contributions which is not trivial. In fact with something as sensitive (to fuckups) as a spaceship it'd essentially cost more effort than you gain. It works in areas where contributions aren't tightly controlled and mistakes aren't expensive. In this case that bit of code may cause an error by interacting with another system through purely hardware means that crashes the spaceship. That logo may be too dark, absorb too much sunlight, overheat a wire and explode the spaceship. Most people probably don't think in the proper way to prevent mistakes on their own or to simply not active induce problems (ie: they don't follow directions).

                    Like umm... operating system. I know of some projects where large number of people wrote pieces of kernel code that had to work together. What a failure it was...

                    The thing is that the US let's people go amazing things if they have what it takes and if they go after their dreams. Many people however expect their dreams to come to them or to have someone else tell them what their dreams are.

                    The thing is, the less people are concerned about things they are supposed to "dream of" according to US ideology (money, fame, control over other people), the more contribution they make to worthwhile projects.

        • To derail an off-topic conversation even further, for a cheap protein source look into making seitan. Basically, you make a dough out of wheat flour and wash out the starch, leaving gluten. It's not a complete protein, so supplementing with legumes is advisable.
        • by evilviper (135110)

          Starch, in small bulk quantities that are readily available at your local supermarket, is available at no more than 5 cents per ounce, even in today's dollars.

          I'd like to find out where you shop... I pay just under 11 cents per ounce of rice, and that's the cheapest stuff, at the cheapest supermarket around. It may be cheaper in bulk (Costco, Sam's Club), but I don't imagine it's less than half price.

          Now, every other food in America is made from grain, or it's another vegetable, which you could easily gro

  • Now we can have another source for our funny little comrades...
  • I hope they install a cannon to shoot frozen monkeynauts at us cuz it's a race now! I mean if they launch at the same time and we're neck and neck, I'm not NASA but I bet there might be some bumping and some scraping and some phaser fire lol.
  • The European Space Agency (ESA) is not the same thing as, or even a part of, the European Union (EU). This iTNews are apparently clueless, and I can't believe that Slashdot fell for it! >-(
  • Soyuz ACTS origin (Score:3, Interesting)

    by MRe_nl (306212) on Sunday July 27, 2008 @06:52AM (#24356867)
  • Sadly, another space related story by someone who is not well versed in the field. First of all, it is not going to be an "EU"/Russian craft. The EU does not have a space program. It's going to be an ESA/Russian craft. ESA membership does not imply EU membership and vice versa.

    Second, the europeans will NOT build the crew module, but the service module, which is the part of the whole thing NOT holding the crew.
  • Initial information on the Russian spacecraft was reported on New Scientist [newscientist.com] in 2005 which includes the ambitious goal of a probes trip to Mars.

    "The Clipper [moondaily.com], a six-person spacecraft similar to the U.S. space shuttle, is designed to replace the Soyuz and Progress carrier rockets in making regular flights to the International Space Station, and even the Moon and Mars. It will carry two professional astronauts and up to four passengers."

    It is said to have an aircraft style hull [aerospaceguide.net] which is designed as a "Load carr

  • It's a bit of a far fetched claim - as the EU hasn't unveiled anything. Nor really have the Russians, just more powerpoints that they hope to talk the EU into funding. Someday.

Per buck you get more computing action with the small computer. -- R.W. Hamming

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