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NASA Space

NASA May Hire Japanese Spacecraft For ISS Service Mission 87

schliz writes "NASA is talking to Japan's space agency about using one of its spacecraft for servicing missions to the International Space Station, according to Japanese media reports. NASA has been considering various options to maintain its commitment to the Space Station after the Space Shuttle is retired from service in 2010. According to Japanese newspaper Yomiuri Shimbun, 'unofficial negotiations' between NASA and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (Jaxa) began in February."
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NASA May Hire Japanese Spacecraft For ISS Service Mission

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  • Re:In return? (Score:1, Insightful)

    by abstract daddy ( 1307763 ) on Tuesday July 22, 2008 @11:49AM (#24290107)
    They already have so much cool shit that they probably don't need anything.
  • Re:In return? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 22, 2008 @11:49AM (#24290117)

    Money, duh! The same thing the Russians got when they were the sole suppliers to the ISS for a couple of years.

    It is a good deal for NASA. The most wasteful Space Shuttle missions are the resupply missions. It is idiotic to spend $1 billion per Space Shuttle flight when two of these spacecraft can do the same for about $250 million.

  • Guts and Glory (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Doc Ruby ( 173196 ) on Tuesday July 22, 2008 @11:50AM (#24290119) Homepage Journal

    Japan could get in return valuable space operations experience, and first rate publicity for their space program which should help them get more of their own domestic funding.

    Just like NASA gets.

    This is the International Space Station. All the science is published. All the different nations get to develop and test their space tech in (and orbiting) the real world. They get to test interop with the global space industry. They get the glory of high profile missions featured on US, and then international, TV.

    The US already takes the risk of leading this project. It already is the guarantor of funding, and pays most of the bills. Why should Japan get paid to get the same benefits the US has to pay to get?

  • Re:In return? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by peragrin ( 659227 ) on Tuesday July 22, 2008 @01:44PM (#24291985)

    Very true. a lot of the R&D costs of the F-35 are actually tech and tenquies learned from the F-22 making the cost of the plane far far lower.

  • Re:Guts and Glory (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Doc Ruby ( 173196 ) on Tuesday July 22, 2008 @01:49PM (#24292085) Homepage Journal

    Well, no one's asking them to do it for nothing.

    But "for no money" is equal to "for free". Though, as I keep pointing out, Japan would get benefits apart from a monetary fee.

    FWIW, diplomacy often uses money, but it is not always defined by money. Diplomacy is to turn communication into political influence, even when no money changes hands, or even remains in the same hands in any differential. Diplomacy negotiates exchanges, but they can be entirely non material, and valued completely differently on either side of the table, as money is not.

  • Re:Guts and Glory (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Doc Ruby ( 173196 ) on Tuesday July 22, 2008 @04:22PM (#24294529) Homepage Journal

    Yeah, Japan's decision to get paid to do what America is giving to the world for free is indeed rational. Nice work if you can get it.

    But that has nothing to do with how the US uses NASA for other political agendas. Even if those agendas, at US expense, keep Russian rocket scientists in space exploration rather than weapons development, pointing missiles at Japan across the Japan Sea. Why not? The US pays for most of Japan's domestic defense anyway, not to mention the rest of the global security that protects Japan's export empire and the sources of the imports that keep Japan alive.

    But like I said, that has nothing to do with whether Japan should pay its own way in the ISS mission. Japan's not being asked to pay for the rest of the US' agenda, whether that other agenda benefits Japan or not.

    What I'm saying is that Japan's participation in the ISS program benefits Japan the way that the US' participation benefits the US. Which is why the US pays its way. Sure, the US also pays the way of some countries, like Russia, because Russia can't even feed its own people (while its oilocracy is diverting the economy to Putin's cronies), and Russia is of course a security threat to the rest of the world unless its idle hands are kept at constructive work. But that shouldn't stop Japan, which would be investing in its own domestic space industry here. Why should the US pay for that?

    I suppose that since the US would have to spend money borrowed from Japan (and others) on top of the $400B the US already borrowed from Japan, it's "rational" of Japan to demand payment that will also become something like 150% bigger once fully paid off as US Treasury Bonds. But there's nothing rational at all in the US deciding to do something foolhardy like that.

"No, no, I don't mind being called the smartest man in the world. I just wish it wasn't this one." -- Adrian Veidt/Ozymandias, WATCHMEN