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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, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 22, 2008 @11:50AM (#24290143)

    My guess is they'll buy F-22s. They've been asking to buy them for a while, and there's certainly been a history of sales of US fighters to them.

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

    by xpuppykickerx ( 1290760 ) on Tuesday July 22, 2008 @11:51AM (#24290147)
    They should ask to have their military back. Just saying.
  • That's odd. (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Blice ( 1208832 ) <Lifes@Alrig.ht> on Tuesday July 22, 2008 @12:03PM (#24290321)
    Probably the more interesting thing to note here is that JAXA even *has* a spacecraft for something of that sort. They aren't really known for that, more so for their satellites. At any rate, NASA has a lot more resources for these kind of missions under their belt.

    You can see their current (and future planned) rockets [www.jaxa.jp] and spacecrafts [www.jaxa.jp] on their site. The spacecraft in question, H-II, was only announced recently in 2008, and I guess that's why I couldn't find any other similar ships on wiki, etc.

    And what happened to Russia? I thought they were a huge part of the ISS, and just recently the RSA received a lot more interest from their government if I recall correctly, so why aren't we poking sticks at them?
  • I suspect (Score:5, Interesting)

    by WindBourne ( 631190 ) on Tuesday July 22, 2008 @12:10PM (#24290419) Journal
    that NASA is playing all sides at this time. EU and Russia have solutions, but both are trying to charge arm/leg. SpaceX is unknown as to whether it will be ready in time. I suspect that if this week's falcon fails, then NASA will cut deals quickly with all the above. But if it works, then they are going to feel better. The one issue is that NASA is feeling very threatened by SpaceX. Congress will have a difficult time seeing that constellation really is a different beast than the falcon9/dragon. Of course, if Spacex really does pursue the BFR, then it will be difficult to see any differences.
  • Re:In return? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by J05H ( 5625 ) on Tuesday July 22, 2008 @12:39PM (#24290835) Homepage

    it's called money. JAXA would get cold, hard cash in return for HTV (which still hasn't flown)

    These rumors of a NASA/JAXA deal have been discounted, which probably means they are true. Mike Griffin is trying to slay the various US commercial spaceflight providers by going offshore to another government agency.

  • Re:In return? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by ricegf ( 1059658 ) on Tuesday July 22, 2008 @01:17PM (#24291531) Journal

    They are willing to sell the F-35 JSF however which in many ways is a detuned F-22.

    Other than a generally similar body shape, the F-22 and F-35 have little in common. The F-35 is a clean sheet design by a Lockheed / Northrop / BAES team focused on strike and close air support missions, vertical take-off and landing, and carrier operations. The F-22 preceded it by 10 years, was designed by a Lockheed / Boeing team, and focuses on air dominance.

    Different missions, different designs. The F-35 is far more versatile and affordable than its predecessor, and unlike the F-22 was designed from the ground up as an export product. It's not as good at the mission for which the F-22 was designed (of course!), but it's hardly "detuned".

  • Re:That's odd. (Score:4, Interesting)

    by DerekLyons ( 302214 ) <.moc.liamg. .ta. .retawriaf.> on Tuesday July 22, 2008 @08:29PM (#24297493) Homepage

    When the Shuttle was grounded after Columbia, it was the Russians who kept the project alive. It was a close-run thing, though; the Shuttle's cargo capacity dwarfs Progress, and it was a major loss. Hence the development of independent cargo ships by ESA and Japan.

    That's only 'mostly correct'. The ATV (ESA) and HTV (JAXA) cargo craft predate the loss of Columbia by years - they've been on the drawing boards since the early/mid 1990's. ATV was supposed to have first flown in, IIRC, 2003. HTV was supposed to first fly in 2001.

    These are much bigger than Soyuz, and also divide the labour three ways instead of relying on Russia alone to produce enough rockets.

    Again, only mostly correct. While ATV/HTV can carry far more cargo that Soyuz, they can't ferry passengers. For that matter, your average Mini Cooper [wikipedia.org] has a higher cargo capacity than Soyuz. (OK, I exaggerate. But not by much.)

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