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First Images of Russian-European Manned Spacecraft 191

oliderid writes "The first official image of a Russian-European manned spacecraft has been unveiled. It is designed to replace the Soyuz vehicle currently in use by Russia and will allow Europe to participate directly in crew transportation.The reusable ship was conceived to carry four people towards the Moon, rivaling the US Ares/Orion system. This project is the Plan A for the European Space agency. The plan B is an evolution of the ATV proposed by a consortium of European companies led by Astrium."
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First Images of Russian-European Manned Spacecraft

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  • the hell? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by jollyreaper ( 513215 ) on Wednesday July 23, 2008 @10:01AM (#24303645)

    Looks like a goddamn iCapsule. Damn you, Jobs!

    Anyone else getting depressed with the space race? We've been at it for decades and the latest and greatest the Ruskies and Americans come up with looks like pretty much the same shit we've been doing for years, or in America's case, a 30 year wasted effort and then we come back to capsules. Repackaging the same old shit, up the price and call it a new version for the future, where have I seen this before? Oh, right, Microsoft. Apollo would be something along the lines of Win9x, better than what came before but not great. The shuttle would be like WinMil, we skipped XP and went straight to Vista with this Constellation debacle, and once that fails the next next shuttle successor will be something like Windows 7, a looming future failure.


  • Re:the hell? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Cyberax ( 705495 ) on Wednesday July 23, 2008 @10:05AM (#24303719)

    The main problem is: chemical rockets suck.

    There's just no way to cheaply lift payload to orbit using our current rockets. That's why there's no revolutions in spacecraft-building.

    We need something like space-plane, launch loops or space elevator for new space revolution.

  • Re:Go Europe! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by el_coyotexdk ( 1045108 ) on Wednesday July 23, 2008 @10:26AM (#24304051)
    If we go there, who is going to stop us from removing the flags and claiming they never were there. All the conspiracy theorists would blieve us anyway. And the US doesnt have anything at the moment that can go to the moon :)
  • Re:Lunar? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Amorymeltzer ( 1213818 ) on Wednesday July 23, 2008 @10:46AM (#24304383)

    And can't do now.

  • by Amorymeltzer ( 1213818 ) on Wednesday July 23, 2008 @10:53AM (#24304487)

    You might as well ask what the point of new music is? We've already got tons of it, more than enough to go around for a lifetime, so why don't we just close up shop, and put all that money, which happens to be more than is invested in manned space exploration, into poverty relief?

    It's human nature to see something you can't do and then try to do it. Why bother scaling Everest? It served no purpose, but it was there and we did it. There should be no area of human existence where we refuse to advance ourselves - whether poverty relief, musical innovation, or space exploration. Mankind needs to do more, it needs to search higher. Knowing more about the universe is never a bad thing, and while cost-analysis should be taken into consideration, it borders on inhumane to deny our basic instincts for discovery.

  • Re:the hell? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by WhiplashII ( 542766 ) on Wednesday July 23, 2008 @10:53AM (#24304505) Homepage Journal

    Um, no. It costs $20 per pound delivered to orbit for rocket propellant. Since only, say, 1/4 of that is payload, say the true cost of propellant is $80 per pound of payload in orbit.

    The vast majority of rocket launch expense is human salaries. The next largest expense is the expendable hardware. The propellant costs are down in the noise, approximately the same price as the celebration pizza party.

    If you want to lower the cost of space access, don't bother with the engine technology - launch more often (so those salaries can be spread across more launches and people can get better at there jobs), and don't throw so much away (the shuttle throws away almost as much hardware as an expendable rocket).

  • Re:hmm (Score:3, Insightful)

    by sznupi ( 719324 ) on Wednesday July 23, 2008 @10:57AM (#24304579) Homepage

    But Soyuz DOES include thrusters for softer touchdown... (which is simply a little rough when they fail)

  • Re:the hell? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by ianare ( 1132971 ) on Wednesday July 23, 2008 @11:39AM (#24305329)

    4. BOOM. (Yeah, I know, in space, nobody can hear you detonate your nuclear weapons. Bear with me here.) Ship is now traveling very fast away from point of detonation.

    a. it would be inefficient, as only a small portion of the blast would be used to actually propel the craft, the rest would just go off into space.
    b. it could only be used for non-fragile payloads (i.e. water, food) due to the sudden acceleration.
    c. how do you control direction ?

    then there's the political issues ...

  • Re: The Summary (Score:3, Insightful)

    by KlausBreuer ( 105581 ) on Thursday July 24, 2008 @08:27AM (#24316807) Homepage

    The worst thing about this is that, given our trust in gouverment and media, by 2021 we expect to see that kind of vague information...

Nothing ever becomes real till it is experienced -- even a proverb is no proverb to you till your life has illustrated it. -- John Keats