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EU and Russia Show Off New Lunar Spacecraft Design 184

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 @01:04AM (#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.

  • Too soon (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Mad Hughagi ( 193374 ) on Sunday July 27, 2008 @01:45AM (#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:Space Unity (Score:5, Insightful)

    by inKubus ( 199753 ) on Sunday July 27, 2008 @02:14AM (#24355409) Homepage Journal

    People simply working for a common goal is "Communism"? EVERY great advance in history is a result of people sacrificing for a common goal. Take the Manhattan project, as a for instance. The inspiration, in this case, was a horrible war. Why, if someone mentions the mere possibility of doing something together, NOT because of a war, but because we're HUMANS and WE CAN, it's branded as "communism"? That couldn't be further from the truth. Your mindset is the result of brainwashing by the people who REALLY benefit from the so called free market. There isn't a free market here anymore.

    I call for a FREER market, where anyone who is willing or able can contribute, rather than sitting on our thumbs and watching our tax dollars flow into the pockets of the space oligarchy. History only proves what HAS happened, not what can. Free society works because people are rewarded for merit. What I'm saying is that people are discouraged because they are NOT being fairly rewarded for their merit. And a collective success, for all humanity, would be a mental reward, a turning point in human history. For money, yes, but also for everyone's livelyhood.

    We sit at a time where the basic necessities in life, WORLD-WIDE are less expensive in time and energy than ever before in history. The reason for this is technology. We HAVE time, especially in America, to spend thinking about the greater goals of humanity because we don't have to spend all of our time worrying about food, shelter, medicine, etc. This is a direct result of the free market, not because we all decided to collectively create a better standard of living. A FEW men, GREAT men, made these things possible through their hard work and ingenuity.

    The competing and crawling we are all doing now is simply to make more waste, not produce anything. To get more luxuries that are basically made by robots nowadays. And so people are discouraged. They are not seeing anything INSPIRING anymore.

    So there are two ways to go about it. Rally everyone around their fears, their unseen enemies, their negative emotions OR rally everyone around their hopes, dreams of peace for all, their positive emotions. That is not COMMUNISM. That's humanism at it's finest. Capital, human capital, money, rewards for those who succeed; these are all essential to the goals of humankind because you're right--people want to compete. But will it be a friendly game or a war? It seems to me that you have given in to the dark side, and no longer recognize that we--as humans--are all one, stuck on this planet with nowhere to run except together. In the melting pot that is America, there is no greater concept.

    So, why don't you stop looking at the past and start looking at the future and stop giving in to your fears (which were probably created by some newspaper anyway)?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 27, 2008 @02:18AM (#24355445)

    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.

  • Re:Space Unity (Score:2, Insightful)

    by oodaloop ( 1229816 ) on Sunday July 27, 2008 @02:18AM (#24355447)
    I think the parent merely forgot the SML (Sarcasm Markup Language) tags.
  • Re:Simply not true (Score:5, Insightful)

    by inKubus ( 199753 ) on Sunday July 27, 2008 @02:45AM (#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.

  • by im_thatoneguy ( 819432 ) on Sunday July 27, 2008 @03:14AM (#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.

  • by inKubus ( 199753 ) on Sunday July 27, 2008 @03:18AM (#24355781) Homepage Journal

    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 chance to change the world, or discover new things outside the planet, and that's a real shame. When there's more interest in basically anesthesizing yourself with drugs than contributing to a better future, it's a sign of a society's failure. History HAS shown that, although I'm not a fan of history. I see this apathy everywhere I go. Maybe I'm crazy but I think people want to be inspired, and for as long as anyone can remember we haven't been. Or if we have, it's about stupid war stuff and not something positive.

  • by im_thatoneguy ( 819432 ) on Sunday July 27, 2008 @03:25AM (#24355813)

    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.

  • Re:Space Unity (Score:4, Insightful)

    by spandex_panda ( 1168381 ) on Sunday July 27, 2008 @03:26AM (#24355823)
    you been watching that Enron movie? Geez some of those Americans are nasty bastards... De-regulation killed folks. European Union type regulation seems much more equitable and 'free' than American 'freedoms'.
  • Re:Simply not true (Score:2, Insightful)

    by timmarhy ( 659436 ) on Sunday July 27, 2008 @03:28AM (#24355829)
    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.

  • Re:Paradox (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 27, 2008 @04:43AM (#24356069)

    The thing is that people are not born equal and some are better than others. Treating everyone as if they were identical is how we get shit like the US k-12 education system.

  • Re:Space Unity (Score:3, Insightful)

    by sumdumass ( 711423 ) on Sunday July 27, 2008 @05:51AM (#24356301) Journal

    Deregulation of what killed who?

    I hope your not talking about Enron. It wasn't deregulation there. Enron was manipulating prices and scamming the system in ways that were already illegal. The so called deregulation in California which was only partial deregulation only exposed Enron's illegal activities and caused the bankruptcy.

    The EU type of regulation costs on average of 30% more to the consumer then American energy does before you add in taxes depending on where in the Eu you are. Average costs can be compared here. [] And yes, that is in US dollars already adjusted for the week dollar. Notice how the average in the US is 10.4 cents per Kilowatthour and England is 18.6 cents. Denmark doesn't have a 2006 listing but in 2005, it was 29.5 cents compare to 9.5 cents in the US. France seems to be a little better with 14.4 cents in 2006. Now, consider that on top of this rate, there is a 5% vat tax added on and then normal government taxes. Plus there are tariffs designed to combat global warming that add costs. Although I think most of the tariffs are voluntary at this state.

    These numbers only go to 2006 and in some cases, just 2004. If you think they are doing something better, I suggest you look again. Their rates went up again because of "global warming" measures and to get them in compliance with Kyoto accords and all. In 2005, Germany was paying and average of 21.2 cents per Kilowatthour and their rates supposedly jumped 25% in order to implement a solar program because of global warming. If my math works correctly, that should put them around 26.5 cents now.

    Now of course those numbers are the average for the country and some areas may be more or less. But the same wisdom holds true for all the countries in order to calculate an average. Imagine going from 10.4 cents to Frances 14.4 cents averages. That's a 38-39% increase automatically. My billing last month was for 786 Kilowatt-hours. I actually pay 7.9 cents but lets go with the averageof 10.4 cents. That's around $79.81 for the month at US average rates. If I was paying the France rate of 14.4 cents, I would be paying $110.60 instead. Using the UK's rate, $142.84. Germany ans Denmark respectively would be $162.81 and $226.56.

    As you can see, I wouldn't think their is anything sane with the EU's system. I much prefer my hypothetical average of $79.81 (the actual @ 7.49 cents was $57.52 for the month) over the EU's pricing and controls.

    Have you actually looked at the differences or did someone tell your which is better. Of course if the US starts a carbon trade, we will probably be in the same boat as the EU shortly. And I'm sure the averages have increased somewhat over the last 2 years or so. I'm not looking forward to that at all.

  • by Richard_at_work ( 517087 ) <richardprice@gm a i l . com> on Sunday July 27, 2008 @06:24AM (#24356425)
    Why does cargo need babysitting? Use the Progress resupply vehicle - no human lives to endanger while delivering new toilet roll to the ISS.
  • by david.given ( 6740 ) <> on Sunday July 27, 2008 @07:56AM (#24356893) Homepage Journal

    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 lifter and a cargo heavylifter and an on-orbit habitation module and a heavy cargo return vehicle and an aeroplane, which means it does everything badly rather than doing one thing well.

  • Re:Too soon (Score:3, Insightful)

    by mpeskett ( 1221084 ) on Sunday July 27, 2008 @08:26AM (#24357023)
    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.

If graphics hackers are so smart, why can't they get the bugs out of fresh paint?