Feeds

Russia and Europe tout new space plane

The start of the post-Shuttle era?

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

Russia and Europe are in talks to build a new a space plane that will fly missions to the International Space Station once Shuttle's final flight is over in 2010.

The new plane would have a lot of new ideas in its design, explains RKK Energuya engineer Vladimir Daneev. "Since the construction of the Shuttle and Buran, a lot of new materials have been found and new technologies have appeared," he said. "We will use all this Russian know-how in the new spacecraft, and we are eager to incorporate a maximum of European technology in the design."

Artists' impression of the Kliper spacecraft in orbit

The three-module vehicle would be capable of transporting six astronauts and 500kg of cargo, or two astronauts and 700kg of supplies. It would be capable of landing on a runway, or with a parachute, according to a EuroNews report.

Since Shuttle's grounding in 2003, the Russian Soyuz capsule has been the only way to service the ISS, bringing supplies and rotating crew. As well as the capsule has done its job, without Shuttle, the station will never be complete. Soyuz is not big enough to bring up the last pieces of the orbiting habitat, including Europe's Columbus module.

But Shuttle is scheduled to stop flying altogether in 2010, and the space station will be in use long after that. NASA is not alone in planning for a post-Shuttle era, and the Russians are keen to move on from the 1960's (now, undoubtedly retro) 'Model-T' Soyuz capsule, and book their place in the future of space exploration.

Frank de Winne, a Belgian ESA astronaut, says that the Soyuz concept is getting rather old. "It is also getting rather difficult to produce this type of spacecraft. The Americans are examining a new system of manned space transport, called the Crew Exploration Vehicle; and there is the Russian Kliper project, in which Europe is particularly interested," he concluded. ®

Related stories

Shuttle to fly 13 July
NASA: Ice won't threaten Shuttle launch
Shuttle grounded until July

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
Boffins say they've got Lithium batteries the wrong way around
Surprises at the nano-scale mean our ideas about how they charge could be all wrong
Thought that last dinosaur was BIG? This one's bloody ENORMOUS
Weighed several adult elephants, contend boffins
Europe prepares to INVADE comet: Rosetta landing site chosen
No word yet on whether backup site is labelled 'K'
India's MOM Mars mission makes final course correction
Mangalyaan probe will feel the burn of orbital insertion on September 24th
City hidden beneath England's Stonehenge had HUMAN ABATTOIR. And a pub
Boozed-up ancients drank beer before tearing corpses apart
'Duck face' selfie in SPAAAACE: Rosetta's snap with bird comet
Probe prepares to make first landing on fast-moving rock
Archaeologists and robots on hunt for more Antikythera pieces
How much of the world's oldest computer can they find?
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet
Explores the current state of website security and the contributions Symantec is making to help organizations protect critical data and build trust with customers.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.