Feeds

Space station barney kicks off in India

Constructive debate, we're sure

Intelligent flash storage arrays

It has cost billions upon billions and it isn't finished yet, but partners in the International Space Station project are already arguing about when it should be shut down, according to AFP reports.

The various agencies' positions are as follows: In the red corner (not political statement, just a handy colour) we have NASA, which says it has no plans to do anything at all with the ISS for more than five years after its completion. In the blue corner, we have European Space Agency (ESA), which says (roughly) if NASA is going, it won't be picking up the budgetary slack.

In the green corner, Russia wants the station's life to be extended. The remaining partners, Japan and Canada, are not showing their cards quite yet.

The Europeans are not happy, however, with the US plans to pull out. According to pundits, ESA takes the view that five years is too short a period to run the ISS, given the enormous investment. But since the US picks up the lion's share of the running costs, NASA is calling the shots.

Speaking at the astronautics congress in Hyderabad, southern India, ESA chief Jean-Jacques Dordain said: "If NASA is staying, we are ready to follow. If NASA is quitting, I shall not propose to ESA to pay part of the cost that NASA is covering today. ESA is not prepared to pay NASA's share when NASA has left the space station."

NASA estimates that it spends roughly $2.3bn of its annual budget just keeping the space station running. Now that the political emphasis in Washington has shifted so emphatically towards manned space exploration generally, and the moon in particular, NASA clearly has an incentive to focus beyond low-Earth orbit. The space agency says lunar bases are the future platforms for manned exploration of our solar system. ®

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

More from The Register

next story
Rosetta probot drilling DENIED: Philae has its 'LEG in the AIR'
NOT best position for scientific fulfillment
LIFE, JIM? Comet probot lander found 'ORGANICS' on far-off iceball
That's it for God, then – if Comet 67P has got complex molecules
'Yes, yes... YES!' Philae lands on COMET 67P
Plucky probot aces landing on high-speed space rock - emotional scenes in Darmstadt
HUMAN DNA 'will be FOUND ON MOON' – rocking boffin Brian Cox
Crowdfund plan to stimulate Blighty's space programme
THERE it is! Philae comet lander FOUND in EXISTING Rosetta PICS
Crumb? Pixel? ALIEN? Better, it's a comet-catcher!
SEX BEAST SEALS may be egging each other on to ATTACK PENGUINS
Boffin: 'I think the behaviour is increasing in frequency'
Post-pub nosh neckfiller: The MIGHTY Scotch egg
Off to the boozer? This delicacy might help mitigate the effects
I'M SO SORRY, sobs Rosetta Brit boffin in 'sexist' sexy shirt storm
'He is just being himself' says proud mum of larger-than-life physicist
NASA launches new climate model at SC14
75 days of supercomputing later ...
prev story

Whitepapers

Choosing cloud Backup services
Demystify how you can address your data protection needs in your small- to medium-sized business and select the best online backup service to meet your needs.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
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 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.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.