Feeds

Space station barney kicks off in India

Constructive debate, we're sure

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

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. ®

Next gen security for virtualised datacentres

More from The Register

next story
Vulture 2 takes a battering in 100km/h test run
Still in one piece, but we're going to need MORE POWER
TRIANGULAR orbits will help Rosetta to get up close with Comet 67P
Probe will be just 10km from Space Duck in October
Boffins ID freakish spine-smothered prehistoric critter: The CLAW gave it away
Bizarre-looking creature actually related to velvet worms
CRR-CRRRK, beep, beep: Mars space truck backs out of slippery sand trap
Curiosity finds new drilling target after course correction
What does a flashmob of 1,024 robots look like? Just like this
Sorry, Harvard, did you say kilobots or KILLER BOTS?
NASA's rock'n'roll shock: ROLLING STONE FOUND ON MARS
No sign of Ziggy Stardust and his band
Why your mum was WRONG about whiffy tattooed people
They're a future source of RENEWABLE ENERGY
Vulture 2 spaceplane autopilot brain surgery a total success
LOHAN slips into some sexy bespoke mission parameters
Another step forward for diamond-based quantum computers
Square cut or pear-shaped, these qubits don't lose their shape
prev story

Whitepapers

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup
IT departments are embracing cloud backup, but there’s a lot you need to know before choosing a service provider. Learn all the critical things you need to know.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.
Rethinking backup and recovery in the modern data center
Combining intelligence, operational analytics, and automation to enable efficient, data-driven IT organizations using the HP ABR approach.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.