Feeds

Europe, Russia discuss 'orbital shipyard' plans

ISS to be replaced by Mars-ship docking facility?

Top three mobile application threats

Space bigwigs in Russia and Europe are working on ambitious plans for an international space shipyard in orbit above the Earth, according to reports. The orbital shipyard would be used to assemble manned spacecraft capable of travelling to the Moon or Mars.

NASA concept of a nuclear-powered Mars ship with centrifuge crew accommodation

Despite the problem with the champagne at the launch ceremony,

the SS Red Planet went on to a successful career on the Mars run.

Flight International says that the plans have been discussed at meetings between officials of Roscosmos - the Russian space bureau - and the European Space Agency (ESA), in the context of multinational space efforts following the retirement of the International Space Station (ISS). According to Flight, the subject of an orbital ship-assembly facility was debated by ESA chief Jean-Jacques Dordain and other space bigwigs from Russia and the European Commission.

Involvement by the EC signifies interest from the European Union, as distinct from the ESA: while the ESA works closely with Brussels, it isn't part of the Union and its list of member states is different. Many EU nations aren't in the ESA, and some ESA countries aren't in the EU (Canada, for instance).

Flight reports that most of the world's major space agencies will come together to discuss Moon and Mars exploration in the post-ISS era at the Hague in June. China, which has said it would like to have a manned orbital facility by 2025, is expected to attend.

At the moment the multibillion-dollar ISS, still under construction, is set to be closed down in 2016 - though there is talk of keeping it in service until 2020. It is predominantly American and Russian, but has significant participation from the ESA, Japan and other countries.

Most current plans for manned flights and bases even on the Moon would involve some level of ship assembly in Earth orbit: NASA's Constellation programme would see lunar astronauts taking off aboard an Ares I rocket, but most of their stuff lifting off separately on an Ares V to rendezvous with them outside the atmosphere. Vessels capable of taking people to Mars and back would be likely to require more launches and more complex assembly in space.

Even so, it's not immediately clear exactly how a permanent Earth-orbit facility would help in the process of plugging together largely prefabricated modules or components.

The Flight report is here. ®

3 Big data security analytics techniques

More from The Register

next story
Red-faced LOHAN team 'fesses up in blown SPEARS fuse fiasco
Standing in the corner, big pointy 'D' hats
KILLER SPONGES menacing California coastline
Surfers are safe, crustaceans less so
Opportunity selfie: Martian winds have given the spunky ol' rover a spring cleaning
Power levels up 70 per cent as the rover keeps on truckin'
KILLER ROBOTS, DNA TAMPERING and PEEPING CYBORGS: the future looks bright!
Americans optimistic about technology despite being afraid of EVERYTHING
Discovery time for 200m WONDER MATERIALS shaved from 4 MILLENNIA... to 4 years
Alloy, Alloy: Boffins in speed-classification breakthrough
Liftoff! SpaceX Falcon 9 lifts Dragon on third resupply mission to ISS
SpaceX snaps smartly into one-second launch window
Elon Musk's LEAKY THRUSTER gas stalls Space Station supply run
Helium seeps from Falcon 9 first stage, delays new legs for NASA robonaut
prev story

Whitepapers

Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.