Feeds

NASA eyes Atlas V for 'naut-lifting duties

Goodbye shuttle, hello big rocket

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

NASA has welcomed United Launch Alliance aboard its Commercial Crew Program, and the two organisations will investigate the possibility of using the Atlas V lifter (see pic*) to launch astronauts into low-Earth orbit.

An Atlas V launch. Pic: ULANASA head honcho Charles Bolden said of the deal: "I am truly excited about the addition of ULA to NASA's Commercial Crew Development Program team. Having ULA on board may speed the development of a commercial crew transportation system for the International Space Station, allowing NASA to concentrate its resources on exploring beyond low-Earth orbit."

George Sowers, ULA's vice president of business development, said: "We believe this effort will demonstrate to NASA that our systems are fully compliant with NASA requirements for human space flight.

"ULA looks forward to continued work with NASA to develop a US commercial crew space transportation capability providing safe, reliable, and cost effective access to and return from low Earth orbit and the International Space Station."

ULA's expendable Atlas V is one option to get US 'nauts back into space following the imminent retirement of the shuttle fleet. Until a suitable vehicle is found, NASA will rely on Russian Soyuz spacecraft to carry its people to and from the ISS.

The Atlas V rocket family is already used by NASA and the Department of Defense for "critical space missions", and "since their debut in August 2002, Atlas V vehicles have achieved 100 per cent mission success in launches".

The vehicles feature "a standard common core booster", with customers able to add "up to five strap-on solid rocket boosters", according to their lifting needs. ULA has more on the Atlas V here. ®

Bootnote

*ULA elaborates: "An Atlas V rocket lifts off carrying the NROL-34 mission for the National Reconnaissance Office". NROL-34 was a classified satellite payload which blasted off from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California on 14 April this year.

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
MARS NEEDS WOMEN, claims NASA pseudo 'naut: They eat less
'Some might find this idea offensive' boffin admits
SECRET U.S. 'SPACE WARPLANE' set to return from SPY MISSION
Robot minishuttle X-37B returns after almost 2 years in orbit
LOHAN crash lands on CNN
Overflies Die Welt en route to lively US news vid
Experts brand LOHAN's squeaky-clean box
Phytosanitary treatment renders Vulture 2 crate fit for export
You can crunch it all you like, but the answer is NOT always in the data
Hear that, 'data journalists'? Our analytics prof holds forth
No sail: NASA spikes Sunjammer
'Solar sail' demonstrator project binned
America's super-secret X-37B plane returns to Earth after nearly TWO YEARS aloft
674 days in space for US Air Force's mystery orbital vehicle
Carry On Cosmonaut: Willful Child is a poor taste Star Trek parody
Cringeworthy, crude and crass jokes abound in Steven Erikson’s sci-fi debut
Origins of SEXUAL INTERCOURSE fished out of SCOTTISH LAKE
Fossil find proves it first happened 385 million years ago
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
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.