Feeds

NASA eyes Atlas V for 'naut-lifting duties

Goodbye shuttle, hello big rocket

Security for virtualized datacentres

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.

Security for virtualized datacentres

More from The Register

next story
Boffins who stare at goats: I do believe they’re SHRINKING
Alpine chamois being squashed by global warming
What's that STINK? Rosetta probe shoves nose under comet's tail
Rotten eggs, horse dung and almonds – yuck
Comet Siding Spring revealed as flying molehill
Hiding from this space pimple isn't going to do humanity's reputation any good
Kip Thorne explains how he created the black hole for Interstellar
Movie special effects project spawns academic papers on gravitational lensing
Experts brand LOHAN's squeaky-clean box
Phytosanitary treatment renders Vulture 2 crate fit for export
LONG ARM of the SAUR: Brachially gifted dino bone conundrum solved
Deinocheirus mirificus was a bit of a knuckle dragger
Moment of truth for LOHAN's servos: Our US allies are poised for final test flight
Will Vulture 2 freeze at altitude? Edge Research Lab to find out
prev story

Whitepapers

Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
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.
New hybrid storage solutions
Tackling data challenges through emerging hybrid storage solutions that enable optimum database performance whilst managing costs and increasingly large data stores.