Feeds

NASA eyes Atlas V for 'naut-lifting duties

Goodbye shuttle, hello big rocket

Remote control for virtualized desktops

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.

Remote control for virtualized desktops

More from The Register

next story
Antarctic ice THICKER than first feared – penguin-bot boffins
Robo-sub scans freezing waters, rocks warming models
I'll be back (and forward): Hollywood's time travel tribulations
Quick, call the Time Cops to sort out this paradox!
Your PHONE is slowly KILLING YOU
Doctors find new Digitillnesses - 'text neck' and 'telepressure'
Reuse the Force, Luke: SpaceX's Elon Musk reveals X-WING designs
And a floating carrier for recyclable rockets
Britain's HUMAN DNA-strewing Moon mission rakes in £200k
3 days, and Kickstarter moves lander 37% nearer takeoff
Bond villains lament as Wicked Lasers withdraw death ray
Want to arm that shark? Better get in there quick
prev story

Whitepapers

Driving business with continuous operational intelligence
Introducing an innovative approach offered by ExtraHop for producing continuous operational intelligence.
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.
How to determine if cloud backup is right for your servers
Two key factors, technical feasibility and TCO economics, that backup and IT operations managers should consider when assessing cloud backup.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence
Download Choosing a Cloud Hosting Provider with Confidence to learn more about cloud computing - the new opportunities and new security challenges.