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.

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
Renewable energy 'simply WON'T WORK': Top Google engineers
Windmills, solar, tidal - all a 'false hope', say Stanford PhDs
SEX BEAST SEALS may be egging each other on to ATTACK PENGUINS
Boffin: 'I think the behaviour is increasing in frequency'
HUMAN DNA 'will be FOUND ON MOON' – rockin' boffin Brian Cox
Crowdfund plan to stimulate Blighty's space programme
Post-pub nosh neckfiller: The MIGHTY Scotch egg
Off to the boozer? This delicacy might help mitigate the effects
I'M SO SORRY, sobs Rosetta Brit boffin in 'sexist' sexy shirt storm
'He is just being himself' says proud mum of larger-than-life physicist
NASA launches new climate model at SC14
75 days of supercomputing later ...
Britain's HUMAN DNA-strewing Moon mission rakes in £200k
3 days, and Kickstarter moves lander 37% nearer takeoff
prev story

Whitepapers

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.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
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?
Reducing the cost and complexity of web vulnerability management
How using vulnerability assessments to identify exploitable weaknesses and take corrective action can reduce the risk of hackers finding your site and attacking it.
Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile
Data demand and the rise of virtualization is challenging IT teams to deliver storage performance, scalability and capacity that can keep up, while maximizing efficiency.