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EU and Russia Show Off New Lunar Spacecraft Design

timothy posted more than 6 years ago | from the it's-only-a-model dept.

Space 184

schliz writes "Space flight planners have unveiled a new spaceship design for a joint EU/Russian trip to the Moon. The EU will be building the crew capsule, using technology developed for the automatic cargo system used to supply the International Space Station." First one to link to decent pics (the article has none) wins undying gratitude and a warm feeling inside.

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Take me to (1, Offtopic)

spydum (828400) | more than 6 years ago | (#24354925)

your liter.

About time (3, Insightful)

seeker_1us (1203072) | more than 6 years ago | (#24354985)

It's been.. what nearly 35 years since we've been to the moon? About time someone (and not the US since the Iraq war has sucked up all our money) went there.

Interestingly, from TFA it sounds like they will NOT use the separate landing craft approach of Apollo.

Re:About time (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24355023)

Even the Metagovernment will get to the moon before the U.S. ever gets its shit together.

Re:About time (2, Interesting)

Skrapion (955066) | more than 6 years ago | (#24355193)

About time someone (and not the US since the Iraq war has sucked up all our money) went there.

That's funny, if the US has run out of money, how can they afford to stay in Iraq?

The war is costing $720 million/day. I say they scale that back to $700 million/day and give the rest to NASA. That should be more than enough for them to work with!

Re:About time (0, Troll)

timmarhy (659436) | more than 6 years ago | (#24355415)

you can afford it because you are lending money from the eu and china (see how that pans out).

that aside, why the hell does someone on here always have to compare the cost of something to the war in iraq and why do they have to use bullshit inflated figures? yes fighting a war is bloody expensive, yes it's money that could be spent better else where. but the real cost is roughly 133 million a day. lieing about it doesn't do anyone any good.

Re:About time (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24355641)

You and the parent both fail to provide any sources for your postulations so right now you're both equally wrong.

Re:About time (1)

markov_chain (202465) | more than 6 years ago | (#24355671)

Yeah but a 100 million here, a 100 million there and pretty soon you're talking about real money!

Re:About time (2, Funny)

david.given (6740) | more than 6 years ago | (#24356847)

The war is costing $720 million/day.

Where do you get your figures from? According to nationalpriorities.org (which given its bias would tend to overestimate, if anything), it 'only' costs $340e6 per day.

(You may be amused to know that that would pay off my mortgage in slightly more than 30 seconds.)

Too soon (4, Insightful)

Mad Hughagi (193374) | more than 6 years ago | (#24355253)

We've been there, and picked up enough rocks to last a while. What else is there to do...?

Until we can build largely self-sustaining colonies and prove them on earth the fuel and resources would be better spent launching probes, satellites, telescopes, etc. - not sending people on moon vacations.

Re:About time (1)

William Robinson (875390) | more than 6 years ago | (#24355257)

Interestingly, from TFA it sounds like they will NOT use the separate landing craft approach of Apollo.

So, are they going to shoot in desert of Siberia this time? :)

Re:About time (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24355915)

The EU is just using Russian technology and basically doing a few panel upgrades(RKK Energia doing all the layout work). Beating us Americans to Mars would be something to marvel at.

Going to the moon just seems a little overhyped, I wonder if there will even be an audience to watch when it happens. To Mars is where the real challenge is at, constantly referencing a space build up to Nuclear arms with the Apollo program cannot be compared to todays funding so stop it please.

Just seems there is a lot of ass kissing of the EU and constant criticization of NASA/America around here. Just gotta put this into perspective and see that what NASA does with little effort easily trumps what the EU would do; really just using Russian technology and footing some of the bill that they could not afford.
Bush and Dick Head really has seemed to taint the public opinion on everything of American opinion around here, you cannot really voice your patriotisim around here without being modded away into oblivion and having to constantly re-evaluate history to make sure that Americans do not get credit for anything.

Different times, same reasons (3, Informative)

mangu (126918) | more than 6 years ago | (#24356735)

not the US since the Iraq war has sucked up all our money

And it would be interesting to note that the US stopped the Apollo moon project in the 1970s in part because the Vietnam war was sucking up all their money.

Looks to me like another space race (1)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | more than 6 years ago | (#24354997)

If the U.S. Government still has the balls for it. Personally I am not so sure, though I am not quite sure where they lost them.

Re:Looks to me like another space race (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24355195)

Ah.. a sarcastic anti-USian slashdotter. Whodathunkit? Never mind that we already did the moon before most of you were born.

Screw the moon, I want to restart the nuclear arms race. We need to kick the U.S. weapons labs in the ass and tell them that we need weapons small enough such that one ICBM can deliver 30 MIRVS each with a ten megaton yield. In addition, we need stealthy hypersonic cruise missiles as a backup to the ICBMs.

Hell, bring back project Pluto [wikipedia.org] !

We then need to pre-target every population center over 100k people on the planet as long as they are not on US territory, including so-called U.S. allies like France, the U.K., and Australia. For the Canadians and Mexicans we should bring back neutron weapons.

I mean really, since it is us versus everybody else, let's just get busy already.

Re:Looks to me like another space race (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24355249)

Ah... a moronic USian slashdotter. ...Actually, that's common enough to not even be worth commenting on. My bad.

Re:Looks to me like another space race (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24355455)

Ah.. An ignorant fuck who can't say American. BTW, it follows the common naming convention when taking about countries. It is the United State of America after fucking all.

Re:Looks to me like another space race (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24355697)

It is the United State of America after fucking all.
... Are you sure about that?

Re:Looks to me like another space race (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24355831)

Actually, I think he's inadvertently said something brilliant.
 
The United State of America would be a great name for our new global dominion after we're done fucking everyone.

Re:Looks to me like another space race (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24356119)

An ignorant motherfucker who can't see what GP said.

Re:Looks to me like another space race (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24355255)

The issue with your plan is that you, fat Americans, cry like babies as soon as you have few casualties. You have never fought a real war on you soil. What makes you think that you could even last more than a few days against the whole planet?

Re:Looks to me like another space race (0)

gregbot9000 (1293772) | more than 6 years ago | (#24355303)

The ability to attain prosperity on earth takes away a lot of the desire to watch the government spend on space. luckily the EU and Russia both have heavy handed government so thats not a problem for them.

See what I did there, I took your rant about the US and turned it into one about Europe, all without one fact. I'm going to go smoke a cigarette.

Re:Looks to me like another space race (0, Flamebait)

Alex Belits (437) | more than 6 years ago | (#24356227)

Except, of course, it makes no sense -- your premise is wrong, your conclusion is wrong, and there is absolutely no logic.

Enjoy your "prosperity" (aka debt), I guess.

Links to pics and the BBC article (5, Informative)

Mordok-DestroyerOfWo (1000167) | more than 6 years ago | (#24354999)

Here [bbc.co.uk]

Re:Links to pics and the BBC article (1)

igny (716218) | more than 6 years ago | (#24355707)

The warm feeling award goes to submitter of this [slashdot.org]

Re:Links to pics and the BBC article (4, Funny)

I confirm I'm not a (720413) | more than 6 years ago | (#24355721)

More pictures here [slashdot.org] . It's a Slashdot article from Thursday entitled "First Images of Russian-European Manned Spacecraft".

Link to further discussion of this vehicle (4, Funny)

meringuoid (568297) | more than 6 years ago | (#24356181)

A popular tech website posted news about this a few days ago; there was a lengthy and interesting discussion: here [slashdot.org] .

Undying gratitude?? (2, Informative)

conlaw (983784) | more than 6 years ago | (#24355007)

I'll just settle for the warm feeling, thanks. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/shared/spl/hi/pop_ups/08/sci_nat_enl_1216739410/html/1.stm [bbc.co.uk]

Re:Undying gratitude?? (2, Funny)

ben2umbc (1090351) | more than 6 years ago | (#24355183)

mod parent +1 for undying gratitude and warm feelings from swimming in the kiddy pool.

Russia is the pioneer here... (4, Informative)

bogaboga (793279) | more than 6 years ago | (#24355033)

"...The EU will be building the crew capsule, using technology developed for the automatic cargo system used to supply the International Space Station..."

I thought it is important for Slashdotters to know that when it comes to automatic docking of spacecraft in outer space, Russians have been doing this for decades without much fan fare!

I just do not understand why we in the west always appear to get "full of it" when it comes to technology issues. Why?

Even when we 100% relied on the Russian Soyuz technology not many years ago, this fact did not capture headlines in Russia. If it were the other way round, I am sure CNN, ABC and FOX would inundate us with the story as if nothing else mattered.

Re:Russia is the pioneer here... (3, Informative)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | more than 6 years ago | (#24355061)

Not so very long ago -- though it has been a few years -- the U.S. had to take over and dock Apollo and Soyuz capsules that were scheduled to be docked by the Russians, because the Russian equipment failed to handle the job. The Russians tried for like 2 hours, and could not get the two capsules to meet up within tolerance. The U.S. crew took over with the American equipment, and the job was done in 10 minutes.

Nothing against the Russians, but their technology is still not a match for our own. Even though that was some years back, that is still simply a fact.

Examples (3, Informative)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | more than 6 years ago | (#24355201)

I do not think any of these are the circumstance to which I referred, but here are a few examples to back up what I say anyway. I believe one of them refers to the same situation as one of the others, but that still makes 3: http://edition.cnn.com/2001/TECH/space/11/28/failed.docking/index.html [cnn.com] http://www.powerset.com/explore/semhtml/Soyuz_33 [powerset.com] http://www.powerset.com/explore/semhtml/Soyuz_T-8?query=Soyuz+33 [powerset.com] http://english.people.com.cn/200610/28/eng20061028_315800.html [people.com.cn] I do not know where you got your information, but the fact is that the United States has always had better docking technology than the Soviet Union. In fact, the Soviets have a rather poor record at it.

Re:Examples (1)

Ihmhi (1206036) | more than 6 years ago | (#24355233)

<p> and </p>. Please learn to use them so we don't have to be subjected to a garbled mess.

Re:Examples (1)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | more than 6 years ago | (#24355245)

No, I use
instead. But I passed them up in this one case.

Re:Examples (1)

rohan972 (880586) | more than 6 years ago | (#24355605)

Not sure if you're being funny or just forgot to escape the characters,
&lt; = <
&gt; = >
http://www.theukwebdesigncompany.com/articles/entity-escape-characters.php [theukwebde...ompany.com] for a list of escape characters. Apologies if I ruined a joke.

Re:Examples (1)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | more than 6 years ago | (#24355777)

A little of both. :o) Just having a of fun, but yeah, I could have escaped them if I'd thought about it.

haha... (1)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | more than 6 years ago | (#24355787)

Looks like it will not display all html characters after all.

Re:Examples (1)

bloodninja (1291306) | more than 6 years ago | (#24355811)

Not sure if you're being funny or just forgot to escape the characters. Apologies if I ruined a joke.

Hey, I am an escaped character, you insensitive clod!

Re:Examples (1)

rohan972 (880586) | more than 6 years ago | (#24356103)

Hey, I am an insensitive clod, you escaped Soviet Russian character welcoming overlord!

Re:Examples (1)

khallow (566160) | more than 6 years ago | (#24355383)

The US doesn't have an remote docking system in use. The Russians do.

Re:Examples (-1, Troll)

sumdumass (711423) | more than 6 years ago | (#24355485)

I don't think you understand. The US has remote control capabilities and a US astronaut did what the Russian computer failed to do in about 10 minutes. I can understand relying on computers to do stuff your Cosmonauts can't do, The US just doesn't see them as brain dead as much.

Re:Russia is the pioneer here... (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24355445)

Last time i checked Russian rockets and space capsules didn't explode on take off or re entry killing all the astronauts. Might want to reconsider what you just said.

Re:Russia is the pioneer here... (4, Insightful)

im_thatoneguy (819432) | more than 6 years ago | (#24355757)

Nor is their lift capability anywhere near ours.

Sort of like saying "My bicycle never careens into a wall at 100mph killing everybody riding it".

The Soyuz module with a crew of 3 delivers about 1 ton of cargo. The Shuttle with a crew of 7 can deliver 57 tons of cargo. That means a Soyuz rocket would have to make 57 trips to do what the shuttle does in one. Something tells me even with a 2% failure rate for the shuttle I would say it out performs the soyuz. Unless your metric is number of millionaires launched into LEO.

Re:Russia is the pioneer here... (2, Insightful)

im_thatoneguy (819432) | more than 6 years ago | (#24355813)

Sorry I'm calling bullshit on myself. It's too late.

Divide Shuttle numbers by 2 I was operating on a nice easy 1000 pounds to a ton.

Shuttle can take about 25 tons into LEO with 7 crew members and the Soyuz can take much less than a ton with 3 crew members.

Re:Russia is the pioneer here... (3, Insightful)

Richard_at_work (517087) | more than 6 years ago | (#24356425)

Why does cargo need babysitting? Use the Progress resupply vehicle - no human lives to endanger while delivering new toilet roll to the ISS.

Re:Russia is the pioneer here... (2, Informative)

Rakishi (759894) | more than 6 years ago | (#24356013)

Well they do explode on takeoff sometimes and they do fail almost catastrophically on reentry even more often. They however have a simple enough design that allows for enough safety features/margins to not kill the crew in the process. Some of the crew may get permanent injuries and never fly again (from the G forces) but they live.

Re:Russia is the pioneer here... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24356243)

No, they crash into the ground or suffocate their crews instead.

[wikipedia.org]

You might want to reconsider what you just said.

You might want to keep in mind that neither group has a perfect score.

Re:Russia is the pioneer here... (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24355903)

And by "our own technology" you mean the technology developed by the Russian,Jewish,German,English, and French Graduate students... (mostly emigrants studying in the US) Because I have yet to see an american born Science student that knows his ass from a hole in a ground.

Regards,
-Graduate Student.

Re:Russia is the pioneer here... (4, Informative)

Thagg (9904) | more than 6 years ago | (#24356055)

You know -- sadly what you are referring to was the Apollo-Soyuz mission of the mid 80's. The Russian KURS automated docking system is used all the time on the space station now, and it has worked flawlessly every time.

It also worked perfectly on the Mir. They did have a docking mishap on the Mir, but that as when they tried to do a manual docking.

Thad

Re:Russia is the pioneer here... (5, Interesting)

S-100 (1295224) | more than 6 years ago | (#24356123)

Flawlessly? It almost destroyed the ISS in October, 2004. The automatic system unexpectedly accelerated the Soyuz TMA toward the ISS and the only thing that saved the ships was disabling the automatic docking system and taking manual control.

And lest you think manual docking is safe, don't forget the incident where an ISS crewman took manual control of the docking of a Russian cargo ship and ended up smashing it into the station, fortunately at low enough delta-v to cause only superficial damage.

Re:Russia is the pioneer here... (2, Informative)

meringuoid (568297) | more than 6 years ago | (#24356487)

what you are referring to was the Apollo-Soyuz mission of the mid 80's

1975, actually, the last American flight until the first Space Shuttle launch in 1981.

Yo! USA did that FORTY FUCKING years ago !! (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24355053)

Yo! USA did that FORTY FUCKING years ago !! Lamos !!

Re:Yo! USA did that FORTY FUCKING years ago !! (1)

Hucko (998827) | more than 6 years ago | (#24355519)

// use a pic view smudger here...
Yes, we heard this, but they never returned in quite awhile despite the promise of unprecedented wealth of resources.

capsule (3, Informative)

fragbait (209346) | more than 6 years ago | (#24355089)

Re:capsule (1)

Bazouel (105242) | more than 6 years ago | (#24356321)

Sorry, you are not the first to link pics, no warm feeling inside for you.

Blame by Eco-Mono (978899) (0, Offtopic)

Sybert42 (1309493) | more than 6 years ago | (#24355119)

Oh, and Dvorak. Dvorak lets your free mind out. Your atheist mind. Your mind that happens to be completely, mindlessly, and utterly incomprehensibly in love, in deep utter love, with your wife (you being the eunuch). EU and Russia may be planning a trip to the freaking moon. You are planning a trip to nothingness with the wife. To anywhere. As an artificial being. A self. Made not of DNA...

ISS Mk.II? (1)

geckipede (1261408) | more than 6 years ago | (#24355137)

I haven't kept up with the finer details of NASA's moonbase plan. Is it meant to be a joint international project with several countries having independant means to reach it? If not it does seem rather odd for ESA to want to develop this, although I can imagine Russia wanting to play its part in another space race.

Space Unity (2, Interesting)

inKubus (199753) | more than 6 years ago | (#24355161)

Well, large joint missions to space tend to inspire unity in disparate peoples. I think it's great that East and West are working with one another to see the moon again. And I was thinking that we in America really need to rethink our economic system to work when we're all just getting what we need, rather than what we want. Really, even with prices rising, everything is as cheap if not cheaper than it's ever been in history. And not just in America but world-wide. A family of four can eat like kings in America for under $200 a month, which is only 11 percent of their annual income (at the povery line, 20,500).

We could easily go to the moon again. Things cost much less than the estimates when people actually care. That's the thing about the past 30 years, and especially the past decade in America. We all knew that we were going to work and really producing nothing meaningful. Perhaps we might do some sort of creative service, but were we really fulfilling any useful cause? NO! And it was all for selfish reasons. A COLLECTIVE goal, like space travel, inspires people to do more work than what they are paid for. That means more productivity and a lower overall cost for the same work.

In fact, why not OPEN SOURCE the entire lunar thing to colleges and universities, high schools, geeks everywhere. Using version control systems you could allow everyone to put in a patch, and of course it would all be reviewed before anythign was built but why not? The real problem with space travel in America is NASA, because they are so convinced they are the only people who know how to do it. But guess what, it's all old military people mostly (there's some good science, I'm not going to deny that) in the administration, a vestige of the cold war. It's still run like a branch of the military, and the contractors know how to exploit that for maximum profit. What we need is the contractors to ACTUALLY COMPETE, rather than consolidate. We need people to actually care, to bill 10 hours and put in 20, not MILK THE SYSTEM. Actually care about what you're building.

That goes beyond space, to the country itself. It's a radical idea, actually caring. Don't wait for someone else to do it for you. And be persistent.

Simply not true (2, Informative)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | more than 6 years ago | (#24355227)

Looks to me that my food costs have been about 165% what they were last year, and I don't know about you, but most peoples' paychecks are not 65% higher than they were at this time last year.

Not to mention gas prices, and other things as well.

If you call that "as cheap as it has ever been", then if I were you I would pull out my calculator and start re-figuring.

Re:Simply not true (1)

inKubus (199753) | more than 6 years ago | (#24355437)

I don't really see the "dollar price" of things as being relevant, since it's been drastically diluted by, well, the government printing money. By "Cheap" I'm talking in terms of Time (work hours) and Energy (joules). Money is not a precise way to measure the cheapness of things in real life.

Re:Simply not true (2, Funny)

im_thatoneguy (819432) | more than 6 years ago | (#24355521)

Money is not a precise way to measure the cheapness of things in real life.

Try telling that to the grocery store clerk.

If you take the average price and subtract the average raise increase then you have a very very precise way of measuring the cheapness of something.

In this case the cost is +.5 and the wages are +0 (.5-0)= +.5

Unless you live in a fairy land costs adjusted for inflation and wage changes is an excellent means of determinig the cheapness of things in real life. Especially when the currency is practically tied to the cost of energy (Joules).

By your own admission the goverment is causing inflation by printing money. That makes things cost more. Now... if you make $50 a day and the government causes the price of a meal to rise %100 because they're printing more money... but your boss doesn't give you a raise. The prices have risen but you have no more money to spend. I can't fathom any way to explain this except that the price has risen.

Re:Simply not true (4, Insightful)

inKubus (199753) | more than 6 years ago | (#24355593)

Yeah, but you're not thinking about the big picture. The ACTUAL cost to produce the food, house, clothing item, whatever, in energy and time (human time), is lower than ever in history. Because of the free market, the focus has been on efficiency. Tractors pretty much drive themselves nowadays on the big corporate farms. And they use less energy because their engines are more efficient. I can think of a thousand examples. I generalize it into basically robotics. A robot can give you time, in return for energy. Now we are at a point where a robot can do the work with less energy than a comparable human. Because they are efficently turning energy into pure work, not wasting it playing Gears of War or soemthing.

What you're seeing is a temporary disruption in the free market because of lack of confidence in the paper we use to exchange. It doesn't change the fact that it is, physically speaking, cheaper. I understand that prices are higher, but the underlying physical concepts that "money" is just an abstraction of have changed for the better, and will continue to do so every year. It's a great leap to make, I understand, but I'm not a crackpot. I'm a scientist.

Re:Simply not true (2, Insightful)

timmarhy (659436) | more than 6 years ago | (#24355829)

i get what you are saying but you aren't communicating it that well. what i THINK you mean is that production efficency has gotten better. unfortunately the double edged sword of the free market is that costs have also risen, in part due to us being able to consume raw products so fast.

what is needed is better economic policy and some smack down on the banks - we have made the mistake of letting too much of our economy rest in their hands.

Re:Simply not true (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24356337)

WTH modded that one funny? Idiots.

Re:Simply not true (4, Interesting)

sumdumass (711423) | more than 6 years ago | (#24355805)

It isn't the government printing money that is causing inflation. In fact, we aren't printing any more then enough to replace the damaged money anyways. It is the cost of energy that is causing it. You have it right when your said "Especially when the currency is practically tied to the cost of energy (Joules)". Everything from growing things to using electricity to transporting products is going up. That causes prices to increase which gets us to where we are now.

We have far more money recycled on credit then we have printed. The big problem is that in the late 90's, we removed regulations that were put in place during the 1970's oil crisis and now speculators can buy contracts for oil that have no capabilities whatsoever at all to take delivery of it. This takes oil off the market and causes the spot prices to drop to almost the same amounts as the contract prices. There used to be around a 10-20% differences in prices, this is down to less the 3% in most cases now. Currently it is going at a 42 cent loss. But to give an idea of how much of the market is given to speculation, we were at $147/bbl and dropped to $124 or so on the mention of a government report that we are using less oil. That's about a 15-16% drop all the sudden and it is still shrinking. Now even with this, people are still expecting to make money which means that speculation is still driving the costs to some degree.

Combine that with low dollar values and poof, there is the problem.

Re:Space Unity (-1, Troll)

timmarhy (659436) | more than 6 years ago | (#24355263)

" A COLLECTIVE goal, like space travel, inspires people to do more work than what they are paid for."

this sounds like dirty commie talk to me. and as history has proven, communism doesn't work because it ignores basic human nature - to compete and claw your way to the top.

Re:Space Unity (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24355323)

" A COLLECTIVE goal, like space travel, inspires people to do more work than what they are paid for."

this sounds like dirty commie talk to me...

This sounds like the Borg to me. Run!

Re:Space Unity (4, Insightful)

inKubus (199753) | more than 6 years ago | (#24355409)

People simply working for a common goal is "Communism"? EVERY great advance in history is a result of people sacrificing for a common goal. Take the Manhattan project, as a for instance. The inspiration, in this case, was a horrible war. Why, if someone mentions the mere possibility of doing something together, NOT because of a war, but because we're HUMANS and WE CAN, it's branded as "communism"? That couldn't be further from the truth. Your mindset is the result of brainwashing by the people who REALLY benefit from the so called free market. There isn't a free market here anymore.

I call for a FREER market, where anyone who is willing or able can contribute, rather than sitting on our thumbs and watching our tax dollars flow into the pockets of the space oligarchy. History only proves what HAS happened, not what can. Free society works because people are rewarded for merit. What I'm saying is that people are discouraged because they are NOT being fairly rewarded for their merit. And a collective success, for all humanity, would be a mental reward, a turning point in human history. For money, yes, but also for everyone's livelyhood.

We sit at a time where the basic necessities in life, WORLD-WIDE are less expensive in time and energy than ever before in history. The reason for this is technology. We HAVE time, especially in America, to spend thinking about the greater goals of humanity because we don't have to spend all of our time worrying about food, shelter, medicine, etc. This is a direct result of the free market, not because we all decided to collectively create a better standard of living. A FEW men, GREAT men, made these things possible through their hard work and ingenuity.

The competing and crawling we are all doing now is simply to make more waste, not produce anything. To get more luxuries that are basically made by robots nowadays. And so people are discouraged. They are not seeing anything INSPIRING anymore.

So there are two ways to go about it. Rally everyone around their fears, their unseen enemies, their negative emotions OR rally everyone around their hopes, dreams of peace for all, their positive emotions. That is not COMMUNISM. That's humanism at it's finest. Capital, human capital, money, rewards for those who succeed; these are all essential to the goals of humankind because you're right--people want to compete. But will it be a friendly game or a war? It seems to me that you have given in to the dark side, and no longer recognize that we--as humans--are all one, stuck on this planet with nowhere to run except together. In the melting pot that is America, there is no greater concept.

So, why don't you stop looking at the past and start looking at the future and stop giving in to your fears (which were probably created by some newspaper anyway)?

Re:Space Unity (1, Insightful)

oodaloop (1229816) | more than 6 years ago | (#24355447)

I think the parent merely forgot the SML (Sarcasm Markup Language) tags.

Re:Space Unity (1)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 6 years ago | (#24356289)

Not really; as evident from his posting history, the parent is an avid Randian screw-everyone-except-me libertarian, so it is reasonable to assume that he was talking seriously.

Re:Space Unity (1)

im_thatoneguy (819432) | more than 6 years ago | (#24355547)

Woooooosh!

Re:Space Unity (4, Insightful)

spandex_panda (1168381) | more than 6 years ago | (#24355823)

you been watching that Enron movie? Geez some of those Americans are nasty bastards... De-regulation killed folks. European Union type regulation seems much more equitable and 'free' than American 'freedoms'.

Re:Space Unity (2, Insightful)

sumdumass (711423) | more than 6 years ago | (#24356301)

Deregulation of what killed who?

I hope your not talking about Enron. It wasn't deregulation there. Enron was manipulating prices and scamming the system in ways that were already illegal. The so called deregulation in California which was only partial deregulation only exposed Enron's illegal activities and caused the bankruptcy.

The EU type of regulation costs on average of 30% more to the consumer then American energy does before you add in taxes depending on where in the Eu you are. Average costs can be compared here. [doe.gov] And yes, that is in US dollars already adjusted for the week dollar. Notice how the average in the US is 10.4 cents per Kilowatthour and England is 18.6 cents. Denmark doesn't have a 2006 listing but in 2005, it was 29.5 cents compare to 9.5 cents in the US. France seems to be a little better with 14.4 cents in 2006. Now, consider that on top of this rate, there is a 5% vat tax added on and then normal government taxes. Plus there are tariffs designed to combat global warming that add costs. Although I think most of the tariffs are voluntary at this state.

These numbers only go to 2006 and in some cases, just 2004. If you think they are doing something better, I suggest you look again. Their rates went up again because of "global warming" measures and to get them in compliance with Kyoto accords and all. In 2005, Germany was paying and average of 21.2 cents per Kilowatthour and their rates supposedly jumped 25% in order to implement a solar program because of global warming. If my math works correctly, that should put them around 26.5 cents now.

Now of course those numbers are the average for the country and some areas may be more or less. But the same wisdom holds true for all the countries in order to calculate an average. Imagine going from 10.4 cents to Frances 14.4 cents averages. That's a 38-39% increase automatically. My billing last month was for 786 Kilowatt-hours. I actually pay 7.9 cents but lets go with the averageof 10.4 cents. That's around $79.81 for the month at US average rates. If I was paying the France rate of 14.4 cents, I would be paying $110.60 instead. Using the UK's rate, $142.84. Germany ans Denmark respectively would be $162.81 and $226.56.

As you can see, I wouldn't think their is anything sane with the EU's system. I much prefer my hypothetical average of $79.81 (the actual @ 7.49 cents was $57.52 for the month) over the EU's pricing and controls.

Have you actually looked at the differences or did someone tell your which is better. Of course if the US starts a carbon trade, we will probably be in the same boat as the EU shortly. And I'm sure the averages have increased somewhat over the last 2 years or so. I'm not looking forward to that at all.

Paradox (2, Informative)

ndnspongebob (942859) | more than 6 years ago | (#24355887)

Fact of the matter is, we live in a paradox, we compete for money, but also for technology, and power, it is all a competition. We hurt each other for it and the sense of having everyone work together is the highest ideal that we try to work through laws, but it just isn't the case because certain people want to be "better" than other people by having more material possessions and the social status that accompanies it. Why do we have money that separates us? the same reason we have achievement on xbox360 and trophies on ps3 and why we have different levels of degrees in college. In the end, just look in the mirror, although we do incredible things, we are from a family of monkeys but we are too proud to admit it.

Re:Paradox (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24356069)

The thing is that people are not born equal and some are better than others. Treating everyone as if they were identical is how we get shit like the US k-12 education system.

Re:Space Unity (1)

matt4077 (581118) | more than 6 years ago | (#24356327)

You should moonlight as a speechwriter.

If Kings Eat Nothing But Steamed Rice (1)

im_thatoneguy (819432) | more than 6 years ago | (#24355421)

family of four can eat like kings in America for under $200 a month, which is only 11 percent of their annual income (at the povery line, 20,500).

Eat like kings for under $200 a month!?

That's just over $6 a day for 4 people. No. Fucking. Way.

Let's see you live on $1.60 per day for food. Get back to me on how that works out for ya'.

You can barely buy an apple for $1.60.

I would debunk the rest of your crazy ass bullshit but that sentence alone illustrated just how dellusional you truely are.

Re:If Kings Eat Nothing But Steamed Rice (0, Offtopic)

sumdumass (711423) | more than 6 years ago | (#24355529)

At the poverty line, that family of 4 is getting about $400 to $600 a month in food stamps, plus a free medical ride for the kids at least and probably the mother depending on how old the kids are. And this doesn't even start to mention the free/drastically reduced food from the food pantries and government cheese handouts that happen periodically or the rent assistance and other subsidies a poverty line family with children qualify for.

I effect, he chose a loaded situation and purposely failed to attribute the other sources of income and lack of bills. The only way his statement could be remotely true and the family's out of pocket expense is only 11% of their income is by deceiving everyone with omissions to present an alternate reality.

Re:If Kings Eat Nothing But Steamed Rice (1)

Hal_Porter (817932) | more than 6 years ago | (#24355877)

I suspect most Dark Ages kings would be impressed by the vast quantities of government cheese and Super Extra Large fast food portions available to poor Americans.

Plus you can go and pick that shit up, you don't need to organize an army to pillage Albania.

Re:If Kings Eat Nothing But Steamed Rice (1)

sumdumass (711423) | more than 6 years ago | (#24355933)

Actually, that the most nonsensical thing I have ever heard of. The dark ages kings would be the government. But we have left the dark ages haven't we.

Also, I'm not sure what your attempting to accomplish with the fast food comment. There won't be much of that going on in a family of for which is only forking out $200 a month for food.

Are you jealous of something? I mean I'm not sure why you would have made the statements you did otherwise. Unless your attempting to do one of those for the price of X, you could buy 20 of them 100 years ago things. But it still doesn't make sense.

Re:off topic (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24356817)

Lol.. I like how the mod system is used to quiet comments that some just don't like. This is about as "off topic" as the one that started [slashdot.org] the thread and the one it was Replying to. [slashdot.org]

Oh well, thats what the metamods are for.

Re:If Kings Eat Nothing But Steamed Rice (1)

inKubus (199753) | more than 6 years ago | (#24355537)

That's absolutely false. Starch, in small bulk quantities that are readily available at your local supermarket, is available at no more than 5 cents per ounce, even in today's dollars.

45 grams of rice has approximately 160 calories.
45 grams of rice = 1.59oz or about 8 cents.

A normal human, doing real work, needs about 2000 calories a day. If eating only rice or potatoes or any of the other starch items available at your supermarket for 5c/oz, an American could "get by" with 562.5 grams or 19.84 oz or about $1 per day.

I moved that up to $1.50 to include $.50 worth of beans or other complementing food group (or vitamin supplement) to make a complete meal.

Of course, if you don't move an inch during the day, as most of us, you need far less than 2000 calories to survive. Eat like kings? Ok, maybe not, but survival? Easily. Of course, if you were willing to buy a whole YEAR of rice at once, you could get it substantially cheaper.

Now, every other food in America is made from grain, or it's another vegetable, which you could easily grow yourself. Protein, such as beef, is basically made from corn, but it has a lot of middlemen collecting money so that .05/oz turns into a lot more, because of the cost of land, water, energy to move the cattle, etc. Not to mention the fact that due to the centralized nature of the cattle processing industry a lot of extra energy is wasted so the owners can make more money. In reality, ALL food would be much cheaper if you could grow it all locally.

Obviously that would rid us of some choices, some opportunities to eat rare imported foods, wine, etc. But it would not really affect our quality of life that much. Eating enough is good enough. Everything else is luxury.

I mean, people readily pay $4 for a cup of basically water at Starbucks. Doesn't that bother you? No! Because you're entitled to it, you work hard for your money and should be able to blow $4 meaninglessly. But in mechanical engineering, that's called WASTE.

My example is just a test, really. I'm not proposing anyone change their lives. But I'm saying we waste SO MUCH, and with a proper leader we could put so much of that waste to good use, and barely affect our lives. And the adaptability of the human race is amazing. You would never miss it once you made it a week or two.

Re:If Kings Eat Nothing But Steamed Rice (1)

im_thatoneguy (819432) | more than 6 years ago | (#24355591)

You spend $4 at starbucks and as a result 5 people are employed.

Unless the cup of coffee actually depleted $4 worth of goods the waste is only the depletable resources expended to deliver it.

You have to remove wages and renewable goods from the cost to determine the actual waste.

If you pay a farmer for beans which will regrow then nothing was actually lost just redistributed. Starbucks is really a subversive organization redistributing disposable income from the wealthy to a little above minimum wage employees and poor south american farmers.

There is suprisingly little waste unless a resource is actually consumed in the process of making it.

Re:If Kings Eat Nothing But Steamed Rice (1)

inKubus (199753) | more than 6 years ago | (#24355633)

Ok, bad example. What about waiting in the McDonald's drive-thru with your car running?

The hours that barista could have spent bettering humanity instead have been spent receiving a handout from the rich? Is that any less wasteful now that you've clarified there's no waste in the actual product?

Man, this has digressed. NASA is the epitome of this. Except the handout is going to the shareholders of a contractor (a group I might be a member of) and the handout is coming from the taxpayer. But what if we could get the same work that the contractor does for less time and energy, through the power of inspiration? That's ALL I was saying.

Re:If Kings Eat Nothing But Steamed Rice (2, Informative)

im_thatoneguy (819432) | more than 6 years ago | (#24355681)

I've worked with a large aerospace company's Advanced Research Group before. There is a LOT of waste involved. You will have no argument from me on that one. It's largely a question of management though not inspiration. They were all really excited about what they were doing... but completely lacking in focus. The Manhattan project succeeded because it had incredible leadership and a very clear directive. The amazing leadership directed a large number of theoretical scientists to focus their efforts on practical applications.

If you know what you want and you actually work towards it you can save a lot of money. It's vague, objectiveness directives which often result in slow progress. That's the problem with the open source movement now. Designing by committee is spectacularly wasteful because everything gets reinvented 10 times. Ubuntu is bringing focus and progress to desktop linux by actually providing leadership.

If you want to talk pure time/energy/efficiency open source development of a rocket is infinitely more wasteful than a handful of brilliant engineers working while all of those open source contributors sat on bicycles and powered generators.

Re:If Kings Eat Nothing But Steamed Rice (2, Insightful)

inKubus (199753) | more than 6 years ago | (#24355781)

That's sort of what I'm talking about. Perhaps not doing actual calculations and stuff. People could contribute in any way they could. Some people might just make a logo for the craft, others might help write some code.

I understand what you're saying; there's a lot of space travel that can't be done by ordinary people, and bringing those extraordinary people together safely is expensive. But there is a vast untapped reserve of undiscovered genius in this country, who don't think they will ever get a chance to change the world, or discover new things outside the planet, and that's a real shame. When there's more interest in basically anesthesizing yourself with drugs than contributing to a better future, it's a sign of a society's failure. History HAS shown that, although I'm not a fan of history. I see this apathy everywhere I go. Maybe I'm crazy but I think people want to be inspired, and for as long as anyone can remember we haven't been. Or if we have, it's about stupid war stuff and not something positive.

Re:If Kings Eat Nothing But Steamed Rice (1)

Rakishi (759894) | more than 6 years ago | (#24356167)

You need to manage such people and their contributions which is not trivial. In fact with something as sensitive (to fuckups) as a spaceship it'd essentially cost more effort than you gain. It works in areas where contributions aren't tightly controlled and mistakes aren't expensive. In this case that bit of code may cause an error by interacting with another system through purely hardware means that crashes the spaceship. That logo may be too dark, absorb too much sunlight, overheat a wire and explode the spaceship. Most people probably don't think in the proper way to prevent mistakes on their own or to simply not active induce problems (ie: they don't follow directions).

The thing is that the US let's people go amazing things if they have what it takes and if they go after their dreams. Many people however expect their dreams to come to them or to have someone else tell them what their dreams are.

Re:If Kings Eat Nothing But Steamed Rice (1)

Alex Belits (437) | more than 6 years ago | (#24356311)

You need to manage such people and their contributions which is not trivial. In fact with something as sensitive (to fuckups) as a spaceship it'd essentially cost more effort than you gain. It works in areas where contributions aren't tightly controlled and mistakes aren't expensive. In this case that bit of code may cause an error by interacting with another system through purely hardware means that crashes the spaceship. That logo may be too dark, absorb too much sunlight, overheat a wire and explode the spaceship. Most people probably don't think in the proper way to prevent mistakes on their own or to simply not active induce problems (ie: they don't follow directions).

Like umm... operating system. I know of some projects where large number of people wrote pieces of kernel code that had to work together. What a failure it was...

The thing is that the US let's people go amazing things if they have what it takes and if they go after their dreams. Many people however expect their dreams to come to them or to have someone else tell them what their dreams are.

The thing is, the less people are concerned about things they are supposed to "dream of" according to US ideology (money, fame, control over other people), the more contribution they make to worthwhile projects.

Re:If Kings Eat Nothing But Steamed Rice (1)

timmarhy (659436) | more than 6 years ago | (#24356233)

"Eating enough is good enough. Everything else is luxury."

i want you to eat nothing but beans and rice for a month and let me know how you feel about it. i'm betting you couldn't even last a week.

this is a serious challenge. i want to see a video diary of it on youtube.

Re:If Kings Eat Nothing But Steamed Rice (1)

Hadlock (143607) | more than 6 years ago | (#24355557)

I was gonna say... $6 a day is about my average for lunch. Family of four will burn through at least $10 for dinner ALONE. I guess the kids eat at school, and if you have food stamps it makes it cheaper. $6 per person per day perhaps? Well if you buy in bulk and make dinner for everyone, then yes that's feasible. Even in 2004 one of my friends decided to try to live on $400 a month for food, we all had a good laugh. Rice and beans can only take you so far before you go crazy and need a good steak.
 
Prior to 1910 food was 35% of most people's budget - now it's around 15%. That is a pretty good improvement. Hell even a stoner making near minimum wage can afford mcdonalds (dollar menu), an Xbox 360, broadband connection, not to mention rent and his pot. Considering how low his economic contribution is, he's living pretty well for the (very) little he puts in 25-30 hours a week. But food is expensive and has definitely jumped about 20% (look at cheeses, fresh produce, etc) in the last six months.

Re:If Kings Eat Nothing But Steamed Rice (1)

inKubus (199753) | more than 6 years ago | (#24355653)

It has jumped in price, but that cheese still takes the same (or less) Joules of energy and hours of human time to produce and deliver to your supermarket. And there's no shortage of Joules out there that I can see (i'm burning quite a few on this stupid thread, and these are expensive "Beer-joules"), so someone must be making some money at our expense.

Re:If Kings Eat Nothing But Steamed Rice (1)

drsquare (530038) | more than 6 years ago | (#24356269)

Yes, the oil producers who provide the resources needed to move all that food around.

Re:Space Unity (1)

S-100 (1295224) | more than 6 years ago | (#24356149)

There's already an open source Lunar-X project. Look up FredNet.

Alien Verification (1)

Hucko (998827) | more than 6 years ago | (#24355589)

Now we can have another source for our funny little comrades...

hehehehe (1)

ILuvRamen (1026668) | more than 6 years ago | (#24355725)

I hope they install a cannon to shoot frozen monkeynauts at us cuz it's a race now! I mean if they launch at the same time and we're neck and neck, I'm not NASA but I bet there might be some bumping and some scraping and some phaser fire lol.

Finger crossed (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24355955)

At least they both use metric.

ESA != EU (1)

Bromskloss (750445) | more than 6 years ago | (#24356099)

The European Space Agency (ESA) is not the same thing as, or even a part of, the European Union (EU). This iTNews are apparently clueless, and I can't believe that Slashdot fell for it! >-(

Future Timeline: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24356555)

1989: President (George H.) Bush announces that we're going to Mars by 2020.

2004: President (George W.) Bush announces that we're going to the Moon by 2020. Then to Mars.

2012: Chinese colonists working on the Moon decisively prove that the Apollo moon landings were a hoax by revealing the landing sites to be barren and untouched. Employes of the recently-disbanded NASA have no comments. Chinese claim to the Moon is undisputed.

2014: President (Jeb) Bush announces that the Chinese have agreed to allow us to send one American research crew to their new lunar launch facility, but only if we abandon all remaining manufacturing efforts and surrender the states of Alaska and Hawaii.

2015: To protect the peace of the North American region and avoid the threat of orbital bombardment by Chinese satellite weapons, the United States surrenders all remaining overseas assets to China. The two countries sign a twenty year nonaggression pact. President Bush makes a speech on the matter, noting that "through diplomacy and mutual respect, there shall be peace in our time."

2018: President (Barbara) Bush sadly informs the surviving citizens of the country that the Moon has come to us - the Chinese are dropping asteroid-sized chunks of lunar debris on key population centers. Thirty percent of the population is killed in the first four hours. The Chinese offer to stand down their attacks in exchange for the unconditional surrender of the United States of America.

2025: The last surviving citizen of the United States dies in a forced labor camp on the Moon. The event is celebrated by the People's Republic of Earth as the final victory of the Communist People's Party.

2028: An American finally lands on Mars, although only symbolically. A statue of the final President of the United States, Barbara Bush, is unveiled in the Earth History Museum of the People's Republic of Mars.

Corrections (1)

jeroen94704 (542819) | more than 6 years ago | (#24356879)

Sadly, another space related story by someone who is not well versed in the field. First of all, it is not going to be an "EU"/Russian craft. The EU does not have a space program. It's going to be an ESA/Russian craft. ESA membership does not imply EU membership and vice versa.

Second, the europeans will NOT build the crew module, but the service module, which is the part of the whole thing NOT holding the crew.
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