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US to Pay to go to ISS

samzenpus posted more than 9 years ago | from the buy-a-pass dept.

Space 636

forgotten_my_nick writes "According to BBC News, Russia has announced that it will no longer ferry US astronauts to space for free (It has been doing so for two years). From 2006 the US will be expected to pay."

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636 comments

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detiorate (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11215577)

Isn't it a shame how the US space angency has gone down the hill so swiftly?

in... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11215578)

In soviet russia, astronauts ferry you

Re:in... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11215789)

In Soviet Slashdot, Americans infringe rides to the IIS.

Re:in... (1)

techno-vampire (666512) | more than 9 years ago | (#11215839)

Do you pay in dollars, rubles or galleons?

Well then. (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11215579)

That's sort of funny. I realize that we really shouldn't be bumming off of the Russians to get to the ISS, but at the same time, we do sort of uh, foot the bill for most of the station already. Plus, it isn't like the Russian rocket's weren't already going to ISS (as far as I know.)

Re:Well then. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11215817)

You know, that is sort of funny.

Re:Well then. (4, Funny)

freeze128 (544774) | more than 9 years ago | (#11215820)

Perhaps we should rename the space station then. How does everyone like the acronym for American Space Station? Hmmm... Maybe not such a good idea.

Re:Well then. (0, Troll)

Shut the fuck up! (572058) | more than 9 years ago | (#11215846)

Perhaps we should rename the space station then. How does everyone like the acronym for American Space Station?

Shut the fuck up, you fucking dumbshit.

Implications (0)

Macondo (836066) | more than 9 years ago | (#11215581)

Will this count as commercial space flight?

Re:Implications (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11215643)

More importantly, will there be an in-flight movie, and will Roskosmos lose the astronauts' luggage?

Re:Implications (0)

relaxrelax (820738) | more than 9 years ago | (#11215687)

(secret meeting)

Yes, Mr. President Bush sir. We just have to make our shuttle not work so we'll have the russians pick up the bill and get a bad rep for asking payment. All you have to do is underfund NASA. Then we'll have more money to fight the axis of evil!

Bush, hands together Mr. Burns style: eeeeexcellent!

Bush, thinking: Daddy, you shall be avenged!! And by the way why fund the space program since the earth is flat?

Re:Implications (2, Insightful)

Billy the Mountain (225541) | more than 9 years ago | (#11215807)

No, no shuttles please. Paying the Russians would still no doubt be cheaper than shuttle missions.

For starters, the Russian boosters don't have to drag multi-ton wings into space. Wings that are useless in space.

BTM

pwned (-1, Offtopic)

awfulshot (807456) | more than 9 years ago | (#11215582)

pwned

WTG Russia. (0)

JNighthawk (769575) | more than 9 years ago | (#11215584)

More power to ya. Under the current system, it's a good idea. However, I'd prefer a system where all the nations would work together to further mankind, rather than profit from it.

Re:WTG Russia. (5, Interesting)

BoomerSooner (308737) | more than 9 years ago | (#11215613)

They aren't trying to profit they are trying to break even. If Russia had the budget NASA has I would be willing to bet they could create a reusable shuttle. How the hell does Bush think we can get to Mars when we need to borrow Russia's space fleet to get to ISS? What a joke.

Re:WTG Russia. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11215652)

Pssst, I'll let you in on a little secret, Bush isn't very bright. He's little more than a puppet for Neocons.

Re:WTG Russia. (1)

JNighthawk (769575) | more than 9 years ago | (#11215673)

Break even, profit. Loss, non-sale. Semantics, shmantics.

Re:WTG Russia. (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11215778)

Actually they DID create a reusable shuttle - the Buran. It only flew to orbit once, but did so perfectly, did a few earth orbits and landed perfectly without losing a single tile - all unmanned.

Then the ran out of money, so they scrapped the program!

Re:WTG Russia. (0, Troll)

frogger01 (806562) | more than 9 years ago | (#11215621)

how excally does 'mankind' benifit from by going into space? the only reason anyone went there in the first place (if they actually did), was to show up the other guys. It has never been about cooperation, rather it's all about the competition and screwing over the other guy.

one small step for mankind my ass.

Re:WTG Russia. (2, Interesting)

andreMA (643885) | more than 9 years ago | (#11215661)

how excally does 'mankind' benifit from by going into space?
Well, there are many... *listens*
(if they actually did)
Never mind; I'd be wasting my breath.

Re:WTG Russia. (3, Informative)

juniorkindergarten (662101) | more than 9 years ago | (#11215707)

Ok Troll, I'll bite
#1 the computer you're using now -- space exploration pushed the microelectoronics revolution
#2 that fancy koolatron cooler that you bought last summer to keep your beer cold, again thank space exploration
#3 teflon, plastics, most modern alloys, etc.
ok, I'm done feeding the trolls, next!

Re:WTG Russia. (5, Informative)

phoenix.bam! (642635) | more than 9 years ago | (#11215724)

Spinoffs from NASA research. [thespaceplace.com] The list at the link above is about 10 pages. And I would have to say that yes, you personally and mankind have both benefitted from the work NASA has done.

Here are some examples from the list

Air Quality Monitor

Virtual Reality

Municiple Water prurification (So your tap water doesn't kill you.)

Solar Energy

Fire resistant material

Digital Imagry Breast Biopsy

Voice controlled wheel chair

And here are a bunch from the above link that were easy to cut and paste:
Advanced keyboards, Customer Service Software, Database Management System, Laser Surveying, Aircraft controls, Lightweight Compact Disc, Expert System Software, Microcomputers, and Design Graphics. Dustbuster, shock-absorbing helmets, home security systems, smoke detectors, flat panel televisions, high-density batteries, trash compactors, food packaging and freeze-dried technology, cool sportswear, sports bras, hair styling appliances, fogless ski goggles, self-adjusting sunglasses, composite golf clubs, hang gliders, art preservation, and quartz crystal timing equipment. Whale identification method, environmental analysis, noise abatement, pollution measuring devices, pollution control devices, smokestack monitor, radioactive leak detector, earthquake prediction system, sewage treatment, energy saving air conditioning, and air purification. Arteriosclerosis detection, ultrasound scanners, automatic insulin pump, portable x-ray device, invisible braces, dental arch wire, palate surgery technology, clean room apparel, implantable heart aid, MRI, bone analyzer, and cataract surgery tools. Gasoline vapor recovery, self-locking fasteners, machine tool software, laser wire stripper, lubricant coating process, wireless communications, engine coatings, and engine design. Storm warning services (Doppler radar), firefighters' radios, lead poison detection, fire detector, flame detector, corrosion protection coating, protective clothing, and robotic hands. So yeah, I'd say mankind has gained something from going to space. And to think all of this would have been developed in the timeframe without NASA and its goals is laughable.

Re:WTG Russia. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11215762)

>>how excally does 'mankind' benifit from by going into space?

>here are a bunch from the above link that were easy to cut and paste:
Advanced keyboards, Customer Service Software, Database Management System, Laser Surveying, Aircraft controls, Lightweight Compact Disc, Expert System Software, Microcomputers, and Design Graphics. Dustbuster, shock-absorbing helmets, home security systems, smoke detectors, flat panel televisions, high-density batteries, trash compactors, food packaging and freeze-dried technology, cool sportswear, sports bras, hair styling appliances, fogless ski goggles, self-adjusting sunglasses, composite golf clubs, hang gliders, art preservation, and quartz crystal timing equipment. Whale identification method, environmental analysis, noise abatement, pollution measuring devices, pollution control devices, smokestack monitor, radioactive leak detector, earthquake prediction system, sewage treatment, energy saving air conditioning, and air purification. Arteriosclerosis detection, ultrasound scanners, automatic insulin pump, portable x-ray device, invisible braces, dental arch wire, palate surgery technology, clean room apparel, implantable heart aid, MRI, bone analyzer, and cataract surgery tools. Gasoline vapor recovery, self-locking fasteners, machine tool software, laser wire stripper, lubricant coating process, wireless communications, engine coatings, and engine design. Storm warning services (Doppler radar), firefighters' radios, lead poison detection, fire detector, flame detector, corrosion protection coating, protective clothing, and robotic hands.


Don't forget watch making and watch repair.

Re:WTG Russia. (4, Funny)

NanoGator (522640) | more than 9 years ago | (#11215779)

"how excally does 'mankind' benifit from by going into space?"

Well, according to TV, most of the stuff I bought was a direct result of space travel.

Paying Russia is Better than Paying China (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11215829)

On the surface of this matter, it appears to be some sort of extortion. The Americans are paying the cost of most of the International Space Station (ISS) and actually re-designed part of it in order to accomodate the fact that the Russians may not actually build the attachable modules that they promised (due to lack of funds).

However, without Russian re-entry vehicles, there would be no one in our ISS. So, I suppose that paying Russia is, after all, better than paying the Chinese [phrusa.org] . The Chinese would demand a king's ransom: i.e. access to critical space technologies that would allow the Chinese to accelerate their program to militarize space by installing a particle-beam weapon in low earth orbit.

In related news... (0, Troll)

SeaDour (704727) | more than 9 years ago | (#11215589)

Russia has also announced that it expects the US to hold up to its end of the bargain and commit to finishing its sections of the International Space Station.

Oh wait, that's right, the US is building almost the entire thing...

Re:In related news... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11215708)

Uh. I believe this story is about Russia scoring a ``zinger'' in the eyes of Europeons and Bush-hating Americans. It's certainly not about how the USA is, to a first approximation, funding the ISS. -1, Offtopic!

And for the record, it's not really a bad thing that Russia is trying to recover some costs of shooting rockets into space. It's best to keep things fair, and by fair, I don't mean that Europeons and Russians are allowed to charge the USA for stuff, but not vice versa.

--
Sound out ``Europeons.'' I didn't make a typo.

Re:In related news... (0)

fingerfucker (740769) | more than 9 years ago | (#11215720)

Oh wait, that's right, the US is building almost the entire thing...

Informative!!?? Ehm... sources to support that???

Re:In related news... (1)

AstroDrabb (534369) | more than 9 years ago | (#11215753)

Exactly. We _built_ almost the whole thing. Russia is allowed to say, well if you want _our_ resources, you need to pay for them. While we (USA) have to foot the bill for the majority of the project.

I say we tell the Russians to go screw off and not let them use the 90%+ of the space station that we funded. See, we can be just as childish. Thats, right. Any nation that wants to get "technical" about what they have given to the ISS, we can just remind them of _our_ contributions of the majority of the ISS. Just as they want to charge or take away from their "contributions", we should charge or take away from our contributions.

That is a myth (2, Interesting)

iamnotacrook (816556) | more than 9 years ago | (#11215776)

The US claims ownership of this project however almost all scientists involved are foreigners, especially ex soviets and chinese.

US space scientists are better paid in private industry these days.

Damn. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11215590)

No more freeloading.

hey commie (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11215591)

next time you need a favor from the USA i hope our government remember this!!!

Eh? (-1, Troll)

Kid Zero (4866) | more than 9 years ago | (#11215592)

We're building the dang thing, keeping it in orbit, and paying for most of it. Now they're going to get all mad about it and charge us to get up there right now?

Screw them. Let the thing fall. Let's not waste any more money on a gloified Mir.

Re:Eh? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11215626)

shut up

Russia seems different since the school incident (-1, Offtopic)

CrazyJim0 (324487) | more than 9 years ago | (#11215595)

They lessened democracy right after the terrorist attack of their school.

They regarded the Ukraine as problematic, and instead went to have military operations with China.

Now they want to charge for something that should be bridging for international good will.

Russia, the west isn't your enemy.

Re:Russia seems different since the school inciden (3, Informative)

Talrias (705583) | more than 9 years ago | (#11215637)

Now they want to charge for something that should be bridging for international good will.

It appears to be a case of charge for it, or do not do it at all. The Russian Space Agency is facing financial difficulties and needs all the extra funds it can get.

Chris

Re:Russia seems different since the school inciden (2, Interesting)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | more than 9 years ago | (#11215647)

Russia, the west isn't your enemy.

The conspiracy theorists have always thought that the collapse of the Soviet Union was a sham to get the west (Regan, Thatcher, JPII, et. al) off their backs and cut their economic losses. The recent business with Yukos makes it seem more likely. After all, a KGB man is running the country.

Re:Russia seems different since the school inciden (2, Insightful)

Handbrewer (817519) | more than 9 years ago | (#11215659)

They lessened democracy right after the terrorist attack of their school.

The US lessened democracy right after 9/11 - VISITUS + PATRIOT Act anyone?

They regarded the Ukraine as problematic, and instead went to have military operations with China.

The US regarded Iraq as problematic and went into military operations with total disregard to international conventions and treatires.

Russia, the west isn't your enemy.

USA - The world is NOT your enemy!

Most Uninsightful Comment Ever (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11215787)

This desperate attempt to equate Russia to the US isn't just completely factually wrong, it shows how insane the lefty slashbots have become.

The parent made no reference to the United States, no clue that he is an American, yet this typically idiotic retort assumes so, so it's "hey lookie here, the US is just as bad!".

It's just pathetic how the anti-Americanism just has to pop up when criticism of another country comes up. Is there no other line of line of defense here?

Re:Russia seems different since the school inciden (2, Insightful)

motox (312416) | more than 9 years ago | (#11215669)

I'm sure most the money will go to finance their space program, which is keeping the ISS alive while the shuttles are stranded. Given this fact, it seems only fair that NASA shares part of their budget... just my 2 cents...

Re:Russia seems different since the school inciden (1)

guacamole (24270) | more than 9 years ago | (#11215685)

What a bunch of nonsense. Sounds like it was spoken by someone who has no clue about Russian politics or say Russia's relations with China or Ukraine. Please go read up on those topic from a reputable source (note this might be a long read as you don't seem to know much).

No fan of the ISS (1)

Vexar (664860) | more than 9 years ago | (#11215718)

I think the USA should abandon its ISS investments, or sell it to Bigelow Aerospace. It is pretty clear to me that the only remaining science they are doing there these days is the effects of dehydration and malnutrition in space. I would have a lot more respect for the ISS if they put a tug on the Hubble, dragged it over to the ISS and made the ISS a well-managed observatory. Someone tell me why that is a bad idea, please. And don't say it can't be done logistically.

Of course, all things considered, the CCCP or whatever they go by now, is a much cheaper ferry ticket, and unless I am mistaken on my numbers, far less fatal.

Repaid already? (4, Interesting)

irving47 (73147) | more than 9 years ago | (#11215596)

Did they already repay us for the huge amount of money we spent to pay for their parts of the station? IIRC, they claimed a few times they couldn't finish their pieces because of lack of funding, so we footed the bill...

You were buying security, not spacecraft (3, Interesting)

Ars-Fartsica (166957) | more than 9 years ago | (#11215678)

You were paying to keep missile specialists and other assorted weapons designers from going to work for dubious nations. That actually pretty much describes the entire purpose of Russian involvement: the US wanted to keep rocket scientists from going to Iran after the fall of the USSR, so it paid them to make space junk.

Re:Repaid already? (4, Informative)

bckrispi (725257) | more than 9 years ago | (#11215681)

From TFA, the Russians will be paying off this debt by putting in free man-hours in the next couple of years. Prior to the Columbia tragedy, the Russians & Americans shared the burden of transport. The Americans moved passengers, the Russians moved supplies. So yes, for the past two years, Russia has had to shoulder 100% of the transportation costs. It sounds to me like they are open to negotiation on these terms.

Re:Repaid already? (-1, Flamebait)

AstroDrabb (534369) | more than 9 years ago | (#11215788)

Russia has had to shoulder 100% of the transportation costs.
Oh, the poor Russians. We had to fund _everything_ else. Russia just had to use some of their rocket technology. Big deal. The USA has put _far_ more into the ISS than any other nation. So I guess we should feel sorry for Russia and let them out of their side of the deal while we still fund the majority of the ISS?

Re:Repaid already? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11215688)

The way it works now, weight == fuel == rubles.
As the article says, we've been bumming off them for a while now without paying.
The point of the ISS is to encourage international cooperation, what are we gonna do if we don't like this? Take control of the ISS?
Sure, if we want every major and minor world power to cut off diplomatic relations.
While I admit that it's not in the spirit of cooperation for Russia to demand payment, with their economy the way it is, it's understandable.
Think about it this way:
They've payed us back for building the bucket of rust in space by not abandoning our astronauts.

Re:Repaid already? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11215739)

Ha Ha! The very same copyright loving slashdotters, who bitch and scream "you must pay for movies" and "you're not entitled to anything for free" don't wanna pay for their rocket fuel.

Re:Repaid already? (0, Troll)

superphreak (785821) | more than 9 years ago | (#11215750)

Has anyone repaid America for anything America has done for them (france world war ii)... America, it seems, just hands out money to whoever for whatever. So.. this isn't really a surprise, is it?

Re:Repaid already? (1)

pipingguy (566974) | more than 9 years ago | (#11215786)

Wanna go REALLY far back? They still owe a shitload for help in WW2.

Fair share? (0, Troll)

Tablizer (95088) | more than 9 years ago | (#11215606)

Ideally each country was to chip in for the ISS. The US has already done more than its share IIRC.

HAHAHAHA!! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11215614)

A Mos to Wash
Army St.p S A Mos to Wash!!!

jez, this is just another sign of the US empire's decline...

Ukraine (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11215615)

I wouldn't be suprised if this is reteliation for the USA's interference in Ukrainian politics on Russia's back yard. It has appeared to many that the opposition has links to the US government and may have been heavily funded by the USA to despose the current government for a pro-USA neo-liberalist government.

The irony is that Russia is almost in a better position to pay for sending people into space right now. They may not have much money, but they're not at the serious risk of going bankrupt within that next decade that the USA is.

Charge rent (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11215618)

Let's be fair and charge them rent in form of flights to the US, er, "International" Space station.

They are doing a part exchange (5, Informative)

thegraham (700880) | more than 9 years ago | (#11215624)

According to the article at first the US will pay in work already done on the ISS that the Russians didn't do.

USA already bailed Russia space program out (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11215628)

The Russian space program would not exist if it was not for the USA funding it after the breakup of the Soviet Union.

The Cost of such things (1)

Keitopsis (766128) | more than 9 years ago | (#11215629)

Now if the US can get ONE space program working. This isn't too much to ask, is it?

I wonder if the next generation of the space program will look like commercial sector endorsements. It at least seams like thats where the technology is, or would this be setting up annother regulated industry that will fail as soos as it gets too expensive (like the airlines).

Diareah of words, constipation of thought.....

--Kei

White Elephant (4, Interesting)

FiReaNGeL (312636) | more than 9 years ago | (#11215631)

In the beginning, the ISS was supposed to be a great international effort to promote science in orbit, among other things.

We all know the 'great' and 'international' part got scrapped (well, not entirely, but still)... what about the science? With a crew of 2 members and troubles with reapprovisionment, is there any (real) science getting done on the ISS? Or is it only kept up because we already invested too much in it?

Re:White Elephant (3, Informative)

Atrax (249401) | more than 9 years ago | (#11215706)

I recall reading recently (New Scientist?) that the current crewing levels are barely enough for ongoing maintenance, never mind space science, which for the most part doesn't require a big-ass expensive clunky space station anyway. A lot of zero-g work can be done far more easily, aside from long-term studies, of course.

I think in part the whole project was a mixture of diplomatic goodwill and make-work for a floundering industry sector, with a healthy helping of publicity banner thrown in. As far as I'm aware, the ISS has contributed nothing of note scientifically, and far less than it ought to have in terms of technological/engineering breakthroughs, though I'd welcome any infirmation that either confirms or denies this baseless accusation.

I suppose it's better than nothing, but there are (could be) far better science platforms than a manned space station. Look what the HST did, for instance.

Re:White Elephant (5, Funny)

qbwiz (87077) | more than 9 years ago | (#11215770)

They were planning on studying the effects of starvation in space, but the Russians managed to screw up the experiment.

Just maybe .... (1)

hassasin (844645) | more than 9 years ago | (#11215633)

Maybe this will finally get NASA to relaunch the shuttle, or a replacement shuttle. Cape Canaveral has been pretty much dead for the past two years. Or they could rent out spaceship 1.

Re:Just maybe .... (1)

guacamole (24270) | more than 9 years ago | (#11215701)

Oh yeah, let's lunch the shuttle again at the cost of over $500 million of your and mine tax-payer money instead of paying Russians around $20 million for a seat on a much more reliable Soyuz vehicle.

International relations (5, Insightful)

Sta7ic (819090) | more than 9 years ago | (#11215635)

As a US citizen, I'm curious if this is fallout from our wonderful public relations. Half the known world is pissed off at us, and it wouldn't surprise me if this isn't much more than Russia saying "You want to bum a ride? How much ya got for gas money? The price of rocket fuel isn't going down, ya know."

Hint to the current and future US Presidents: you may be the elected leader of a technological powerhouse, but you can't go it alone.

(it'll also pay for them to keep an eye out on Japan's technology, that the EU is becoming a collected economic force to bruise egos, and China's locomative-esque economy with about a third of the world's population, too, but who knows if they pay any attention)

Re:International relations (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11215671)

Why don't you just move to France, you fucking liberal faggot?

Re:International relations (1)

hawkeye (4170) | more than 9 years ago | (#11215731)

Nice post, anonymous chicken!

Why not try posting with a real name? Or, did you already get banned that way?

- Hawkeye

Re:International relations (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11215695)

I'm still curious how "going it alone" is valid given the number of nations that have assisted the effort? Please stop using that argument because it doesn't make sense, unless you're defining "alone" as "without France, Germany and/or Russia".

Re:International relations (1)

Tr0mBoNe- (708581) | more than 9 years ago | (#11215716)

Nail, meet hammer.

the americans do have some fence mending to take care of. Russia isn't at fault. atleast they are committed to their space program. I hope russia puts some money into their new shuttle plans... I saw some models and test data.. quite promising.

Mabey russia and america could break down their ICBM's and strap them all together to launch stuff into orbit. It would be better than just sitting on those bombs... Good ol'e atlas missle...

Putin is realigning Russian interests (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11215722)

After to post-cold war halo faded, the only thing the US and Russia had in common was a joint desire to destabilize the Muslim world. Bush lets Putin get away with Chechnya, Putin looks the other way on Iraq.

meaningless (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11215638)

by the time they would start "charging us" we'll have the STS back on line

this is just political puffery, meant for Russian domestic consumption

Can you blame them? I can't. (4, Insightful)

WidescreenFreak (830043) | more than 9 years ago | (#11215639)

Personally, I am not surprised by this revelation. I doubt that they would have done this if the shuttle fleet wasn't grounded. Right now, they see themselves as the only current way to get our astronauts into space, so they're going to take advantage of that. Besides, $20 million to the Russian space agency is a fraction of the cost of somehow getting a new shuttle out (if that's even possible anymore). I'm somewhat surprised that this wasnt thought of earlier.

They pretty much have us by the jubbles and they know it. You vant an astronaut in space, comrade? Ve're your only real solution right now. Ve're going to take advantage of that. Can't say that I blame them. Ah, the capitalist spirit hits the Russian space program!

Re:Can you blame them? I can't. (1)

Bad D.N.A. (753582) | more than 9 years ago | (#11215748)

MOD Parent UP.. This is a great idea. Compair 500M for one shuttle launch to 20M per person on a russian launch. Sounds like a good investment to me. We could launch 10 americans per year and still have enough to fund an entire (real) science mission each year with money to spare.

Re:Can you blame them? I can't. (1)

TheGavster (774657) | more than 9 years ago | (#11215852)

Actually, $20M is pretty close to what it costs to develop and build a reusable spacecraft from the ground up ... if you're the private sector, anyways.

Abandon this puppy (-1, Flamebait)

cbdavis (114685) | more than 9 years ago | (#11215648)

Big waste of money, plus we need the cash to
send to Iraq. We farked the space program 25 years ago by cancelling Apollo at its zenith. The ISS is far from "international". Its more USA than anything else. No other country can afford it, so why should we. Let in burnup and we can watch the video on fark.

The shuttle will be back in 6 months anyway. (1)

chopper749 (574759) | more than 9 years ago | (#11215651)

Congressional rules prevent the US from paying for the flights. I guess we'll have to charge the Ruskies for flights on our shuttles.

2006 !! (1)

karvind (833059) | more than 9 years ago | (#11215663)

From 2006 the US will be expected to pay.

I hope russian space program will survive till then to offer services.

-a

In meritorcracy USA (1)

asciiwhite (679872) | more than 9 years ago | (#11215664)

The land of the anti-communists.
Where nobody should get something for nothing, no free rides you could say.

I don't see how many could have any issues with this.

NASA News (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11215670)

The Associated Press

WASHINGTON -- NASA takes a major step this week toward returning astronauts to space.

Engineers will ship an improved rocket fuel tank that has been refitted to avoid the falling debris that caused the destruction of Columbia and the deaths of seven astronauts on Feb. 1, 2003.

National Aeronautics and Space Administration officials said the redesigned fuel tank, which supplies propellant for the launch of the space shuttle, will start a barge trip Friday from a Mississippi assembly plant to the launch site in Florida.

Improvement made on the fuel tank "gives us confidence that problems like what happened on Columbia will not happen again," said Sandy Coleman, NASA's external tank project manager. "This is the safest, most reliable tank NASA has ever produced."

The changes in the external tank will add less than 150 pounds in weight. The total cost of the new tank, including tests and redesign, is still being calculated, but it will be more than the $40 million cost of the old-style tank, Coleman said.

NASA plans a May or June launch of shuttle Discovery. The shuttle fleet has been grounded since the Columbia accident as NASA scrambled to make changes in hardware, procedures and personnel to comply with recommendations from the Columbia Accident Investigation Board.

Fixing the external tank was a key part of NASA's recovery, officials said. The tank holds the liquid hydrogen and oxygen that are the propellants for the shuttle's main rocket engines during launch.

Re:NASA News (1)

CRC'99 (96526) | more than 9 years ago | (#11215774)

wait.... MORE THAN $40 MILLION dollars for a damn fuel tank? wonder how much budget stuffing is in that...

Then again, I guess that gold plated hardened pop rivets are damn expensive :|

Thanks, Russia (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11215675)

When a poorer neighbour helps you out for no cost, the appropriate response is 'thanks'. Russia doesn't have the resources or the credit rating of the US. If they need to charge for future help, the US could continue with them, or shop around and see if anyone else can do it as well or better for a good price, or, better still, find a new partner capable of footing part of the ISS bill. It is the ISS, after all, not the US&RSS. How about the rest of the world ponying up some dough?

Get it over with... (3, Insightful)

clawDATA (758072) | more than 9 years ago | (#11215677)

Just claim it as their own. What's the US going to do? Kick 'em out?

It'd make an awesome weapon platform. They could event rent it out to the Chinese to use as a stop-over on their way to the moon. Maybe even a step toward a Russian-Chinese joint-venture on an eventual moonbase.

The US no longer has any power in space, and Russia, true to its nature, is taking advantage of this.

Not surprising.

Re:Get it over with... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11215777)

Well, yes, we could kick their butts out. We could just blow the damned thing up either with them onboard or not.

Frequent flyer miles? (4, Funny)

alpha1125 (54938) | more than 9 years ago | (#11215684)

Do the astronauts get frequent flyer miles for this trip?

Re:Frequent flyer miles? (1)

spac3manspiff (839454) | more than 9 years ago | (#11215700)

no, that wouldnt be many miles considering that they dont travel too far.

Re:Frequent flyer miles? (1)

Atrax (249401) | more than 9 years ago | (#11215761)

> no, that wouldnt be many miles considering that they dont travel too far.

That depends how long they're up there. ISS is not geostationary.

Reminds me of that Texas/Bush-ite Bumper Sticker (4, Funny)

glomph (2644) | more than 9 years ago | (#11215691)

on the pickup trucks with the gun racks:

"Gas, Grass, or Ass, Nobody Rides for Free!"

ungrateful Russians... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11215696)

if they want it this way then let the Russians build thier own space station. America the powerful can do without others since the USA is the greatest nation ever to exist on the face of the planet.

All naysayers can get stuffed!

Re:ungrateful Russians... (1)

CRC'99 (96526) | more than 9 years ago | (#11215805)

if they want it this way then let the Russians build thier own space station. America the powerful can do without others since the USA is the greatest nation ever to exist on the face of the planet.

All naysayers can get stuffed!


And people wonder why planes crash into buildings with attitudes like this :\

It would be interesting to see how many people in the US could actually find Russia on the world map. I've been told of a friends days at school in the US where a number of people could only name 4-5 states in America - one couldn't even find the state he lived in!

To the rest of the world, it seems like "America - home of the brave.... and the stupid."

Re:ungrateful Russians... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11215822)


in the Grace of God, how right you are my friend

Space tourism anyone? (1)

Tajas (785666) | more than 9 years ago | (#11215698)

This reminds me of that guy who paid a butt-load of money to Russia for a trip to the ISS but had to stay on Russia's side of the station. Is the US going to doing space tourism of their own now? I thought we built most of the ISS anyways?

Space is the future but the past is closer to the truth.

Obligatory Russian saying (0, Troll)

SamMichaels (213605) | more than 9 years ago | (#11215702)

It has taken two so-called space tourists into space in recent years for $20m each, and Mr Perminov said Russia was in discussions to send two more tourists in 2006.

IN SOVIET RUSSIA, SPACE TOURS YOU!!

The Space Shuttle's successor (1)

dolphin558 (533226) | more than 9 years ago | (#11215723)

Isn't the new Space transport (CEV) due to begin flying trials sometime late in 2005? If we can complete testing by 2006 perhaps we can allay some of the costs incurred by paying the Russians.

Astronaut Training Class (2, Funny)

D.A. Zollinger (549301) | more than 9 years ago | (#11215742)

Addendum information class, 44535i

Topic: Manouver to effectivly gain ridership from an unknown source.

Step 1: Extend arm.
Step 2: Make fist, then extend thumb to full open position.
Step 3: Bend elbow to move hand from starting position to the side of the head. Count to two, return hand to starting position, count to two, and repeat.
Step 4: Optional step for female austronauts - pull up right leg covering to expose skin.

With any luck, you will attract the attention of passing space craft who will give you a ride to your destination of choice, preferably the International Space Station.

Yet again (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11215771)

Nobody RTFA article I see. Cause if they did, Russia wasn't shuttling anyone for free. They were getting credit for parts they did not complete on ISS themsleves.

Re:Yet again (1)

ILuvUAmiga (578974) | more than 9 years ago | (#11215853)

I'm glad somebody at least read it. It's pretty disgusting the attitude so many are taking about Russia being "greedy". What they have done has been flawless, and without them the whole thing would have got messy. Why not appreciate that, and appreciate that it costs big bucks to send up rockets? Has the U.S. lost all its marbles when it comes to international relationships?

How unbiased (2, Insightful)

Portal1 (223010) | more than 9 years ago | (#11215811)

I don't understand how especialy the american can be reacting so egoistic and selfcetered about the INTRENATIONAL spacestation.
Like they own the world, Actulay they own nothing they have big debts which only grow.
I wonder how long it will take before the rest of the world start realizing this sceme.
I am hoping i will see that day.
And americans become again sane people.

Hollow, empty shell (3, Interesting)

mcrbids (148650) | more than 9 years ago | (#11215812)

The U.S. space program today is a shadow of its past. It's primarily a holdover from a pissing match between the budding USA and the USSR.

The USSR has ceased to be a "superpower", and the USA has established clear, military dominance. What's the point of NASA today?

What's really interesting is the kickoff of the private/commercial space age begun with SpaceShipOne. The Ansari X-Prize wasn't the goal - it was the starting line.

Within the next 1-2 decades, we'll see the old-style national space agencies dwarfed as pure economics brings scale to the space industry.

Space today is basically a high-dollar, cottage industry. Everything is hand/custom made at high expense, and in painfully small volumes.

It'll start with the obvious - people paying $25,000/seat to fly into space for an hour. Technology will be refined, prices will drop, and by the time I'm an old guy (I'm 32 now) I expect to be able to spend a week in space at a price I could actually afford.

But that's not so big, as the reality that new uses for the reduced-cost space travel will be discovered - uses we have no way of predicting.

Just like Edison could never have predicted micro-electronics, the future holds possibilities we can only begin to imagine!

Ticket price for the Rus Kosmos (3, Interesting)

Vexar (664860) | more than 9 years ago | (#11215828)

Okay, I did the math:
1 seat on the Russian taxi sells commercially for $25 M US dollars, however that included several weeks of training, as the story goes.
I believe that the Soyuz is a 3-seater. Assuming all passengers are capable astronauts, It isn't unreasonable to still expect the astronauts can travel for the same price as a civilian tourist.
At that price, let's round up and say the seven-person Space Shuttle ride equivalent is $200 M US dollars. I believe that the cargo volume in the Soyuz is much smaller, so tack on $50-100 M US dollars for an additional supply-only launch.

It sure seems to me like no matter how you jiggle the numbers, there really isn't much fiscal sense to fire up the Space Shuttle, for routine, non-assembly missions. A billion-dollar Shuttle launch means 1/3rd to 1/4th the investment value.

It's part of the R-36M decommissioning prog. (1)

gelfling (6534) | more than 9 years ago | (#11215842)

Part of the Strategic Arms reduction treaty, Russia is scheduled to remove all 308 R-36M MIRV systems from active service. These are hoisted by Dnepr boosters. Since 1999 the Russians have been looking for a commercial application for the Dnepr launch system. They've had a few failures and a few problems, but who hasn't? (ESA Ariane-5 for example).

So the Russians seem to have found a good use for the Dnepr system. But the remaining problem for them is that the Russians want to stop using Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakstan and start using Svobodny 18 in Far Eastern Siberia. Problem is that Svobodny 18 isn't built for the Dnepr.

show them the money (2, Insightful)

helioquake (841463) | more than 9 years ago | (#11215843)

The bottom line is that Russians need money to sustain their skill levels in space technology by retaining the old and training the new engineers and scientists. Or else these talents may end up in the darker side of the think-tank market.

I am in favor of paying them off for the lift. Heck, I'm surprised that we hadn't been so far.

Oh get real (0, Flamebait)

stratjakt (596332) | more than 9 years ago | (#11215847)

The US has bankrolled the whole project.

Maybe the line item didn't read "payment for taking us to ISS", but our tax dollars have been funding the whole shebang.

International my ass. We should be going it alone, not bankrolling other nations science programs.
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