Friday, May 16, 2008

Russians, ESA ink Lunar vehicle agreement

These announcements are always a little optimistic, but negotiators are at least planning to beat NASA back to the Moon by two years.

The Russian Federal Space Agency and European Space Agency are reportedly just past inking a cooperative space vehicle deal, and with form following function, like the Soviet Буран suspiciously looking like a 3/4 scale Columbia, this new vehicle is concepted to resemble Orion but with planned room for a sixth star-traveler.

An ambitious schedule and short-sighted politicians preparing to reap wins from a bitter harvest mostly fueled by confidence-killing gas prices in the U.S., and you begin to wonder if the United States is gradually being left in the dust.

ESA-Roscosmos plan the next visit to the moon by a human being for 2018, or two full years prior to NASA's.

(Of course, the Jules Verne ATV was many years overdue when it finally took flight, weeks ago, docked now to the Russian segment of the ISS. The Space Shuttle was six years overdue when Columbia first flew in 1981.)
More HERE.

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