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The GOP, separating mind and state since 1968.
03:41 PM on 04/08/2012
similar process every morning when (R)money has his personality installed.
03:28 PM on 04/08/2012
Impressive feat. It looks like that ATV cargo ship could be a complete new section to the space station. I would think they could have a better multi-use plan for the ATV, instead of filling it with garbage for burn up in re-entry. What am i missing? Make a cheap garbage pod designed to de-orbit and burn up.
Now that the technology exists, I assume this is how space stations of the future will be assembled.
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04:49 PM on 04/08/2012
ATV consumes an existing docking port and doesn't provide any new ports, so it can't be used as a permanent expansion module. Also, the probe-and-drogue docking tunnel provides an inconveniently narrow passage, too narrow for standard USOS equipment racks.

NASA is considering the instrumentation and propulsion section of the ATV as a multipurpose "tug" for delivering permanent modules to the ISS or for on-orbit assembly of future exploration spacecraft. This would include revolutionary inflatable modules produced by Bigelow Aerospace.

As for the cheap garbage pod idea, what you're missing is how it gets to the ISS in the first place. The automated rendezvous and docking is what drives the complexity and cost. What you really want is something like the SpaceX Dragon, which is a reusable transport spacecraft.
05:00 PM on 04/08/2012
Dragon is a nice thing, especially because it is able to return Material from the ISS to the ground, but it neither has the abillity to reboost the ISS nor has the huge payload capacity of ATV. The capsule ist small ang heavy.
AND Dragon has its COTS 2/3 Demo flight pending...I hope for a sucsessful flight.
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03:20 PM on 04/08/2012
decline of america after 10 years of wars and TRILLIONS of tax money wasted, while rest of the world rises.

i give american empire 5 years tops before china becomes the new superpower
TruthSayer, TrollSlayer
02:55 PM on 04/08/2012
The glory of science is being ignored in favour of the gory of the insane_.
The GOP, separating mind and state since 1968.
03:46 PM on 04/08/2012
particle accelerators and space programs are for the europeans and asians.

...try some of the gawd at the buffet, you'll luv it. praise t3bow!
Curve: The loveliest distance between two points.
02:39 PM on 04/08/2012
So, do we really need to a manned flight to Mars--robotic probes seem so much cheaper and slicker.
02:39 PM on 04/08/2012
i must update my cpu
02:05 PM on 04/08/2012
This is such an obvious solution. I bet there a lot of Eureka moments going on when they conceptional these cargo ships. Hats off to the engineers and scientists responsible for this innovation.
07:58 AM on 04/10/2012
Engineers and scientists can only do what they are being paid for in space flight. In this case the political leadership that funded this program came up with another enormous boondoggle... and that's what got built.
12:04 PM on 04/10/2012
wasn't speaking to the politics, just from scientific perspective, getting supplies back in forth is much simpler when you do not need a pilot.
jonny dipstick
08:56 AM on 04/08/2012
this makes me want to go to space so bad. why isn't it affordable yet??!!
08:00 AM on 04/10/2012
Because they are building a man-rated ISS segment complete with propulsion and an autonomous power system at the cost of $500 million (plus another $150-200 in launch cost) that then gets discarded to burn up into the atmosphere...

jonny dipstick
08:43 AM on 04/10/2012
I know right! It seems like such a waste.
06:19 AM on 04/08/2012
The video is about as exciting as watching paint dry (next week's clip of the day on Huff Post).
Max Baucus: What's in your wallet?
10:52 AM on 04/08/2012
An automated space craft traveling at 17000 MPH catching up to and maneuvering to "kiss" a particular spot measured in square centimeters on another object traveling at 17000 mph. Yep nothing to it. G0damned over paid engineers. When are they going to do something to actually advance mankind?
08:01 AM on 04/10/2012
Nope, there is not much to it because the actual approach happens at a snail pace. You need to learn about RELATIVE velocity... they did try to teach that to you in physics in high school.

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The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars,
02:50 PM on 04/08/2012
Shouldn't you be watching grown men play with a ball of some sort?
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04:27 PM on 04/08/2012
mmpolom24 is just another one of those people who must have been deprived of attention as a child, and who feels the need to be recognized, but doesn't have the intellect to add anything of any value, so all he can muster are inane comments such as "Who cares", "So what", "Blah, blah blah tax dollars", etc, etc.
12:57 AM on 04/08/2012
The ATV is a horrible concept. The Europeans have basically decided to build and launch what can only be describes as an autonomous ISS segment... only to burn it up in the atmosphere after filling it with trash. It's an incredibly wasteful application of otherwise great engineering... the very opposite of where manned space flight needs to go.
Max Baucus: What's in your wallet?
10:27 AM on 04/08/2012
And your suggestion is to maintain a Space Shuttle class system to deliver groceries and bring back trash safely to earth where it can be placed in a landfill? You better fire up Excel and run your numbers again.
07:31 AM on 04/10/2012
Not at all. I have been a critic of the shuttle for a long time. Too bad that you aren't reading my posts before making assumptions about what I think.

My point is that, if you are building an autonomous ISS segment, make better use of it by actually making it a part of the ISS, instead of burning it up in the atmosphere.
04:51 PM on 04/08/2012
Nope, it is not.
basically it was designed to reboost the ISS ofer a half year period, deliver Goods, Gasses and Fuel and serve at last as a save garbage disposal. You canĀ“t throw your litter out of the window up there.
And it serves as a temporary quiet spot for the crew, some of them sleep there...
thanks to the cost overruns of the space shuttle, wich left the habitation module grounded.
Kind regards
07:36 AM on 04/10/2012
Thank you for making my point for me. So the concept wastes a complete power and propulsion system on a man rated module for a one time task... and then gets discarded. How "smart" is that?

Not smart at all. And that's all I said.

Now, while I can't simply throw litter out there, I can dispose of it with a much smaller, and much cheaper re-entry stage that doesn't have to cost the equivalent of a manned ISS segment.

"And it serves as a temporary quiet spot for the crew, some of them sleep there... "

Which means nothing else than that it is fully man-rated... only to be thrown away. Wasn't that what I said? Oh, yes, it was!

"thanks to the cost overruns of the space shuttle, wich left the habitation module grounded."

And compounding one failed approach with another one is "smart"... because?
12:13 AM on 04/08/2012
If Galileo Galilee saw this, he'll cry with joy. With all the accomplishments that the euro's has done along with other nations will be in his amazement.

"Venture to the far and the beyond, where we shall see beauty and wonders. That the universe is truly 'The Gardens of the Gods'...and may we find worlds that have natural life and life from its primordial and prehistoric past frozen in stone. Lets reach our hands up in the skies, so we can grasp the stars"
01:00 AM on 04/08/2012
I don't think Galileo would have been overjoyed to see such a great accomplishment filled with trash and burned up in the atmosphere at the end of the mission... all at the cost of $300 million for the craft, plus some $100+ million for the launch.
09:15 AM on 04/08/2012
Well I kinda true by as a European, he'll be amazed by it. And if he were alive today he'll still happy to see astronomy at its greatest.
Nyak Nyak Nyak
05:00 PM on 04/08/2012
He would have been equally disappointed with your assessment coming with no solution of its own. Just waaaaaa waaaaaa waaaaaa burned up in the atmosphere.
10:42 PM on 04/07/2012
This could have been a USA accomplishment if George W. had not decided to shut down the Shuttle Program and starve NASA so we could spend more money on wars and tax cuts.
01:01 AM on 04/08/2012
This was one of the few sane decisions Bush made... the shuttle had cost 14 American lives and burnt through hundreds of billions of NASA budget... with next to no progress made in manned space flight.
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04:14 AM on 04/08/2012
Yup. As cool as the shuttle was, it was a horrendously bad design due to conflicting design goals from NASA and DOD. It was way too unreliable for human spaceflight. If you look at the possible abort scenarios it's a miracle that only two were lost.
Nyak Nyak Nyak
05:01 PM on 04/08/2012
And how many American lives did his useless wars cost? At what $ amount? And they advanced what?

Right, tens of thousands, trillions and nada.
08:32 PM on 04/07/2012
Oh sure, robotic craft can now dock on their own. But it still takes a human to give a chipper knock on the door after docking.
10:47 PM on 04/07/2012
they give a chipper knock... its called electric shock
06:17 PM on 04/07/2012
It's amazing to watch the European, Russian & Chinese space programs grow & develop while ours collapses into the white house trash can!
Blue Skies Clear Ponds Chase Dragonflies Oh Yeah!
08:22 PM on 04/07/2012
NASA will make a strong comeback, when our national deficit has been repaired. This may take a decade or longer while we can watch Chinese on their way to the Moon.
09:08 PM on 04/07/2012
Dream on! But I do wish that you are correct in your assumptions. In fact I hope you are right! But the reality is NASA is not going to get much funding until the economy stops collapsing. The collapse is happening because THE USA congressional laws created the collapse! Nothing has changed therefore the collapse continues & NASA gets no funds!
Nothing will change this side of the election; after who knows? We all hope for an improvement but it takes years to build functioning a Space program. You think the USA will be back in space in 10 years! I hope you are right!!!!
Rich Cash
Enlisted in 1971 - Retired in 1996
09:45 PM on 04/07/2012
Hopefully, when the Chinese have established a permanent colony on the moon, the American people will wake up and support NASA's Manned Space Progam again. Fanned and faved!
10:59 PM on 04/07/2012
Thank you for your support!
04:32 PM on 04/07/2012
science is amazing!!