ESA and Russia: Together into space?

Interesting news (via Randy McDonald) concerning a partnership between the European Space Agency and Russia to develop the Russians’ new Kliper reusable space shuttle.

It’s all but official?Russia and Europe will soon embark on a cooperative effort to build a next-generation manned space shuttle. Speaking at the Paris Air Show, in Le Bourget, France, in June, Russian space officials confirmed earlier reports from Moscow that their partners at the European Space Agency would join the Russian effort to build a new reusable orbiter, dubbed Kliper. After the cautious optimism they expressed at the beginning of 2005, Russians are now confident that their European partners will be on board for the largest, boldest Russian endeavor in spaceflight in more than a decade.

Interesting to note that, in one of those strange coincidences, the leading designer of the Kliper system is called Vladimir Taneev – the same name as one of the leading characters in Kim Stanley Robinson’s Mars trilogy.

7 thoughts on “ESA and Russia: Together into space?

  1. Oh god. Proof that paralyzing stupidity is not an American-only disease.
    Explain to me again exactly what this will achieve that is of any use whatsoever. EXACTLY, as opposed to vague bullshit about experiments in zero-g or miraculous manufacture of biotech or all the other nonsense we’ve heard for ten years from Lockheed, Boeing, McDonnel Douglas and friends.

  2. This site kicks serious ass.

    Part of me wants to agree with the previous poster regarding manned presence in space. Is it really necessary? The romantic Apollo-was-cool idiots here in the USA will wax poetic about how important manned presence in space is. Actually, robots can do almost everything.

    That said, landing again on the moon seems like a sensible goal for humanity. At some point. For what reason: astronomy mainly. Just set up the telescope and get the hell out of there.

    anyway, I agree somewhat, but at the same time: if anyone knows how to get into space it’s not the Americans. I say Go Kliper

  3. “Explain to me again exactly what this will achieve”

    Well since the Russians are having so many problems under water perhaps they are trying to verify whether the physical law that what can’t go down has to go up still holds :).

  4. It’s worth it just to stay friends with the Russians, folks.

    By giving them a big share of the pie on this prestige project we’ve reduced the risk of them turning off the gas taps.

  5. quote by c “By giving them a big share of the pie on this prestige project we’ve reduced the risk of them turning off the gas taps”

    as i read it is it not the other way around? the russians are letting the europeans in on the presige project?

    as for maynard, im no expert, but the follow thru benifits (technology) of space travel are there. among other things space travel has helped in the discovery of better composite materials, recycling and others. the building of a spce shuttle requires technical innovation. that technical inovation filters thru to the industrial complex after a time.

  6. “It’s worth it just to stay friends with the Russians, folks.
    By giving them a big share of the pie on this prestige project we’ve reduced the risk of them turning off the gas taps.”

    Come on, this is bullshit. You can give them a big share of a prestige project that is actually useful and buy their love while achieving something constructive.
    An obvious choice is ITER.
    Want something in the space category? How about Galileo? That’s militarily sensitive? OK, how about preparing a replacement for the Hubble which is due to expire — thanks precisely to this “man in space” stupidity.
    Want something that involves more launches than the Hubble? How about these various satellite based gravity wave detection or gyroscope GR tests?

  7. Russia has the manned space flight engineering expertise to build such a shuttle. We don’t.

    Without Western investment that expertise would disappear forever and be lost.

    Russia is in on Galileo and ESA’s astronomy budget is considerable.

    This is a prestige project for Russia not Europe and close cooperation will buy Russian Public favour.

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