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'Space Freighter' On Its Way to Resupply International Space Station 85

Posted by timothy
from the all-out-of-nerf-ammo dept.
SchrodingerZ writes "An ATV 'Space truck' [launched Friday] from Kourou base in French Guiana to the International Space Station. 'The robotic truck is heading to the International Space Station (ISS) with new supplies of food, water, air, and fuel.' It launched at 04:34 GMT for a 63 minute flight into orbit. At 20 tonnes, the ATV is the biggest ship servicing the station now that the U.S. shuttles have been retired. The Automated Transfer Vehicle (ATV) launched with a Ariane 5 carrier rocket, it is the 'third such craft to be sent to the station by ESA (European Space Agency).' It will dock with the ISS on the night of the 28th and 29th, Paris time."
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'Space Freighter' On Its Way to Resupply International Space Station

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 24, 2012 @11:48AM (#39460803)

    Probably soon to be thanks China and India too.

    Is there not a single US launch vehicle that can struggle to LEO and supply the space station?

    NASA now just an empty shell and all our hopes on dot-com billionare dilettantes...

  • by Jiro (131519) on Saturday March 24, 2012 @12:37PM (#39461063)

    If Obama hadn't thrown a roughly equal amount on the stimulus....

  • Re:Really expensive (Score:4, Interesting)

    by DerekLyons (302214) <fairwater@g[ ]l.com ['mai' in gap]> on Saturday March 24, 2012 @02:12PM (#39461537) Homepage

    Reading TFA, this resupply mission is hugely expensive compared to what SpaceX will deliver (if nothing goeas wrong in their next launch)

    ROTFLMAO. No shit it's more expensive - it's delivering more cargo. It can provide reboost to the ISS, which Dragon cannot. It can supply propellant and bulk gasses, which Dragon cannot. It can dock itself rather than relying on the Canadarm 2 to berth it...
     
    You get what you pay for.
     
    As I've said before in these discussions: It's not just about price, capabilities matter.* It doesn't matter how cheap something is if it cannot do the job. A subcompact may only cost a quarter of what a full size pickup does, but four subcompacts cannot replace a fulls size pickup - and only a fool would confuse the two in the first place.
     
    * Seriously, it's annoying to have to keep repeating this. Is it really such a hard concept to grasp?

  • by Patch86 (1465427) on Saturday March 24, 2012 @02:36PM (#39461675)

    Roughly speaking, I believe the SpaceX solution carries about half the payload of an ATV, and costs not substantially less than half the price. So you don't save vast sums of money doing it that way.

    And as mentioned elsewhere, one of the ATV's main jobs is station-keeping: using its engines to boost the the ISS back into a higher orbit. That accounts for a fair chunk of the expense of the vehicle design, and is something that the Dragon can't do.

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