back to article Three more 'nauts prepare for space station housewarming

The second half of the International Space Station's Expedition 30 crew is getting ready to blast off tomorrow to dock with the station in time for Christmas. Soyuz TMA-03M at the launch pat at Baikonur Cosmodrome Soyuz TMA-03M at the launch pat at Baikonur Cosmodrome. Credit: NASA/Carla Cioffi Russian cosmonaut Oleg …


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  1. Annihilator


    I know that there's an impressive record with Soyuz, but man that picture doesn't inspire confidence! Looks more like it was knocked together with some rusty scrapped scaffolding...

    1. Gene Cash Silver badge


      Actually, I think that's one of the original pads that's been around since Gagarin in 1957, so yeah, it'll be looking a bit beat up by now. Not much money for new paint, either.

      OTOH, it's launching in 20deg weather whereas the Shuttle had issues if anyone had to put on a sweater.

  2. mark 63 Silver badge
    Paris Hilton

    scary indeed

    I dont follow space that closely...

    I'm amazed Russia can still do this , after the end of the cold war and collapse of the USSR .

    Are they the world leaders now? The US seem have retired their shuttle but I havent heard anything about a shiny new model?

    Is the ISS now the RSS?

  3. CowardlyAndrew

    Hang on isn't that a still frame from CoD Black Ops, or is that the real place?

    My money is on the first moon base actually being a prison, just like we did with Australia a few years ago.

    1. James Micallef Silver badge

      Heinlein got there first

      The moon is a harsh mistress

      1. Graham Marsden
        Thumb Up

        @James Micalleft


      2. Local Group

        "The moon is a harsh mistress"

        A cheesy pick-up line if I ever heard one.

  4. Beachrider

    NASA has gone to COTS...

    NASA has committed to COTS for LEO work, including the ISS. You can follow SpaceX or Orbital Sciences for that progress. SpaceX is sending up their proposed manned-capsule on a supplies-ferry test in February. NASA budgeting is a polemic right now, but it seems that SpaceX could launch a Manned mission in 2013. The budget-committed plan is 2016, though.

    NASA is developing another program for 'Deep Space'. This means either HEO (things like Geostationary orbit, or L1 Lagrange for Earth/Moon) or near-earth asteroids. That is a completely different launch and human transport system. The heavy launch vehicle is SLS and the transport capsule is MPCV (reworked Orion). MPCV is NOT slated to go to ISS, it is not cost-effective for that job.

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