back to article The UK's first industrial contribution to the ISS: An end to sneakernet for spacefarers

The UK will be making its first major industrial contribution to the International Space Station (ISS) with the Columbus Ka-band Terminal (ColKa), which will be fitted to the Columbus laboratory module during a spacewalk by flight engineers Michael Hopkins and Victor Glover. The new antenna will enable a dedicated link to …

  1. Annihilator

    Clever comms

    When I first read about the new downlink capability I first thought that it would be a) hard and b) limited to when they were in range of the ground stations - given the every-90 minute orbit, that's probably quite frequent. Then discovered that it was even more impressive - the antenna isn't broadcasting down to earth, it's broadcasting *up* to the geostationary EDRS satellites instead. I continue to be blown away by science and our ability to come up with ingenious solutions.

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: Clever comms

      There is always that one kid who read the Spherical Trigonometry textbook

  2. Flywheel
    Thumb Down

    ho ho ho

    Science minister Amanda Solloway said the mission 'exemplifies how government backing is helping our most innovative companies push the boundaries of what we can achieve in space as well as back home on Earth.'

    Would-be users of broadband in Britain's not-spots and thousands of Lockdown Learners must laughing their socks off at this statement.

    1. ClockworkOwl

      Re: ho ho ho

      Well investment in BT is often more like feeding a black hole than any moonshot, a severe lack of porcine cylinders...

    2. Chris G

      Re: ho ho ho

      I doubt that £85K will pay the cost of the committee who decides how to spend it.

      If the allocation of government money to science equalled the blarb spent on talking it up, then science would have a surfeit.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: ho ho ho

        In my experience of UK science.

        There will be alternate meetings in London / Edinburgh (got to keep the picts happy)

        The civil service / govt lab representatives will travel first class train

        The university staff will book a cheap day return

        Grad-students / post-docs won't be able to attend - no travel budget

        1. Andy The Hat Silver badge

          Re: ho ho ho

          Actually it's also for "outreach activities" so possibly public information materials aimed at all of us space-faring public - messages like "Don't dump in space", "Please deorbit after use", "Recycle your urine", "Dog shit bags hung on the solar panels - NO THANKS!" ... A few posters like that, a CEO, five vice CEOs and a few assistants to the CEO, about ten committee meetings and some random spacey expense should swallow all that cash nicely ...

  3. EnviableOne

    Boeing Jim, Really

    Acorns next meeting ....

  4. Red Ted

    “Calamity Capsule Part 2: This time we tested it”

    You, sir, owe me a new keyboard!

  5. RLWatkins

    "Cape Canaveral Space Force Station"?!

    Most of us knew when the President (TM) started bafflegabbing about "creating a space force" that he was just engaged in his usual sort con job.

    A year later, when they'd done nothing about it, they started adding the words "Space Force" to existing programs and facilities in a classic Jesus Is Coming, Look Busy move.

    I'm ashamed to hear the term. I'm even more ashamed to hear it attached to the venerable Cape Canaveral.

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