I suspect European space is still going to be dominated by more practical robot craft for the near future.
The leather looks Corinthian. Rich.
I hope they build a better Space Toilet than the Russians.
This is just a man-rated version of ESA's current Jules Verne "Automated Transfer Vehicle" (ATV) that went into service this past March, and the idea of converting it to manned operation has been kicking around for four or five years now.
At any rate, even if the Europeans decide to upgrade the ATV to carry human passengers, they won't have a functional Crew Return Vehicle available until 2018 at the earliest, so don't go holding your breath there, Chaz.
And besides, it's not the Europeans OR the Russians we should be looking over our shoulders at - I'd be much more concerned about what the Chinese are up to with their "Shenzhou" program, which has already successfully completed two manned missions, with a third scheduled for October of this year.
Everyone with a half-assed space program has designed a manned spacecraft. The key word here is 'designed'. The ESA has existed only about 5 years less than NASA and they have accomplished a grand total of zero manned spaceflights and about a dozen probes. I won't be holding my breath waiting for this craft.
I'd put my money on the Japanese getting a manned spacecraft operational before the Europeans. Less bureaucracy and competition with the Chinese will give them the motivation that the ESA lacks.
The US is retiring its shuttle fleet in T-minus a year and a half, and from then on is planning to hitch rides on Soviet spacecraft, until/unless a replacement manned spacecraft can ever be launchpad ready.
CNSA is planning to have their taikonauts do a spacewalk from their Shenzhou craft this fall.
The Euro spacecraft will have two toilets - one for heteros and one for LGBTs.
Why would LGBT astronauts need their own toilet, Will?
That leather is indeed rich and Corinthian. Not to mention smooth and luxurious. Just like the luxury seats in my brand new Cordoba!
(Cue Rodrigo's "Concierto de Aranjuez")
Stop it! American plastic chairs are so much more practical.
That looks a little bit like Mr. Poe's bedroom.
What the fuck kind of word is "PR-orientated" ?
Well, just in case.
But at least they have a backup ...
The obvious advantage is that they can get their spacecraft interior from Ikea, flat in a box, and not assemble it until in orbit.
I have a leather chair, a touchscreen, and an empty closet in my home office. Does this mean I'm more advanced than the American and Russian space programs?
I will be impressed when we build this....
Funding for unmanned earth-science missions has been dwindling in favor of manned missions. This needs to stop.
Yeah, putting a man on the moon is sexy, but it's pretty useless. Tracking hurricanes and tornadoes in real-time with multi-spectral imagers is damned useful.
And before some romantic starts in about how humanity needs to go to the stars... Just NO. If we can't make nice here on earth, we've no business trashing the galaxy.
While my examples are from US space policy, I hope the Europeans don't follow us down this path.
Kinda has that "Dr. Who" vibe to it...
Three leather bench seats?
Is there room in there for Charles, Monica Belluci, and Natalie Merchant?
Charles didn't want to say it, so I said it for him.
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