Monday, July 18, 2011

Atlas V Could Be Next Ride For US Astronauts

The United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket could become the next rocket to propel U.S. astronauts into space under an agreement announced today by NASA and United Launch Alliance.

The unfunded Space Act Agreement sets the stage for NASA and ULA to work together to make certain that the Atlas V meets all the safety requirements necessary to launch U.S. astronauts into space.

The Atlas V appears to be a vehicle of choice for companies developing commercial space taxis to ferry astronauts to and from the International Space Station. Boeing is considering the Atlas V for its CST-100 capsule. Sierra Nevada is planning to launch its Dream Chaser space planes on Atlas V rockets.

The Atlas V blasts off from launch Complex 41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.

12 comments:

AxeGlove said...

The Right Stuff!

Finally.

Mr. Bing Bing said...

Yes!

fred said...

Atlas V uses Russian rocket motors. Wonder if this a step forward or back?

Maddog said...

Better Russian engines on a US built launch vehicle than a Soyuz on top of their rocket. The RD-180 is a proven horse that was licensed to Pratt & Whitney in West Palm for production. This might even let them make a few! I know that when the Atlas V was designed, Lockheed Martin bought quite a few RD-180s to last the program.

R Flagg said...

Still rather see a Single Stage to Orbit design...

steele-environmental said...

What about also using the other big lifter: The Delta 4 Heavy?

Rick Steele
Sarasota, Florida

Mex Cook said...

I think eventually they will have to use the Delta IV for deep space exploration, its the only one of its kind that can get us there.

GoddessTara said...

Will ULA use their sister USA's human spaceflight skills and "capture the flag"?Or will they let others overtake their lead...

dmbadgley said...

I have to admit, I'm a single stage to orbit fan too... But at this point as long as it's safer and faster getting developed and to use I'm for it. Just ironic we could have a manned launch vehicle named Atlas again! -Doug

R Flagg said...

I think we should leave NEO to the Private sector... The shuttle has been fantastic, but she is in need of a rest. Lets do Mars but not as a nation, as a planet. Surely far more of an achievment than putting a human on its surface, global co-operation....

tim said...

Shades of John Glenn and Friendship 7!

tim said...

LC 41 was where the X-20 Dynasoar spacecraft was originally scheduled to be launched by a Titan III. If they launch the Dream Chaser from there the complex will finally be fulfilling it's intended purpose.