Thrift shop buy of the week, a model of the ISS, and it seems to be complete! It is definitely an old ISS design, but it would still be cool. the last time I made a model is probably decades ago, never painted that one either. I guess I have a hobby for the upcoming months.

Cargo vessels to the ISS - infographic by RiaNovosti

Cargo vessels to the ISS - infographic by RiaNovosti

The dragon has some problems, only 1 out of 4 engines seems to be running. NASA and Spacex will have a conference at 3 p.m. EST (half an hour).

The dragon has some problems, only 1 out of 4 engines seems to be running. NASA and Spacex will have a conference at 3 p.m. EST (half an hour).

photo: Jean-Jacques Dordain, Director General of ESA (source:ESA) 
The negotiations went on until deep in the night yesterday and started this morning again at 7.30. But when the decision was made on Ariane, others were also quickly made.
Here is a list of the most important and exciting things that happened on the last day of the ministerial council:
An adapted version of the Ariane 5 ME will be developed in parallel with the first phases of the design of the new Ariane 6. The 5 ME design will be adapted to have as much commonalities as possible with its successor.  Overall this is hailed as a succes for Germany, but France notes that this is the first time ESA has committed to the development of the Ariane 6.
As barter element of the ISS, ESA will develop a propulsion module for Orion. This will give ESA a foot in the door in future explorations of the universe as well give ESA the change to contribute for the first time to a manned launch vehicle. EADS cheered, since the npropulsion module will be likely based on the propulsion module of the ATV, which they have produced. This has also been hailed as another succes for Germany.
Britain joins the ISS. Britain already announced to increase their ESA contribution with 25%, putting just above Italy and thereby joining the small group of top contributors to ESA. Now they have commited parts of this money the microgravity research on the ISS ( 15 million over 4 years) and they will also make a one time 20 million investment in the Orion propulsion module. These investment give astronaut in training Tim Peake a bigger change to earn his wings. 
The science budget is flatlined. And with inflation that means there will be a small decrease, though there also will be a small increase due to new member states Poland and Romania. This also means continued support for missions like Bepi Colombo, Gaia and the LISA Pathfinder. 
Other decision like continued ESA support for Guiana Space Centre (a small win for France), renewed support for telecommunications and earth observationcan be found in the factsheet. Or in my post about the first day. The next ministerial meeting will be in 2014. 

photo: Jean-Jacques Dordain, Director General of ESA (source:ESA) 

The negotiations went on until deep in the night yesterday and started this morning again at 7.30. But when the decision was made on Ariane, others were also quickly made.

Here is a list of the most important and exciting things that happened on the last day of the ministerial council:

  • An adapted version of the Ariane 5 ME will be developed in parallel with the first phases of the design of the new Ariane 6. The 5 ME design will be adapted to have as much commonalities as possible with its successor.  Overall this is hailed as a succes for Germany, but France notes that this is the first time ESA has committed to the development of the Ariane 6.
  • As barter element of the ISS, ESA will develop a propulsion module for Orion. This will give ESA a foot in the door in future explorations of the universe as well give ESA the change to contribute for the first time to a manned launch vehicle. EADS cheered, since the npropulsion module will be likely based on the propulsion module of the ATV, which they have produced. This has also been hailed as another succes for Germany.
  • Britain joins the ISS. Britain already announced to increase their ESA contribution with 25%, putting just above Italy and thereby joining the small group of top contributors to ESA. Now they have commited parts of this money the microgravity research on the ISS ( 15 million over 4 years) and they will also make a one time 20 million investment in the Orion propulsion module. These investment give astronaut in training Tim Peake a bigger change to earn his wings. 
  • The science budget is flatlined. And with inflation that means there will be a small decrease, though there also will be a small increase due to new member states Poland and Romania. This also means continued support for missions like Bepi Colombo, Gaia and the LISA Pathfinder. 

Other decision like continued ESA support for Guiana Space Centre (a small win for France), renewed support for telecommunications and earth observationcan be found in the factsheet. Or in my post about the first day. The next ministerial meeting will be in 2014. 

Dutch Beatles tribute band Love and Mersey has made a musical greeting to Andre Kuipers and Oleg Kononenko. Based on the song “Back in the USSR”it pays tribute to the third ATV in English, Dutch and Russian.

ps. remember, the ATV is docking tonight.  

With the retirement of the Space Shuttle ESA operates the biggest (non return) space vehicle.  Sadly only 5 ATV’s will be launched, the third ATV is scheduled to launch 23 March, 04:31 GMT (05:31 CET). Due to the mission profile the launch has to be precise to the minute.