Archive for the ‘News’ Category


19 Million Dollars for a Space Toilet ?

July 7, 2007

NASA has agreed to purchase toilet technology from the Russian company RSC Energia for the tidy sum of $19 million, to be delivered to the ISS in 2008 in preparation for a crew upsizing from three to six members. The previous system required that urine tanks be transfered to cargo ships and burned up in the Earth’s atmosphere, but the new toilets operate like a waste treatment center on Earth, collecting and reconstituting urine as drinking water — an unpleasant concept for a number of our readers, but a welcome relief for thirsty astronauts. The toilets are similar to normal models, though they employ leg restraints and thigh bars to hold the “user” in place, and high-powered fans to suck, um… waste into the commode. The system will be installed on the American side of the station, while the Russian-side will remain as is, resulting in extremely long lines to use the “good” bathroom.

Via Engadget

PS: To those of you who went to Star City. Do you remember how the star city toilet paper looks like ? Click Here to see William holding the Star City Toilet Paper


EADS Space Tourism Plan Discussion in ISU

June 19, 2007

The ISU 07 community are always keeping in touch with everyone about the recent space news. Last week was about ISS losing its power, we keep emailing/spaming each other about the progress until the day it is back on line and then one of our friend who is doing an intern in EADS emailed us about EADS plan to join the space tourism race.

It quickly get the news going

Here are the E-mail

Magda ( EADS)
If you haven’t heard yet EADS Astrium are looking to go into competition with SpaceShip Two with their own version of space tourism. Article with cool pics:,1518,488559,00.html

Ahmet ( SES)
After I heard the EADS interest in space tourism, I and John started a big discussion on the predicted scenarios and possible market and I built a quick Excel sheet

to see economical viability of the project. It is a simple one built in 5 min but it works.


I really don’t think it is a feasible project. But i guess this is a strategic move for EADS to attract more attention to other issues after I would say collapsing of A-380 Project by ending up with over budget and overtime than actually planned. They are in the process of firing people because of this project. And the first quarter financial numbers of EADS is very interesting, they made 10 billion revenues for Q1 of this year but only 10 million net profit which is nothing. And recently the management were highly criticized by shareholders in the general assembly about these issues both A-380 and financial figures.

They may want to get more attraction from public and also I remind John Logsdon analysis about how US Space Shuttle program started. “Engineers need a toy to play after Apollo missions” after A-380 EADS needs a strategic project in order to survive.

Maybe this analogy is a bit too pessimistic about space tourism but still has some true in it.

The EADS president’s speech about Virgin Galactic saying “Some of the guys think that they can build s/c in their garage” doesn’t seem like nice and moreover it is not fair. Their market research of 15000 passangers by 2020 seems to be too optimistic as well. They are announcing these kind of things that sounds interesting but i really don’t think they are realistic. It again reminds me the space tourism market researches that was done in Germany, Japan and some other places which predicts thousands of passangers for 2000s.

John and I played on the Excel sheet a lot and discussed these issues on our 1,5 h journeys back to home from SES.

space tourism guys if you want to play and extend the sheet, have a look.

BTW, I really want to see comments on EADS initiative on space tourism who are particularly interested in the issue in their internships.



Dimi ( JPL )
Hello business team,

I kind of agree it is a move to stay in contact with the other side of Atlantic in space tourism and private spaceflight etc, but:

Why is A380 a collapsing project?? There are problems, but don’t you cannot say it’s collapsing. It’s a huge project with lots of innovations and a LOT MORE financial risk and investment than any space tourism toy we are discussing for a year now in ISU (@250M/plane they need sth like 200 planes or more to break even, check the figures online). Don’t compare government money like Apollo and shuttle with industrial-private ventures like EADS, or any other. The first works for the good of society (whatever) the second for profit and shareholders (Yes EADS is owened by 25-30% by french state but again…). When A350 didn’t work in the market as initially planed Airbus redesigned it as A350XWB and re-launched it taking huge risk while rival Boeing had already 500+ orders for the rival B787. What did NASA do when people started saying that shuttle this and shuttle that and ISS this ISS that.. Outreach and T-Shirts and movies!!! 🙂

Do you think a space tourism rocket will save EADS if A380 ‘collapses’?? The fact that airbus is loosing ground is known for 2-3 years now, after Boeing was in the same position while airbus was thriving. Boeing restructured and that is what airbus is doing now.. It’s just that the by big percentage government owned airbus (you know how French are), employees unions, inflexible in laying-off European way of business, makes the whole process more difficult and sound worse than it is. At least that is my opinion from what I read here and there.

The Master 07 shows that even we are all over the world we still can keep in touch with each other even on the latest news . So i hope all the alumni too can use the ISU talk and News to keep us updated about the and join the discussion

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PA is Done (at least for most of us ) .. Good Luck to Almaz Guys !!

March 23, 2007


Dearest Everyone congratulation on completing your PA ( PERSONAL ASSIGNMENT and i know that PA is kinda tought .. there is a record of 12 ppl styaing overnight in ISU the day before PA and i guess it can get kinda messy to do your PA . Well i hope the best recovery and have a great module 4 .. Plus Russia news will come soon come back in a day or two .. sorry cant update becoz of PA..

See You at Party


ISU Students Talk Satellites with the Dave Matthews Band

March 8, 2007

Tuesday night two ISU students ventured off to La Cigale in Paris to catch Dave Matthews while he was on his solo tour with Tim Reynolds. With an exam looming in the near future they thought they would take the opportunity to talk to Dave regarding his opionions on satellites. Dave’s main concern seemed to be the privacy rights of people and what can actually be observed from space.

For a full version of the conversation click here. Two Students


Module 3 Exam on the way

March 7, 2007

At this moment we are studying for our final module 3 exams. There are many people cramming in our study rooms in campus to study for all the final exams. At 1130 there is still rodolphe who is still revising for his exam. Way to go rodolphe !!! But Please give us the best of luck to do well for our exams. And to everyone in the Class 07 .. GOOD LUCK FOR YOUR EXAM.


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A Global Disarmament Conference In ISU

March 2, 2007

The conference that will be held about the race of arms in space the next two days in Boeing Auditorium in the City of ISU is gaining interest from the public opinion as well in the spy sectors where a rumor has rise that the conference will be monitored by a few spy satellites to assure the security. A moderated concern about the proliferation of arms in space specially since India and China had demonstrated his capabilities breaking the traditional equilibrium US-Russia.

It still a mystery how the states will react in front of the surprising new position of IRAN which the official sources inform has presented a motion to include a modification into tomorrow’s agenda. Some other surprises are expected like North Korea which traditionally block their position against any international affair.

CANADA and the alliance Russia-China are the positions more known in the media specially Canada that have 3 proposals to present into the conference has been very active but is probable that the rest of the states are just waiting for causes of simple strategy.

At this point when the conference has not started not much optimism has been detected by the member states and the “the bureau” the conference organization has rejected to speak about their personals opinions to facilitate the further negotiations and they assure that will do their best to finish the conference with some type of final document approved by all members in the conference.

By Xavier

For More News Click Here


Professional visits to Snecma,EADS and Paris

February 26, 2007

Every long trip starts with the turn-on of a bus engine….The Masters Class 2007 made a professional visit to the Snecma company where we could see the production process of the Vulcan Engines for the Arianne 5, helicopters and even figther jets,etc. An overview of the company and its clients, services and products; some people in the class whose passion for launching vehicles is their stuff went almost crazy of the excitement of being there … anyway was a fun visit and also a very dynamic one.

After the visit we had the rest of the day free so we managed to get some time to walk around in the town – at this time the class realized that one of our Rock superstar fellow in the masters program who was since the previous weekend in Paris he not longer was close to Paris due in his short French misunderstood the place where he wanted to go due it sounded like Marseille so he ended up in the south of France having a nice walk nearby the beach…. nice trade off Thiago!! (hey new ISU’ers take note what can happen if you guys don’t speak French eh?! you better prepare!!)

Next day was followed by the drive to Paris which took a couple of hours due the traffic in the city,in the way there we made a stop at the museum of Monet’s garden where we had so much fun and also we could visit his house-museum and enjoy of the beautiful colors of his garden as if this was not enough we got in Paris straight  to our hotel followed by a dinner with all the people in the class and of course we couldn’t resist to take a field research of the night life of Paris, it was a lot of fun but we needed to got back to our hotel in order to not to burn our busters for the visit of the next day to EADS where actually we were able to see a composite laboratory and even enter where the first stage of the Arianne 5 rocket where is put all together.

That day we made a 2-3 hours stop to the Air and Space museum  where we actually took tons of pictures and were completely delighted with all the geek stuff in it like the Concorde mock up,  satellites,  the Arianne 5 rocket, etc. Then we headed back to Paris  bit this time we had some free time and discover the beauty of the architecture and the cosmopolitan lifestyle of the romantic city, Paris. All we can say is that this trip was a great opportunity to know all of us each other and also to have a real time experience with the space industry, so exciting!!