Thanks to Jeff Foust’s link to the fiscal year 2009 authorisation bill for NASA, I found this interesting tidbit;
SEC. 406. EXPLORATION CREW RESCUE.
In order to maximize the ability to rescue astronauts whose space vehicles have become disabled, the Administrator shall enter into discussions with the appropriate representatives of spacefaring nations who have or plan to have crew transportation systems capable of orbital flight or flight beyond low Earth orbit for the purpose of agreeing on a common docking system standard.
Do you think that includes China?
The above picture is a Flight artist recreation of a NASA CAD file image that shows the International Space Station and NASA’s Orion crew exploration vehicle using the “APAS [Androgynous Peripheral Attach System] To Low Impact Docking System [LIDS] Adaptor System” or ATLAS; which I wrote about in January this year
While ATLAS solves the problem of Orion docking with ISS could it also solve the problem of docking with Soyuz in an emergency situation or even the proposed Crew Space Transportation System?
But for me the interesting part is the direction to talk to all spacefaring nations and that will include the Chinese. Ni hao Dr Griffin?