Supplementary memorandum from the British
UK HUMAN SPACEFLIGHTBIS LOW COST PROJECT
It is considered important for the UK to establish
a modest human spaceflight presence, in line with the rest of
the industrialised world. There are strong scientific, education
outreach, industrial and inspiration reasons for this (see associated
British Interplanetary Society evidence to the Select Committee.)
In order to become properly engaged in the US and ESA manned plans
for a return to the Moon (by 2020) and the future exploration
of the solar system, a low-cost manned science-education project
with UK access to the International Space Station (ISS) should
be commenced in the next two years.
2. PROJECT PROPOSAL
An affordable and meaningful ISS access project
can be undertaken for approximately £50 million over five
years (see costings below) at £10 million per year. This
only represents a 5% increase in the current UK civil space budget.
The purposes of the project are to establish an embryonic scientist-astronaut
corps, engage with the future manned space projects of international
partners and establish expertise and experience in manned space
activities. Substantial education benefits will occur and microgravity
science results will be significant and part of the future European
programme for life and physical sciences and applications utilising
the International Space Station (ELIPS).
Three UK scientist-astronauts will be selected,
commencing 2008 for a five-year project, with two to fly two separate
10 day commercial Soyuz flights to the ISS, with eight day experiment
time on-board using Russian and ESA/NASA facilities by agreement.
Extensive education outreach work involving schools and colleges
would continue through the programme; a Stage 2 project could
be envisaged for the future to provide follow-on experimental
work for PhD and long term science course involvement. Private
industry input may contribute, if appropriate; experiment manufacture
will be undertaken by UK firms.
|Soyuz flights2 @ £10.7 million ($21 million) each
|Experiment programmes: 40 @ £0.15 million
|Launch 200 kg experiments @ $20,000/kg
|ISS services (beyond commercial flight costs if needed)approximately $10 million
|Organisation/admin/PRoverheads and salaries (10%)
|Inflation (2%/year over five years = 10%)
The above figures assume agreement will be reached with Roscosmos
on standard (current February 2007) commercial Soyuz seat prices
and launch rates. Access to Russian ISS facilities is included
in the flight costextra agreement with ESA/NASA/JAXA may
be required for further lab access, if needed (the ISS services
portion above). No costing has been included for Stage 2 outreach
work (ie beyond the five year project period). No ELIPS membership
cost has been included.