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ISS Eviction notice
May 15, 2014 12:46 PM   Subscribe

Russia wants to nix plans to use the ISS after 2020, prohibit the United States from visiting the space station after that date along with preventing the US from using Russia made rocket engines for military launches. NASA says it hasn't received any official word, as US Congress critters begin asking questions
posted by Brandon Blatcher (96 comments total) 13 users marked this as a favorite

 
my secret hope is that all this space brinkmanship will re-ignite a space race.
posted by Dr. Twist at 12:48 PM on May 15 [56 favorites]


How often does the US use Russian boosters for military launches?
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 12:50 PM on May 15


Read about this yesterday, and it's really sad. Hopefully relations between Russia and the US will be different in six years, but it's impossible to predict something like that.

Does anyone know if any of the private launch companies will have the capability to service the ISS by 2020, or is that an unrealistic dream?
posted by Kevin Street at 12:52 PM on May 15


Protip: any launch can be characterized as military if your goal is to stick it to some killjoys who are interfering with your plans to restore glory to the motherland by carving up a few Eastern European nations.
posted by Behemoth at 12:54 PM on May 15 [7 favorites]


god forbid that we get off our asses and build our own
posted by pyramid termite at 12:54 PM on May 15 [12 favorites]


"SpaceX... currently plans to have its first manned flight with Dragon in 2015."
posted by the jam at 12:54 PM on May 15 [6 favorites]


I see a new Star Trek series in the making.
posted by Melismata at 12:55 PM on May 15


from the time we were first told that all launches to iss would be happening out of russia i thought, "well, there's a bad plan with an expiration date."
posted by nadawi at 12:55 PM on May 15 [40 favorites]


Does anyone know if any of the private launch companies will have the capability to service the ISS by 2020, or is that an unrealistic dream?

Space X is supposed to be able to send manned flights by 2017, so not a huge concern.

How often does the US use Russian boosters for military launches?

I think the engine they're talking about, the RD-180, has been used on some military launches, but not sure if it's needed engine. Either way, there's a two year stock pile of the engines, so there's time to switch to something else.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 12:56 PM on May 15


How often does the US use Russian boosters for military launches?

United Launch Alliance uses russian engines in the Atlas V.
posted by Dr. Twist at 12:57 PM on May 15 [1 favorite]


How often does the US use Russian boosters for military launches?

Quite often. There's the RD-180 engine, used on the American Atlas V, which has launched lots of military satellites.
posted by zsazsa at 12:57 PM on May 15


Laika wept.
posted by Chitownfats at 12:57 PM on May 15 [11 favorites]


The engines in question are the RD-180's, built in Russia and used for the Atlas V.
posted by kiltedtaco at 12:57 PM on May 15


Jinx!
posted by zsazsa at 12:57 PM on May 15


Looks like Space-X is about to get

[sunglasses]

a big boost.
posted by zippy at 12:57 PM on May 15 [67 favorites]


prohibit the United States from visiting the space station after that date

Um, I don't see anything in that article about Russia prohibiting the U.S. from going to the station. No longer offering to ferry U.S. astronauts to the ISS is not the same as forbidding them from going there.
posted by aught at 12:59 PM on May 15


Space X is supposed to be able to send manned flights by 2017, so not a huge concern.

They've certainly got their work cut out for them, then. I hope they can scale up to manned missions safely.
posted by Kevin Street at 1:00 PM on May 15


Someone better be making a duplicate copy of the keys. Sure would suck to get up there and realize the Russians locked us out.
posted by JoeZydeco at 1:01 PM on May 15 [4 favorites]


So are the Russians back to being Klingons again?
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 1:01 PM on May 15 [19 favorites]


Um, I don't see anything in that article about Russia prohibiting the U.S. from going to the station.

The first paragraph of the first article says:
The Russian government will reportedly deny requests from the United States to use the International Space Station after 2020, but NASA said it's not aware of any such changes.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 1:03 PM on May 15 [1 favorite]


I wonder if this makes the astronauts up there right now nervous. I'm just nervous at the idea of the ability to get up and down from there being used as a political pawn. I have a phobia of being stranded in space.
posted by bleep at 1:03 PM on May 15 [1 favorite]


I've been curious about what condition the ISS will be in when it gets as old as MIR was at the end. It's just catching up this year and as if on cue, talks have started about [effectively] discontinuing service. Let's see how it holds up when it has to go a year or two between resupply missions.
posted by ceribus peribus at 1:04 PM on May 15


The SpaceX guys have got to be buying champagne right about now, while the United Launch Alliance guys are wandering around looking stunned.
posted by aramaic at 1:04 PM on May 15 [2 favorites]


Gosh, who could have predicted outsourcing would backfire so drastically?
posted by entropicamericana at 1:04 PM on May 15 [35 favorites]


Every time a friend and I discuss the deteriorating relationship between USA and Russia, he points out that the Russians have a gun on the ISS.
posted by backseatpilot at 1:05 PM on May 15 [4 favorites]


If your capacity to launch men and materiel into orbit depends on the goodwill and cooperation of an aggressive geopolitical adversary, you are having a bad problem and you will not go to space today.
posted by logicpunk at 1:06 PM on May 15 [9 favorites]


I heard that Russia's not even going to let oogles sleep on the ISS's back porch.
posted by entropone at 1:07 PM on May 15 [1 favorite]


Hopefully relations between Russia and the US will be different in six years, but it's impossible to predict something like that.

2020 is only six years away?!?!?!?!?!?!?
posted by jessssse at 1:07 PM on May 15 [36 favorites]


Um, I don't see anything in that article about Russia prohibiting the U.S. from going to the station. No longer offering to ferry U.S. astronauts to the ISS is not the same as forbidding them from going there.

Exactly - totally trumped up rhetoric. (And I don't see the quote that Brandon Blatcher posted as being contradictory.) It's our own damn fault we shut down the shuttle program and just assumed that we could get to the ISS and back via Soyuz indefinitely. If we still had the capability to send people to ISS without Russian help, I don't see how they could practically deny us access once we got there.
posted by Joey Buttafoucault at 1:08 PM on May 15


If only the USA had developed some kind of pseudo-plane shuttle-type transporter they could reuse, then this would not be an issue.
posted by Wordshore at 1:08 PM on May 15 [11 favorites]


Denying access to the ISS is just the beginning. Rumor is that they're going to start playing Cmdr. Hatfield's Space Oddity cover without paying royalties.
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 1:10 PM on May 15 [8 favorites]


If only the USA had developed some kind of pseudo-plane shuttle-type transporter they could reuse, then this would not be an issue.

Indeed, what's seven astronauts every decade or so?
posted by entropicamericana at 1:11 PM on May 15 [5 favorites]


If the US can get up there, they can use their segment of the station. But if the Russians are going to stop using their modules (especially Zvezda) that would... make the station uninhabitable? I'm not really sure what would happen if the Russians went home. Would the Americans and other nations claim the unoccupied modules and keep using them?
posted by Kevin Street at 1:13 PM on May 15


entropicamericana: Indeed, what's seven astronauts every decade or so?

Going to space with our level of technology is intrinsically dangerous. Was the shuttle really more dangerous than our other options?
posted by Mitrovarr at 1:14 PM on May 15


No longer offering to ferry U.S. astronauts to the ISS is not the same as forbidding them from going there.

It seems that the Russian-run part of the ISS is also the part that handles guidance, navigation, and control for the whole thing. So if they decide to take their segment and go home, nobody'd be able to use any of it, and it would fall out of orbit.
posted by echo target at 1:15 PM on May 15 [1 favorite]


Was the shuttle really more dangerous than our other options?

Dead astronauts using traditional capsule system: 3.
Dead astronauts using designed-by-committee flying pork project: 14.
posted by entropicamericana at 1:15 PM on May 15 [13 favorites]


Indeed, what's seven astronauts every decade or so

a pretty good record as far as manned spaceflight goes?
posted by Dr. Twist at 1:15 PM on May 15


Indeed, what's seven astronauts every decade or so?

You know that works out to only 7 deaths per billion miles. On a per mile basis you're more likely to be killed walking down the street, riding a bike or, if you're in the United States, driving a car.
posted by Talez at 1:16 PM on May 15 [2 favorites]


It seems that the Russian-run part of the ISS is also the part that handles guidance, navigation, and control for the whole thing. So if they decide to take their segment and go home, nobody'd be able to use any of it, and it would fall out of orbit.

This is the easiest part. Just send some guys with guns and Russian passports into that module, then they hold a vote to be annexed by the USA.
posted by Behemoth at 1:17 PM on May 15 [48 favorites]


Was the shuttle really more dangerous than our other options?

Dead astronauts using traditional capsule system: 3.
Dead astronauts using designed-by-committee flying pork project: 14.


...and those three were due to a fire on the ground in the testing phase of Apollo, not due to a space flight.
posted by leotrotsky at 1:17 PM on May 15 [3 favorites]


Every time a friend and I discuss the deteriorating relationship between USA and Russia, he points out that the Russians have a gun on the ISS.

Not just a gun, a gunchete:
The gun's shoulder stock opens up into a machete for chopping firewood.
posted by Etrigan at 1:18 PM on May 15 [4 favorites]


Dead astronauts using traditional capsule system: 3.
Dead astronauts using designed-by-committee flying pork project: 14.


shuttle launches :132 (135 according to wiki)
rockets: 32
posted by Dr. Twist at 1:19 PM on May 15 [5 favorites]


Russia isn't going to physically detach its segment of the ISS or anything. I'm not sure that's possible. The worst they could do is abandon it and stop sending rockets there.
posted by Kevin Street at 1:19 PM on May 15


> Um, I don't see anything in that article about Russia prohibiting the U.S. from going to the station.

The first paragraph of the first article says:
The Russian government will reportedly deny requests from the United States to use the International Space Station after 2020, but NASA said it's not aware of any such changes.


Well, yes, and as far as I can tell, that statement is unsupported by any evidence in any of the linked articles. The quote in question (in the Telegraph article linked by "reportedly") seems to be Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin saying, "The Russian segment can exist independently from the American one. The U.S. one cannot." That doesn't add up to "prohibit" so far as I can see. I do see a lot of "new Cold War" mongering all around, however.
posted by aught at 1:19 PM on May 15


Wait, the capsule count is off by one - Russia lost one deorbiting when the capsule parachute failed - in a horrific accident. See: Vladimir Komarov
posted by scolbath at 1:20 PM on May 15


Besides space-X there were plans drawn up to possibly modify the X-37B for crewed missions.
posted by Wretch729 at 1:20 PM on May 15


I'm guessing that this latest round of dueling sanctions was done with the idea that:

a) The real impact is several years in the future, meaning that if the US/Russian relationship thaws in the meantime, this will probably quietly be walked back.

b) The ISS was originally only supposed to operate through 2017, anyway; the 2024 date was the second extension of that, proposed by the US.

c) If the Russians take their modules and go home, then that will ruin things not just for the US, but also the other nations.
posted by Halloween Jack at 1:20 PM on May 15


a pretty good record as far as manned spaceflight goes?

I would say losing seven people in a decade was a good record *IF* they launched shuttles monthly, like they sold it to us.

But they didn't. The Solid Rocket Boosters were dumb fucking ideas, and they'd never have scaled up to real production use.
posted by mikelieman at 1:21 PM on May 15


...oh wait, you don't mean Apollo 1, you mean the Soyuz 11
posted by leotrotsky at 1:21 PM on May 15


And the ISS is a joke. Low earth orbit? We need to be in GEO to build the solar power satellites, people....
posted by mikelieman at 1:21 PM on May 15 [1 favorite]


You know that works out to only 7 deaths per billion miles. On a per mile basis you're more likely to be killed walking down the street, riding a bike or, if you're in the United States, driving a car.

Sure, but try changing that to deaths per trip and see what the comparison's like.
posted by entropone at 1:22 PM on May 15


Dead astronauts using traditional capsule system: 3.
Dead astronauts using designed-by-committee flying pork project: 14.


Live astronauts using traditional capsule system: 49.
Live astronauts using designed-by-committee flying pork project: 341.
posted by Etrigan at 1:22 PM on May 15 [14 favorites]


> "The gun's shoulder stock opens up into a machete for chopping firewood."

Well, it's kind of nice to know that the ISS has a woodburning stove. Makes it seem more homey.

Going on a spacewalk just to chop wood sounds like a pain, though.
posted by kyrademon at 1:23 PM on May 15 [7 favorites]


Besides space-X there were plans drawn up to possibly modify the X-37B for crewed missions.

... which is meant to be launched by the Russian-engined Atlas V. Hmm.
posted by zsazsa at 1:23 PM on May 15 [1 favorite]


Sure, but try changing that to deaths per trip and see what the comparison's like.

Yes but by that logic you could walk into orbit with less fatalities.
posted by Talez at 1:24 PM on May 15


Rumor is that they're going to start playing Cmdr. Hatfield's Space Oddity cover without paying royalties.

I'm sure they'll still be on board with paying royalties to the Canadian singer or British song writer, as required.
posted by sparklemotion at 1:27 PM on May 15


* Rolls eyes *

Russia (the USSR, rather) lost four astronauts on Soyuz flights. One died on Soyuz-1 -- parachutes tangled and it hit the ground at 500mph -- and three on Soyuz-11 (returning from the first ever space station mission to Salyut-1, due to a checklist error compounded by a design error they un-docked without closing the tube that equalized pressure between the two modules. All the air vented. Oops.) Two other flights suffered launch failures, but the escape tower functioned correctly and the crew were saved (in situations where a Shuttle crew would have been 100% lost).

They've flown a total of 121 Soyuz flights so far with another 7 planned. So they're pretty much in the lead over the USA both in terms of number of flights flown and flight safety, thanks to that darned flying coffin with wings.

But never mind: the USA is back in the manned capsule game, with at least 3 likely to fly in the next 2 years (the Boeing CST-100, the SpaceX Dragon 2.0, and the NASA Orion.)
posted by cstross at 1:27 PM on May 15 [14 favorites]


Yes but by that logic you could walk into orbit with less fatalities.

Well, it's 260 miles up, so you'd probably need to bring a tent. And then you'd have to worry about space bears. I'm guessing space bears would cause lots of fatalities.
posted by echo target at 1:27 PM on May 15 [9 favorites]


Was the shuttle really more dangerous than our other options?

Dead astronauts using traditional capsule system: 3.
Dead astronauts using designed-by-committee flying pork project: 14.


Wowee, "Misleading Statistics for $500, Alex."

Shuttle astronauts: 14/833 = 1.7%
Pre-shuttle astronauts: 3/56 = 5.4%
posted by aught at 1:27 PM on May 15 [16 favorites]


So are the Russians back to being Klingons again?

“Revenge is a dish best served cold. It is very cold... in space
posted by blue_beetle at 1:29 PM on May 15 [1 favorite]


The real loser here is the Russian space program, since collaboration with other countries has been keeping them going for the last 20+ years. If Russia abandons the ISS and transforms its space program into some kind of military only operation (more likely than them suddenly announcing new civilian space goals), then a whole generation of rocket engineers could lose their jobs, and the world would lose the experience needed to build those machines, like what happened to NASA all over again.
posted by Kevin Street at 1:30 PM on May 15 [1 favorite]


Well yes zsazsa, but as mentioned upthread in theory ULA has enough of a stockpile to last long enough to transition to either deltas or some other non-Russian alternative (or just to wait out Russian sabre-rattling).
posted by Wretch729 at 1:32 PM on May 15


The Russian government will reportedly deny requests from the United States to use the International Space Station after 2020, but NASA said it's not aware of any such changes.

They only own part of the station. They were going to break off their part and have their own space station after that anyway. They can't actually prohibit US or other astronauts from coming on board the US part of the station.
posted by Ironmouth at 1:32 PM on May 15


"Chopping wood" is roughly a slang Russian term for getting reeeeally drunk.

The post title misleads me into thinking that the Russians were just going to take over and keep ISS and evict everyone else.

Which, frankly, could happen. What, with the gun and launch vehicles and all.

Also, the whole idea of shutting down the ISS and letting it de-orbit is fucking ridiculous. We basically just finished the thing. If it was decommissioned in 2017 it effectively took longer to build and complete than it was fully operational. Now that's a boondoggle.

I understand that NASA and the Feds may not want to foot the bill indefinitely, but at least offer it up for auction or lease to someone or an alliance of someones, especially if they can take many more risks than NASA is willing to take. It could be an amazingly useful and profitable platform for developing and researching a number of technologies like growing semiconductor crystals, biotech and nanotech. Or just plain old tourism.
posted by loquacious at 1:33 PM on May 15 [2 favorites]


The "3 dead astronauts using traditional capsule system" entropicamericana alludes to were Russian, not American.
posted by neckro23 at 1:34 PM on May 15


kyrademon: Before you mock the Soyuz machete, you really ought to look into what happened to Soyuz 23, Soyuz 7K-T No.39 (aka Soyuz 18a) and Soyuz 7K-ST No.16L (aka Soyuz T10a). The machete probably became a mission requirement after 7K-T No.39 -- the crew are reported to have become worried when they heard wolves hunting nearby while they were awaiting rescue.

As they say, any landing is a good landing if you can walk away from it, but freaky things can still happen when you launch or recover a capsule over Asia and something goes wrong ...
posted by cstross at 1:34 PM on May 15 [5 favorites]


I knew that the Russians can and do bring vodka aboard the ISS but I was a bit surprised about the gun. Hard liquor and firearms! What could possibly go wrong?
posted by TDavis at 1:39 PM on May 15


It's the little, innocuous things that get you, like velcro. Not booze and guns.
posted by Kevin Street at 1:43 PM on May 15


It seems that the Russian-run part of the ISS is also the part that handles guidance, navigation, and control for the whole thing.

The Zarya module, which is part of the Russian "side" of the ISS is Russian built but US owned. Not sure how that works in a divorce.

I knew that the Russians can and do bring vodka aboard the ISS but I was a bit surprised about the gun. Hard liquor and firearms! What could possibly go wrong?

Technically, the gun is on the Soyuz module, not the ISS. It's used only for situations on the ground, after the crew has landed and awaiting recovery. It's probably not needed anymore, since landing systems are more accurate than the '60s, but Russia is big country, so better safe than sorry.

Also, everyone on board the ISS is keenly aware of how dangerous firing a gun on the station would be. It could puncture the hull. If it strikes someone, that's a helluva lot of blood floating in the air, potentially gumming up systems or machines.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 1:44 PM on May 15 [1 favorite]


Maybe they could get a lift from the Chinese?

But that would mean going to Tiangong-1 first and then taking a connecting shuttle, and if you thought terrestrial layovers were bad wait until your launch window is delayed and you have to spend an unknown number of orbits waiting in the airlock in the same spacesuit while the coordination group keeps bumping orbital transfer vehicles ahead of you. It's better to push back your travel plans until you can book a direct flight.
posted by ceribus peribus at 1:47 PM on May 15 [6 favorites]


> I'm not really sure what would happen if the Russians went home.

I foresee one hell of an Airbnb listing.
posted by mosk at 1:47 PM on May 15 [5 favorites]


don't fuck with the bear unless you have a bear gun.
posted by bruce at 2:14 PM on May 15 [1 favorite]


my secret hope is that all this space brinkmanship will re-ignite a space race.

I know you're joking, but the space race was largely an exercise in developing missiles capable of delivering nuclear weapons to your doorstep as quickly as possible. That we did anything else was it was kind of incidental.
posted by empath at 2:32 PM on May 15 [2 favorites]


I know you're joking, but the space race was largely an exercise in developing missiles capable of delivering nuclear weapons to your doorstep as quickly as possible. That we did anything else was it was kind of incidental.

That takes a fairly uncharitable reading of "space race" generally, and the activities of NASA (an expressly civilian science arm of the U.S. government that is independent of the military) specifically. It can be argued that the space race was an outgrowth of developing missiles capable of delivering nuclear weapons to your doorstep as quickly as possible, but we didn't go to the moon because it was a faster route for ICBMs.
posted by Etrigan at 2:41 PM on May 15 [6 favorites]


Actually, the US banked a lot of flights during the STS days, so we're still ahead in flights. Even though Soyuz been in use for about two decades more, there have still been more STS flights.
posted by ckape at 2:43 PM on May 15 [1 favorite]


Eh, the Space Race was like a two warriors strutting about how could make the biggest thing go far. It wasn't directly military related per se, but make no mistake, NASA technology found its way into military applications and vice versa.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 2:45 PM on May 15 [1 favorite]


I thought Sandra Bullock already destroyed the ISS.
posted by shakespeherian at 2:45 PM on May 15 [1 favorite]


empath: Actually no. The manned chunk of the space race relied on kit developed for the military but then took it in directions with no military utility because human space exploration requires different things -- e.g. high-Isp liquid-fuelled motors with in-flight relight capability (totally spurious on an ICBM). While the use of derivatives of ICBM boosters was widespread (Soyuz launches on a derivative of the R-7 ICBM, Mercury launched on Redstone and Atlas IRBM and ICBMs, Gemini on Titan-III, a derivative of the Titan-II ICBM), they were already obsolete as ICBMs by the time they were turned over to carrying astronauts: liquid-fueled meant they couldn't hold ready for launch for protracted periods inside a silo, and they needed to be fueled up topside where they were vulnerable to a first strike.

Now, some aspects of the space program were military. The Soviets first space stations -- the Salyut series -- were basically manned spysats, with cosmonauts on board to change the film cannisters. The USA was developing something similar in the shape of the Gemini-derived USAF MOLAB program until it was cancelled in 1968 (automation made the KH-11 Big Bird spysat more attractive than manned spy stations). But by the mid-70s, the military use of space was entirely unmanned; after Salyut-6, there were no military missions other than a handful of classified spysat launches that flew in the Shuttle payload bay (which was deprecated after 1986 and the Columbia loss).

Basically, the manned space program has progressively diverged from the military one; no compelling logic calls for the deployment of military astronauts in space any more.
posted by cstross at 2:45 PM on May 15 [4 favorites]


It wasn't directly military related per se, but make no mistake, NASA technology found its way into military applications and vice versa.

Soldiers eat food, but no one seriously accuses Norman Borlaug of being a military-industrial stooge.
posted by Etrigan at 2:46 PM on May 15


echo target: It seems that the Russian-run part of the ISS is also the part that handles guidance, navigation, and control for the whole thing.

I could have sworn I recently heard on NPR that Russia also operates the re-entry rockets on ISS, so if they want to end the project in 2020, they're the ones who can send ISS crashing to earth (ideally, an ocean, for retrieval), but I can't find the piece.
posted by filthy light thief at 2:51 PM on May 15


Wouldn't this be a big opportunity for China to grow their aerospace industry as a rocket provider?
posted by Apocryphon at 3:22 PM on May 15


Uh-oh. Russia's just lost a Proton-M rocket and the communications satellite it was delivering.
posted by Kabanos at 3:23 PM on May 15 [1 favorite]


my secret hope is that all this space brinkmanship will re-ignite a space race.

I know you're joking, but the space race was largely an exercise in developing missiles capable of delivering nuclear weapons to your doorstep as quickly as possible. That we did anything else was it was kind of incidental.


Yeah, a new space race could very likely be less about planting a flag on something and more about the weaponization of space. Which is not really the kind of space race anyone wants.
posted by Hoopo at 3:30 PM on May 15


Yeah, a new space race could very likely be less about planting a flag on something and more about the weaponization of space.

I prefer a space race to build solar power satellites which would be more economically productive.
posted by mikelieman at 4:01 PM on May 15 [1 favorite]


Basically, the manned space program has progressively diverged from the military one; no compelling logic calls for the deployment of military astronauts in space any more.

And now we don't have a manned space program.
posted by dirigibleman at 6:01 PM on May 15


Dr. Steve Swanson might disagree.
posted by Etrigan at 6:46 PM on May 15 [1 favorite]


Hard liquor and firearms! What could possibly go wrong?

Dibs on Dukes Of Hazzard: The Next Generation.
posted by octobersurprise at 6:48 PM on May 15


Why decomission the ISS?
posted by SAnderka at 10:24 PM on May 15


What really needs to happen is that a mysterious monolith converts Jupiter into a new sun and then the leaders of both nations look into the sky and forget their differences and then we have an awesome new age of exploration and settlement.

Except Europa. The message was pretty specific.
posted by ambivalentic at 2:01 AM on May 16 [6 favorites]


The real loser here is the Russian space program, since collaboration with other countries has been keeping them going for the last 20+ years. If Russia abandons the ISS and transforms its space program into some kind of military only operation (more likely than them suddenly announcing new civilian space goals), then a whole generation of rocket engineers could lose their jobs, and the world would lose the experience needed to build those machines, like what happened to NASA all over again.

I'd assume, if Russia let them leave and they were willing, the best and brightest of that bunch would find some representatives from the various aero-space industries knocking on their doors.

What really needs to happen is that a mysterious monolith converts Jupiter into a new sun and then the leaders of both nations look into the sky and forget their differences and then we have an awesome new age of exploration and settlement.

Typical NASA delay, we're running a few years behind schedule on it.
posted by Atreides at 6:57 AM on May 16


On a related note, Russian Astronauts Seize Space Stations Toilet Paper In Tense Standoff With American Counterparts.
posted by jenfullmoon at 8:21 AM on May 16 [1 favorite]


Update On The Status Of The Ship And The Toilet Paper Situation.
posted by Reverend John at 10:56 AM on May 16


Going on a spacewalk just to chop wood sounds like a pain, though.

Heinlein was more prophetic than anyone imagined.
posted by krinklyfig at 2:40 PM on May 17


On the plus side, maybe fears are a little overbaked; from Kazakhstan, Russia has just taken up a team of three, including one from NASA.
posted by Wordshore at 2:46 PM on May 28 [1 favorite]


Astronaut Reid Wiseman's Tweets From Space Are Making Me So Happy
posted by homunculus at 10:13 AM on June 1


On the plus side, maybe fears are a little overbaked; from Kazakhstan, Russia has just taken up a team of three, including one from NASA.

Per the FPP: "Russia wants to nix plans to use the ISS after 2020, prohibit the United States from visiting the space station after that date along with preventing the US from using Russia made rocket engines for military launches." (emphases added)

They're not breaking current agreements, just hinting darkly that they won't agree to anything further.
posted by Etrigan at 10:26 AM on June 1


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