UNDERNEWS

Undernews is the online report of the Progressive Review, edited by Sam Smith, who has covered Washington during all or part of one quarter of America's presidencies and edited alternative journals since 1964. The Review has been on the web since 1995. See main page for full contents

March 31, 2009

U.S. & RUSSIAN FIGHTING OVER TOILETS AND EXERCISE BIKES IN SPACE

BBC - The International Space Station, once a place where astronauts would share food and facilities, is said to be embroiled in a Cold War-like stand-off.

A Russian cosmonaut has complained he is no longer allowed to use a US toilet as well as a US exercise bike.

Gennady Padalka, 50, told Russia's Novaya Gazeta newspaper the lack of sharing was lowering the crew's morale.

The veteran cosmonaut said the problem was due to the ISS becoming a more commercial operation.

For several years after his first space mission in 1998, Mr Padalka and his American colleagues worked in total harmony, he told the newspaper.

But space missions became more commercial in 2003 and Moscow started billing Washington for sending its astronauts into space, he said. Other nations responded in kind, he added. . .

Before he lifted off to join the ISS crew on Thursday, Mr Padalka had asked whether he could use a US gym to stay fit. "They told me: 'Yes, you can.' Then they said no," Novaya Gazeta quoted him as saying.

"Then they hold consultations and they approve it again. And now, right before the flight, it turns out again that the answer is negative."

Worse still, the regulations now required US and Russian cosmonauts to eat their own rations, he added.

"They also recommend us to only use national toilets," the newspaper quoted him as saying.

"Cosmonauts are above the ongoing squabble, no matter what officials decide," he told the newspaper. "It's politicians and bureaucrats who can't reach agreement, not us."

1 Comments:

Blogger Even said...

Too bad for the russian cosmonaut. Exercise bikes are really worth fighting for. See my blog on the subject: Exercise Bikes Fitness

April 29, 2009 1:10 AM  

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