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United States ISS NASA Space Politics

US Should Use Trampolines To Get Astronauts To the ISS Suggests Russian Official 272

Posted by samzenpus
from the space-men-can't-jump dept.
Hugh Pickens DOT Com (2995471) writes "The Washington Post reports that Russia's Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin has lashed out again, this time at newly announced US ban on high-tech exports to Russia suggesting that 'after analyzing the sanctions against our space industry, I propose the US delivers its astronauts to the ISS with a trampoline.' Rogozin does actually have a point, although his threats carry much less weight than he may hope. Russia is due to get a $457.9 million payment for its services soon and few believe that Russia would actually give it up. Plus, as Jeffrey Kluger noted at Time Magazine, Russia may not want to push the United States into the hands of SpaceX and Orbital Sciences, two private American companies that hope to be able to send passengers to the station soon. SpaceX and Orbital Sciences have already made successful unmanned resupply runs to the ISS and both are also working on upgrading their cargo vehicles to carry people. SpaceX is currently in the lead and expects to launch US astronauts, employed by SpaceX itself, into orbit by 2016. NASA is building its own heavy-lift rocket for carrying astronauts beyond low-Earth orbit, but it won't be ready for anything but test flights until after 2020. 'That schedule, of course, could be accelerated considerably if Washington gave NASA the green light and the cash,' says Kluger. 'America's manned space program went from a standing start in 1961 to the surface of the moon in 1969—eight years from Al Shepard to Tranquility Base. The Soviet Union got us moving then. Perhaps Russia will do the same now.'"
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US Should Use Trampolines To Get Astronauts To the ISS Suggests Russian Official

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  • Re:ESS Ariane (Score:4, Interesting)

    by benjfowler (239527) on Thursday May 01, 2014 @08:21AM (#46887983)

    IIRC, the Ariane 5 launch rocket is man-rated (or at least built, with a view to being man-rated). This was done for the cancelled Hermes spaceplane.

    Now actually getting it into the sort of shape to give Europe independent access to space, is another matter. I get the distinct impression that it's going to be very expensive, especially when the usual suspects get their snouts into the trough.

  • Re:So what? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by NotDrWho (3543773) on Thursday May 01, 2014 @08:42AM (#46888083)

    ISS isn't space. It's a LEO publicity stunt. The moon is space. Mars is space. ISS is just a jobs program, and a way to justify funding.

  • Re:Fat Chance (Score:5, Interesting)

    by AmiMoJo (196126) * <.ten.3dlrow. .ta. .ojom.> on Thursday May 01, 2014 @09:03AM (#46888227) Homepage

    Just wait until China gets its space station up and running, or lands a person on the moon. It will be panic mode at NASA all over again.

  • Re: Fat Chance (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Rei (128717) on Thursday May 01, 2014 @11:09AM (#46889125) Homepage

    Reminds me of a translation of a sign I saw in Ukraine: "If you become part of Russia, you won't be speaking Russian - you'll be silent in Russian."

    A large portion of the problem is Putin's crackdown on the press. As bad as the state of a free press often seems in the west, it's nothing compared to Russia where pretty much all opposition to Putin has been eliminated. They're now ranked 148th in world press freedom, worse than half of Africa.

    Whatever is the current propaganda message, it gets echoed relentlessly. Just the other day they had the same Ukranian guy (Andrey Petkov) on three different stations, but they didn't even bother to give him the same story on each. On NTV, he was a German spy smuggling money to support the anti-Russian protesters. On Rossiya 1, he was a repentent pro-Ukraine extremest who converted to the pro-Russian side after having been savagely beaten by fellow protesters. In yet another segment he was a neo-Nazi surgeon supporting the new Ukranian government.

    Probably the funniest bit of propaganda was after an attack on a pro-Russian checkpoint. They all broadcast images of the two totally burned-out cars which they said that members of Right Sector drove up in to attack it. They then presented piles of American money, satellite images, and a business card with the name of the leader of Right Sector on it, among a bunch of other stuff. Just ignoring the absurdity of right-wing assault groups roaming around carrying business cards of their leader (with a fake phone number on them), the funny part was that everything that they presented was pristine - not only unburned, but altogether undamaged. Whatever material Right Sector makes their leaders' business cards out of that can survive a car-gutting fire, please, disclose it immediately so we can use it for fireproofing! It's gotten lots of coverage [smh.com.au]; the card now has its own Know Your Meme [knowyourmeme.com] entry ;)

    As funny as it is, a large portion of the Russian public just takes this sort of stuff at face value. The media keeps repeating the same mantra: "Ukranian neo-nazi extremists overthrew the government and are assaulting innocent Russians". So when international reporters first-hand witness the "little green men" throwing molotov cocktails at a peace rally full of children, it doesn't matter, it gets reported in Russia as "rival protest groups clashed" or even "pro-Russian protesters repel an attack", and there's nobody on the airwaves to say otherwise.

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