Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Space NASA Science

Cold War Standoff Over ISS Toilet 417

Posted by timothy
from the can't-even-agree-on-a-name dept.
Hugh Pickens writes "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 after a Russian cosmonaut complained he is no longer allowed to use a US toilet or the US gym machine. Gennady Padalka, a veteran Russian cosmonaut, says that space officials from Russia, the United States and other countries now require cosmonauts and astronauts to eat their own food and follow stringent rules on access to other facilities, including lavatories. Padalka, who will be the station's next commander, says the arguments date back to 2003, when Russia started charging other space agencies for the resources used by their astronauts and other partners in space station responded in kind. 'Cosmonauts are above the ongoing squabble, no matter what officials decide,' says Padalka. 'We are grown-up, well-educated and good-mannered people and can use our own brains to create normal relationship. It's politicians and bureaucrats who can't reach agreement, not us, cosmonauts and astronauts.' While sharing food in the past helped the crew feel like a team, the new rules oblige Russian cosmonauts and US astronauts to eat their own food. 'They also recommend us to only use national toilets,' says Padalka. 'What is going on has an adverse effect on our work.'"
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Cold War Standoff Over ISS Toilet

Comments Filter:
  • by Black Rabbit (236299) on Tuesday March 31, 2009 @10:24AM (#27401707)
    What fucking idiot politician thought this up?
    • by Spatial (1235392)
      That about sums it up, really. It's unbelievable, is this a day early?

      On the other hand, this sort of playground childishness isn't exactly unusual in politics.
    • by DigiShaman (671371) on Tuesday March 31, 2009 @10:33AM (#27401841) Homepage

      They're politicians. It's their *job* to be assholes and douchbags.

      You were asking a serious question right?

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by interkin3tic (1469267)

        They're politicians. It's their *job* to be assholes and douchbags.

        Oddly enough, politicians say the same thing about people posting about politicians on the internet.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by nametaken (610866)

        I saw this movie. US and Russian astronauts who would otherwise get along are forced to treat each other like cold war nations in space?

        I think it was supposed to happen in 2010. Fucking idiot politicians.

    • by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) on Tuesday March 31, 2009 @10:39AM (#27401923) Journal
      Remember, the ISS is now recycling urine for drinking water. Allowing cosmonauts to use our toilet would risk the contamination of our precious bodily fluids. Twice, no less.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      >>>What fucking idiot politician thought this up?

      Unfortunately nearly ALL of them qualify as "fucking idiots" so I can't really name a specific induhvidual. They couldn't even balance a typical home budget with ~$40,000/year income, much less a national economy. Why do we elect these bozos as our leaders?

      • by Shakrai (717556) on Tuesday March 31, 2009 @10:44AM (#27402031) Journal

        Unfortunately ALL of them qualify as "fucking idiots"

        Fixed that for you. You had an extra word in there.

        Why do we elect these bozos as our leaders?

        Because the bozo in my political party stands for all that is just and righteous, while the bozo in the other political party is out to destroy America as we know it.

        • by Talderas (1212466) on Tuesday March 31, 2009 @11:14AM (#27402471)

          So you're a Republican?

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          >>>>>Unfortunately ALL of them qualify as "fucking idiots"

          >>Fixed that for you. You had an extra word in there

          I originally had that, but then I remembered Dr. Ron Paul who I happen to like, so I changed it to "almost all". If Mr. Paul were president, AIG bonuses would be a non-issue since they'd already be bankrupted and split-up into pieces. We'd not need to borrow 3000 billion from China for bailout bills, and the economy would already be on the way to recovery (basically a collapse

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        Why do we elect these bozos as our leaders?

        Because everyone else doesn't want to be in politics?

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by MichaelSmith (789609)
          Arthur C Clarke had a great idea along those lines. Political leaders should be chosen at random from a pool of people who have never shown an interest in the role.

          Its a good idea but implementing it has a few problems.
    • by PMuse (320639) on Tuesday March 31, 2009 @11:03AM (#27402283)

      All the organs of the body were having a meeting, trying to decide who was the one in charge.

      • "We should be in charge," said the feet, "because we carry the body to get the things we need."
      • "I should be in charge," said the stomach," because I process food and give all of you energy."
      • "I should be in charge," said the eyes, "because without me, you wouldn't know where the food is."
      • "I should be in charge," said the brain , "because I do all the thinking, so without me nothing would happen".
      • The asshole simply shut up and did nothing.

      After a while, the feet, stomach, eyes, and brain agreed that the asshole was in charge.

    • by dna_(c)(tm)(r) (618003) on Tuesday March 31, 2009 @11:06AM (#27402351)

      What fucking idiot politician thought this up?

      They like pISSing contests. They reached boldly where nobody pissed before.

    • by GooberToo (74388) on Tuesday March 31, 2009 @11:09AM (#27402383)

      Its actually not what it sounds like. Russia has been making money with space tourists and the US does not want to fund the extra wear and tear forced on the sparse resources.

      Should US tax dollars really be used to allow for billionaires to play around in space? No. The simple fact is, it is VERY expensive to repair/replace anything in space and Russia is increasing the wear on various components by bringing additional people aboard who provide no benefit what-so-ever. In a very reasonable and appropriate response, the US' position is, if the Russians want to place additional burdens on sparse resources, they need to do so only on their own resources. Contrary to the idiocy of the article, its a very reasonable position to hold. If Russia wants their complaint to be heard, all they have to do is start being reasonable and responsible. Until such time, they can STFU and burden their own resources. If they don't like it, they can start acting responsibly.

      • by fugue (4373) on Tuesday March 31, 2009 @11:36AM (#27402813) Homepage

        Its actually not what it sounds like. Russia has been making money with space tourists and the US does not want to fund the extra wear and tear forced on the sparse resources.

        That is reasonable, but it's not what the article says. If the rule were "Tourists must not filch food or gym fees or waste disposal from (other nations') taxpayers" then I'd be for it. But what the hell is the point of an international collaboration if there is no international collaboration? If this makes the 'nauts' lives worse, it is a stupid idea. What is the cost of training an astronaut and putting her in orbit vs. the cost of buying a foreigner lunch every so often (or all the time) in order to foster an atmosphere of cooperation? We now have less effective teams in space. As a taxpayer, I feel ripped off.

      • by Macrat (638047) on Tuesday March 31, 2009 @12:44PM (#27403803)

        Should US tax dollars really be used to allow for billionaires to play around in space? No.

        US tax dollars are needed to bail out the billionaires from their mortgages.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by syousef (465911)

        Should US tax dollars really be used to allow for billionaires to play around in space? No. The simple fact is, it is VERY expensive to repair/replace anything in space and Russia is increasing the wear on various components by bringing additional people aboard who provide no benefit what-so-ever.

        So you've spent in the 2 or 3 digit BILLIONs on something designed to foster international cooperation, and you're worried about a few tens or hundreds of thousands for some extra wear and tear on a toilet? Yeah th

    • by sjames (1099) on Tuesday March 31, 2009 @11:25AM (#27402659) Homepage

      Brought to you by the makers of the Cold War where supposed grownups threatened to render large parts of the world uninhabitable and gave a generation of children nightmares due to a disagreement over economic systems.

  • What was he eating that he clogged up the US toilet?

    Then it turns out it's just petty politician squabbling. Gotta love politicians.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 31, 2009 @10:30AM (#27401791)

      What was he eating that he clogged up the US toilet?

      Thats a legitimate complaint... do you know how much it costs to get a plumber to do a service call?

      • What was he eating that he clogged up the US toilet?

        Thats a legitimate complaint... do you know how much it costs to get a plumber to do a service call?

        Plumber's Crack... In Zero G!

        /shudders

    • by Thelasko (1196535)
      I noticed during the tour of the ISS [slashdot.org] that the Russian side of the space station felt very remote from the rest for the station. I also noticed the American astronaut was using the American exercise equipment and the Russian cosmonaut was using the Russian exercise equipment. It didn't seem like a big deal at the time, but now it apparently is.
  • (I)SS (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Sneeka2 (782894) on Tuesday March 31, 2009 @10:26AM (#27401733)

    Politicians: Hard at work to put the "I" in ISS...

  • by tomhath (637240) on Tuesday March 31, 2009 @10:26AM (#27401741)
    They leave the seat up...
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 31, 2009 @10:26AM (#27401745)

    im sure some cave man council decided it would create too much cooperation between rival clans, and tried to stop the project.

  • What are the bosses going to do, stop by their desk and give them a stern talking-to?

    It seems the U.S. should not be antagonizing the Russians, seeing as how we're going to be dependent on them for manned spaceflight pretty soon now...

    • Re:Do it anyway (Score:5, Informative)

      by ShadowRangerRIT (1301549) on Tuesday March 31, 2009 @10:34AM (#27401847)
      If you even read the whole summary, you'd note that the Russians began it by charging to use "their" resources. U.S. astronauts can't use Russian facilities either without incurring a hefty bill. Both sides are being petty children.
      • Re:Do it anyway (Score:5, Informative)

        by inviolet (797804) <slashdot@ideasmat[ ].org ['ter' in gap]> on Tuesday March 31, 2009 @10:55AM (#27402179) Journal

        If you even read the whole summary, you'd note that the Russians began it by charging to use "their" resources. U.S. astronauts can't use Russian facilities either without incurring a hefty bill. Both sides are being petty children.

        No, this one is on the Russians. They started it. The Americans are just playing tit-for-tat (with random forgiveness, we presume), which is always an appropriate moral strategy.

        This is not the first time the Russians, bankrupt, have pulled a stunt like this. Mir was full of junk because the Russians would lease space to whoever to run an experiment and would then refuse to bring the experiment's materials back to Earth. They kept them on board in order to continue charging the (exorbitant) rent for space aboard Mir. The cosmonauts complained about the piles of junk, though not publicly.

        • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

          by TWX (665546)

          This is not the first time the Russians, bankrupt, have pulled a stunt like this. Mir was full of junk because the Russians would lease space to whoever to run an experiment and would then refuse to bring the experiment's materials back to Earth. They kept them on board in order to continue charging the (exorbitant) rent for space aboard Mir. The cosmonauts complained about the piles of junk, though not publicly.

          Aah, the Russians, Capitalists through and through...

        • by DetpackJump (1219130) on Tuesday March 31, 2009 @01:35PM (#27404507)

          The Americans are just playing tit-for-tat

          Or in this case: shit-for-shat

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by EddyPearson (901263)

        "Both sides are being petty children."

        Such a departure from the US and Russia of old...

      • Re:Do it anyway (Score:5, Insightful)

        by sshir (623215) on Tuesday March 31, 2009 @11:08AM (#27402365)

        Russians began it by charging to use "their" resources

        Actually, Russians started to charge for the ride to the station which is completely understandable considering costs involved.

        Summary is rather inflammatory by calling it "charging for resources".

        Yea, the toilet thing is a really petty retaliation. But this is the era of asymmetric warfare after all...

    • Re:Do it anyway (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Scutter (18425) on Tuesday March 31, 2009 @10:41AM (#27401959) Journal

      What are the bosses going to do, stop by their desk and give them a stern talking-to?

      The alternative is "you never go to space again and your career as an astronaut/cosmonaut is over". There have been lots of stories in the past about how astronauts are treated like lab rats but they put up with it because it's the only way to get to orbit.

  • by Beached (52204) on Tuesday March 31, 2009 @10:28AM (#27401769) Homepage

    This must have been a bureaucrat level 34 or better that started this. A 35 wouldn't know how to fill out the proper acquisition forms.

  • by Ukab the Great (87152) on Tuesday March 31, 2009 @10:29AM (#27401781)

    The escalation must stop before they argue over sharing of oxygen!

    • by sunking2 (521698)
      Entirely plausible as I don't believe the Russian shitter is hooked up to the urine processor and wcs, which ultimately is fed to produce oxygen. If they aren't pulling their weight with the pee then they should have to hold their breath.
  • by cgfsd (1238866) on Tuesday March 31, 2009 @10:30AM (#27401799)

    "The average Rooskie, son, don't take a dump without a plan."

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Em Emalb (452530)

      Captain Ramius: It reminds me of the heady days of Sputnik and Yuri Gagarin when the world trembled at the sound of our rockets. Now they will tremble again - at the sound of our silence. The order is: engage the silent drive.

  • by patro (104336)

    They should go on strike until normalcy is restored.

  • by commodore64_love (1445365) on Tuesday March 31, 2009 @10:37AM (#27401887) Journal

    "Or vice-versa the humans toilet. The Earth-Vulcan politicians are squabbling over the respective costs, and don't want non-citizens using their toilets." - United Federation of Planets, official notice

    That's what Star Trek would be like if it were realistic - trade and cost disputes. Or just watch Babylon 5 ("By Any Means Necessary").

    • by ArcherB (796902) on Tuesday March 31, 2009 @10:59AM (#27402231) Journal

      "Or vice-versa the humans toilet. The Earth-Vulcan politicians are squabbling over the respective costs, and don't want non-citizens using their toilets." - United Federation of Planets, official notice

      That's what Star Trek would be like if it were realistic - trade and cost disputes. Or just watch Babylon 5 ("By Any Means Necessary").

      I thought they just beamed the crap directly from your colon into the anti-matter reaction chamber or Jefferies tubes or something.

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        >>>I thought they just beamed the crap directly from your colon into the anti-matter reaction chamber or something.

        Yeah that's what they TELL you, but in reality Mr. Scott is a wizard and he utters some magic words, waves his wand, and presto. He just covers-up that fact by mumbling random junk about engines and whatnot. Star Trek is actually a fantasy show, like Harry Potter.

  • Sounds familiar... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by MBCook (132727) <foobarsoft@foobarsoft.com> on Tuesday March 31, 2009 @10:41AM (#27401965) Homepage

    It reminds me of a movie [imdb.com] I've seen before.

    How childish a thing to do.

  • Fair enough, but... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by ultraexactzz (546422) on Tuesday March 31, 2009 @10:50AM (#27402127) Journal
    Where the hell does the Japanese guy get to go? I mean, when you gotta go, you gotta go.
  • Invisible Lines (Score:5, Insightful)

    by scubamage (727538) on Tuesday March 31, 2009 @10:54AM (#27402173)
    You know, its amazing to think how much progress has been destroyed, avoided, or never attained because of stupid, idiotic, invisible little lines drawn up by a bunch of dead men. Maybe that's why I love the internet? It's kind of above this bullshit.
    • Re:Invisible Lines (Score:5, Interesting)

      by DoofusOfDeath (636671) on Tuesday March 31, 2009 @11:36AM (#27402817)

      You know, its amazing to think how much progress has been destroyed, avoided, or never attained because of stupid, idiotic, invisible little lines drawn up by a bunch of dead men. Maybe that's why I love the internet? It's kind of above this bullshit.

      I think it's more fair to say that's what was so great about the pre-1990's internet. Once it got politicians' notice, the apoliticalness geek orgy became harder to sustain (DMCA, snooping, RIAA/MPAA, China / Thailand / etc. blocking YouTube, etc.)

  • by ciderVisor (1318765) on Tuesday March 31, 2009 @10:57AM (#27402211)

    Do things the RyanAir [avionews.com] way.

  • by fataugie (89032) on Tuesday March 31, 2009 @11:19AM (#27402565) Homepage

    One of the agencies sends up a bucket of yellow paint and a paint brush?
    (for the bright yellow dividing line down the middle of the station)

    Future Presidential Speech text:

    "Mr. {insert leader here}, Tear down...er....Wipe Up that line!"

  • On Soviet Slashdot (Score:3, Insightful)

    by aquatone282 (905179) on Tuesday March 31, 2009 @11:20AM (#27402583)

    . . . tired old memes bore you.

  • by Easy2RememberNick (179395) on Tuesday March 31, 2009 @11:12PM (#27411725)

    The article mentions all of this could be resolved if the Russians would just sign the formal agreement paperwork (form # URN8-NP) to have a legal document verifying they agree to the terms and for liability reasons.

The biggest mistake you can make is to believe that you are working for someone else.

Working...