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NASA Science

First European Commander of the ISS 190

Posted by timothy
from the shift-of-power dept.
RobGoldsmith writes 'ESA astronaut Frank De Winne became the first European commander of the International Space Station this morning with the departure of Russian cosmonaut Gennady Padalka who had filled this role since April. De Winne is the first non-American and non-Russian to take on this role. Watch the videos and view images here.'
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First European Commander of the ISS

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  • by los furtive (232491) <ChrisLamotheNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Sunday October 11, 2009 @06:00PM (#29713991) Homepage
    ...to welcome our European overlords.
  • by wimg (300673) on Sunday October 11, 2009 @06:06PM (#29714041) Homepage

    A Belgian is now commander of the ISS and president of the IOC... and next year probably chairman of the UN Security Council :-)

  • by hedgemage (934558) on Sunday October 11, 2009 @06:35PM (#29714191)
    A major gripe in the Russian psyche is that they are 'left out' of Europe despite the fact that the majority of their population is in what is geographically defined as Europe. Way to go and snub them.
  • by noundi (1044080) on Sunday October 11, 2009 @06:39PM (#29714209)

    ...to welcome our European overlords.

    Thank you. Now Europeans!

    Vorwärts!
    En avant!
    Adelante!
    Avanti!
    Eteenpäin!

    And to the rest of you: onward!

  • by Fear the Clam (230933) on Sunday October 11, 2009 @07:04PM (#29714335)

    Isn't thata great? He is full of De Winne!

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 11, 2009 @07:55PM (#29714551)
    If you are from Western, Northern, or even Southern Europe who remembers USSR, then Russia is from Asia. OTH, if you are from one of these regions, hate America, hate your country, and hate yourself, then Russia and China are European. In fact, so are Cuba, Venezuela, Al Qaeda occupied Afghanistan, Burma, Iran, etc.
  • by NoYob (1630681) on Sunday October 11, 2009 @07:56PM (#29714559)

    He received a Masters degree in telecommunications and civil engineering from the Royal Military Academy, Brussels, in 1984.

    I have this image of him building the rest of the station with concrete. The slump test may not work so well in orbit.

  • by andersh (229403) on Sunday October 11, 2009 @08:01PM (#29714591)

    There is an old Russian joke that goes like this:

    A guy dies and ends up in hell. Before his punishment is due, he's shown around to know what is awaiting for him. At one moment, he and his demonic guide pass by three large foul-smelling pits full of dung.

    One pit is bustling with activity - people climb out there every minute or so in large groups, and there are several demons with pitchforks running around the pit pushing the climbers down. The demons are sweaty and obviously tired.
    The second pit is mostly quiet, but occasionally a single guy pokes his head outside, and immediately gets pushed down by a young lone demon, who is otherwise standing there yawning.
    The third pit is absolutely quiet. There is a very old demon with chipped horns lying near the edge snoring and cuddling his pitchfork in the sleep. However, no-one climbs out of the pit.

    The guy looks at all this for some time, and then asks what it is all about. His guide explains:

    "The first pit is for Jews. They always stick together and help each other, and as soon as one climbs one step above the others, he stops and helps them get up to his level.
    The second pit is for Europeans. They're hardworking, but individualist and way too proud of themselves, so they all climb alone, each on his own.
    The third pit is for Russians. As soon as one of them climbs even a little bit higher than the rest, those below him pull him down by the legs into the dung so that he knows his place."

  • by misexistentialist (1537887) on Sunday October 11, 2009 @10:05PM (#29715237)
    Since here in the USA we think of you as part of North America, Russians, who are Europeans by virtue of royal kinship with Scandinavia, must actually be American European Slavic Asians.
  • by Hognoxious (631665) on Monday October 12, 2009 @05:05AM (#29716885) Homepage Journal

    Many people assume they know German because they are Dutch. They think they can translate a word to German by adding an umlaut to it.

    That's crazy! You also have to change each "ij" to "ei".

What this country needs is a dime that will buy a good five-cent bagel.

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