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Space Station Crew Forced to Cut Calories 434

gollum123 writes "CNN and others are reporting that food is running so low aboard the international space station that both the crew members have been asked to cut their calories, at least until a Russian supply ship arrives in a little over two weeks. The situation is so bad that if a Russian cargo vessel scheduled to arrive on Dec. 25 has a mishap or is significantly delayed, the astronauts, one American and one Russian, will have to abandon the station and return home months ahead of schedule. An independent team is looking into how the food inventory ended up being tracked so poorly and how it can be improved in the future."
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Space Station Crew Forced to Cut Calories

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  • by sllim ( 95682 ) <.achance. .at.> on Friday December 10, 2004 @06:42AM (#11049942)
    I like my toys as much, no possibly MORE then the next guy. And God knows aviation is my thing.
    The Space Station should be a no brainer.

    But there comes a time where you have to say, 'Look we gave it the good old college try. If it was meant to be it would be a success already, but alas it isn't working out.'.

    For Gods sake deorbit it already.

    Could there possibly be a more humiliating end to the space station then being abondend for lack of food?
  • This is really bad (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Dancin_Santa ( 265275 ) <> on Friday December 10, 2004 @06:46AM (#11049957) Journal
    The problem with living in microgravity is that the lack of acceleration results in the decalcification of bones and the atrophy of muscle tissue. Some exercise (like the much-mocked Soloflex) can help stave off this atrophy, but the real key to the whole solution is to keep calcium and protein levels in the body high.

    Restricting food intake will result in some very serious physical damage to the astronauts. If you've ever seen footage of astronauts who have just returned to Earth after a long mission, they are hardly able to stand. That is with full nutrition. The poor astronauts up there now will have to deal with much lowered calcium and protein reserves in their blood and will likely suffer from advanced osteoporosis as well as general muscular atrophy.

    I'd go ahead and blame Windows programmers for this mistake. But in all seriousness, this is probably a result of the reliance on the cooperation of multiple nations to do the right thing according to the schedule. It's hard enough getting cats into a pen, it's that much harder to get countries known for 'cutting corners' (like Russia) to do their job correctly.
  • by bogaboga ( 793279 ) on Friday December 10, 2004 @06:49AM (#11049969)
    It's interesting to note that as Americans, who believe we have the best and greatest technology on the globe (though we depend a lot on other countires), cannot get [back] to the Space Station unless we utilize "out-dated" Russian technology!

    This hurts me because in a few decades, when the majority of our manufacturing base has been outsourced, we'll have to depend on outside help for the very basics of our way of life. This is already happening if one considers the flu vaccine.

    The Russians, though poor, seem to make better technical decisions. I remember a slashdotter mentioning here sometime ago that Russian helicopters can be fixed with the simplest of everyday materials and still deliver (read reliably fly)! Contrast that with American ones that require hours of maintenance for a few hours of flight. The Sea Kings (of Canada) require 30 hours of maintenance for every hour of flight, and they are unavailable for operations 40 per cent of the time. ing.html [].


  • can they? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by GerbilSocks ( 713781 ) on Friday December 10, 2004 @07:07AM (#11050042)
    Any possibilities of them reconstituting their own poop?
  • by ladybugfi ( 110420 ) on Friday December 10, 2004 @07:13AM (#11050067)
    Their daily intake is 3000 calories, before the cut that is.

    Wow! What on earth [sic!] are they doing up there? I'd think they would not require that much food since they don't have to deal with gravity.

    Inquiring minds want to know...
  • by ceeam ( 39911 ) on Friday December 10, 2004 @07:16AM (#11050076)
    The previous crew has apparently eaten all the meat and tasties. All is left in abundance now is some confectionery and some juices if I recall correctly what I read yesterday. Now you see - when your mom was telling you to eat it all and not to pick your food she, in fact, was preparing you to be a spaceman one day.
  • by NardofDoom ( 821951 ) on Friday December 10, 2004 @10:16AM (#11050851)
    You're just not cooking them properly.

    Steamed with a little butter and salt is best. And if you can't take the big ones, buy the frozen baby brussel sprouts. They have less of the flavor compounds that many (particularly those weaned on baby food and sweets) find distasteful.

    This has been another off-topic post.

  • by 91degrees ( 207121 ) on Friday December 10, 2004 @12:04PM (#11051911) Journal
    It's British. Or at least it was invented in Britain. Possibly is should be considered Anglo-Indian fusion cuisine. Chicken Tikka is Indian, but the masala sauce is a British innovation.

    Similarly, chop suey is American.

The other line moves faster.