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Space NASA Science

Cold War Standoff Over ISS Toilet 417

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.'"
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Cold War Standoff Over ISS Toilet

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  • 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:It's because (Score:4, Informative)

    by Zencyde ( 850968 ) <> on Tuesday March 31, 2009 @10:47AM (#27402081)
    Over is the proper fashion!
  • by stuntpope ( 19736 ) on Tuesday March 31, 2009 @10:48AM (#27402095)

    Whoooosh! (and that's not the sound of a toilet flushing) []

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

    by inviolet ( 797804 ) <slashdot@i[ ] ['dea' 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:It's because (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 31, 2009 @11:17AM (#27402527)

    it's 'informative' because you can't moderate something 'damn straight!'

  • Re:It's because (Score:4, Informative)

    by Richard Steiner ( 1585 ) <> on Tuesday March 31, 2009 @11:21AM (#27402601) Homepage Journal

    Not if you have cats. Unless you enjoy rewinding the roll every day. :-)

  • by JerkBoB ( 7130 ) on Tuesday March 31, 2009 @11:56AM (#27403125)

    Gah... Get the quote right if you're going to quote something!

    "Gentlemen! You can't fight in here! This is the war room!"

  • by TheKidWho ( 705796 ) on Tuesday March 31, 2009 @12:11PM (#27403329)

    Not at all, it was a reference to a movie, Dr. Strangelove.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 31, 2009 @12:35PM (#27403649)

    I think we've reached a new /. density record for "missed" jokes in this post.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 31, 2009 @12:37PM (#27403687)

    Urine is usually sterile before elimination

    There, fixed that for ya.

    a UTI and can cause it to be not sterile.

    After leaving the body, bacteria go *to town*, creating ammonia from the breakdown of urea, and creating a distinctly not-sterile soup

    Repeating the meme "it's sterile" is technically correct, most of the time - but not helpful to most people. The word "sterile" leads people to think of urine like other "sterilized" things like bandages or hospital instruments - but urine has a huge number of chemicals that almost immediately lead it to become not sterile once leaving the body.

  • by Menkhaf ( 627996 ) on Tuesday March 31, 2009 @02:09PM (#27404929)
    Things seem to have changed since I watched TV in 1992 when Mr. King got the long fucking end of the stick.

    ...that might be tasteful, but I'm replying to a post that is modded +5 Funny, even though it really isn't funny. On that note, I suggest I'll be modded +5 Informative.
  • by glas_gow ( 961896 ) on Tuesday March 31, 2009 @02:31PM (#27405235)
    There's also a Japanese cargo vessel. A Japanese cargo ship is planned to fly to the ISS in the next couple of months, although it doesn't automatically dock, and needs to be grappled within 90 seconds by the ISS arm, or presumably it floats away.
  • by elrous0 ( 869638 ) * on Tuesday March 31, 2009 @02:51PM (#27405591)
    May I remind you how many "free rides" the Russians gave to the U.S. up to the ISS after the Columbia disaster?
  • by BTWR ( 540147 ) <`moc.oohay' `ta' `3robignacirema'> on Tuesday March 31, 2009 @07:20PM (#27409711) Homepage Journal
    No one really heard much about it till about '84 or so...and it wasn't widespread, and if you weren't an IV user or having male homosexual anal sex, you likely weren't at a risk back then... I *did* say a few years before '89. Really, till about '84-'85, you could pretty much fsck anything that moved (at least heterosexually) and not have to worry much about dying if you didn't put a helmet on your soldier.

    Ryan White [] and Arthur Ashe [] send their love. (Go ahead, I double-dare you to suggest those are exceptional cases).

    I'm just saying that how people treat each other, society in general, and how the govt. is working against us, was not as bad back then. I feel that life and the very minimun, was much more civil, polite and relaxed then.....and decades before.

    Hey, remember that time the US government purposely gave 400 of its black citizens, hell, 400 of its MILITARY men, syphillis, then watched them die? [] I could be cynical and say "I guess *snicker* this is what cayenne8 considers the days when the government was better!," but I really doubt you think the gov't-sponsored-and-ordered execution of 400 black men was really a good thing. Really, you're just describing what one of the GPs accurately describes as gleeful remembrance of the "good ole days."
  • by commodore64_love ( 1445365 ) on Tuesday March 31, 2009 @07:20PM (#27409713) Journal

    >>>Jefferson, for example, believed that large cities were "pestilential to the morals, the health and the liberties of man."

    He was correct. He was also correct about the corporations being a powerful force that could take-away the freedoms of the citizens, mainly through the power of wealth, and secondarily through the subjugation of the People's government. Ref: RIAA. Ref: The various blacklists corporations use to make finding a job nigh-impossible.

    >>>Its forefathers intended it to be a nation run by and for wealthy white men

    The only man with any wealth was George Washington (land-based wealth, not cash). All the other founders were deep in debt, with the worst being Jefferson who carried the modern-day equivalent of $200,000 over his head. That's why when he died, his home was immediately appropriated by the bankers, divided-up, and sold.

    Your statement would be more accurate if you said, "A nation run by some wealthy, some middling, some poor, but overall highly-educated men." Also I think you've forgotten the founders, while they were still alive, extended suffrage from property owners to commoners, including blacks (in the north) and women (Massachusetts, Rhode Island). Study your history before you offer inaccurate opinion.

    Freedom takes a slow progress, but it does progress.

    As example: Jefferson's proudest achievements were the founding of his college, so all could benefit from an education, the writing of the Declaration of Independence which codified the principle that governments serve the People, not the other way around, and the abolition of Virginia's official state religion, so that all could worship freely. "Whether my neighbor worships one god, many gods, or no gods, matters not to me. His beliefs do not harm my body, my property, nor my rights." It took him forty years of hard work to make all that happen. Not all the Founders' ideals happened immediately.

  • by commodore64_love ( 1445365 ) on Tuesday March 31, 2009 @07:34PM (#27409827) Journal

    >>>1989....I liked it.

    You have to go much farther back then that. 1910. I obviously don't remember it, but my grandfather did when he was still alive. The one most obvious difference - No income tax. He was allowed to keep every dollar he earned, except for incidentals like sales tax.

    Second difference - no RIAA suing you because you played a song on your piano without permission, because even though copyright laws existed, they were designed to favor the people not the corporations. And they had limits.

    Third difference - people relied on themselves and their family, not some idiot in D.C. who doesn't care if you live or die. And you could grow your own food, without the EPA or FDA or some other alphabet bozo breathing down your neck and saying, "No no no - you are violating the rationing laws that limit how much corn you're allowed to grow."

    Not that 1910 was perfect. Far from it, but it was still better than the present where you're not free to do much of anything, and taxation is at 40% instead of 0-to-1%. If you can't keep the nearly-all the money you earn, then you're not truly free. Somebody else (Congress) owns your body on a part-time basis.

  • by myth24601 ( 893486 ) on Tuesday March 31, 2009 @10:38PM (#27411503)

    Hey, remember that time the US government purposely gave 400 of its black citizens, hell, 400 of its MILITARY men, syphillis, then watched them die?

    Nobody was purposely infected with syphilis.

    The Tuskegee Study did not involve purposely infecting anyone. The study started on black men who were infected with untreated syphilis. Not to minimize what did happen which was still pretty bad. There was no effective treatment for syphilis when the study started in the early 1030s and the treatments that did exist were not effective and quite dangerous. Years later penicillin was developed that could have helped but were never used.

    What happened was bad enough, there is no need to make it worse than it was. []

  • by BTWR ( 540147 ) <`moc.oohay' `ta' `3robignacirema'> on Wednesday April 01, 2009 @02:18AM (#27412747) Homepage Journal
    Yes..I'd say largely both [Ryan White and Arthur Ashe] examples...were fairly isolated incidences.

    IAAD (I am a doctor), and dude, don't act like I didn't dare you. You should have known I already had the stats to back myself up.

    "As of December 2001, an estimated 14,262 persons have been diagnosed with AIDS as a result of transfusing contaminated blood or blood products. []"

    To you Cayenne8, Ryan White, Arthur Ashe and 14,260 other "isolated incidents" with names, with real families and real loved ones all send their love.

In seeking the unattainable, simplicity only gets in the way. -- Epigrams in Programming, ACM SIGPLAN Sept. 1982