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NASA Space

Lucky Thirteen On the ISS 120

Hugh Pickens writes "Things may get a little tight in space as seven shuttle astronauts blast off from Florida on June 13 to join up with six colleagues already on the International Space Station bringing the ISS contingent to thirteen, the largest number of individuals on the platform ever at one time. The 13 space-farers represent seven from the US, two each from Russia and Canada, and one each from Europe and Japan. '"I don't know what it's going to be like," says Endeavour commander Mark Polansky, a veteran of two prior spaceflights. "We know it's going to be challenging with 13 people aboard."' During five spacewalks, an external platform will be added to the lab which will enable those experiments to be performed that require materials to be exposed to the harsh environment of space and astronauts also have to fit equipment to the exterior of the platform such as batteries and a spare space-to-ground antenna."
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Lucky Thirteen On the ISS

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  • by lordholm ( 649770 ) on Saturday June 13, 2009 @06:27AM (#28318663) Homepage

    By the way, many people see Europe as a country to some extent. This includes not only a lot of Europeans, it also include a lot of people outside of Europe.

    Besides, Frank de Bruin is working for the EUROPEAN SPACE AGENCY, not the Belgian space agency, so just what was wrong with saying he is from Europe when he is sent up for European taxpayers money?

  • by lordholm ( 649770 ) on Saturday June 13, 2009 @06:33AM (#28318683) Homepage

    I do not mind. I live in the Netherlands, have been living in the UK and is original from Stockholm and have a Belgian girlfriend.

    I call my self European, I am pretty annoyed when people call me Swedish when this is clearly not how I feel. There is nothing more annoying than people calling Europeans by their statehood.

    Europe is almost a country (it even has its own entry in the CIA world fact book because it has so many state like properties), and for any person who is not living here the EU is probably indistinguishable from a country, get used to it, this is the state of things right now.

    Proud to be European!

  • by ngdbsdmn ( 658135 ) on Saturday June 13, 2009 @07:14AM (#28318795)

    I'm also an European and I don't mind being called that.


    I'm from Romania so a strong argument can be made that I like to be called an European in order to wash out some of the sin behind the dirt and corruption staining the name of my home country. Be that as it may, I'm a strong believer that a united Europe is the only way to proceed through the following decades from an economical point of view. I also believe that the countries in Eastern Europe will bring a lot to the table for all the other Europeans in the same time frame. Economical unity does not interfere much with cultural/national identity. Besides, I think on this front the US media machines did a lot more harm. So even though I may enjoy a Swiss landscape, French wine, German cars, English music, Italian spaghetti sauce or Greek oranges you can still bet your ass I will always hail the Romanian football team (idiots!), Romanian theater and Romanian sense of humor.


    6 days ago I voted in the election of my representatives in the European Parliament. After living in communism and bowing my head to Russia for decades, I know all too well why a united Europe is a good thing. So go ahead, call me European and see if I like it.

  • by fbjon ( 692006 ) on Saturday June 13, 2009 @08:02AM (#28318987) Homepage Journal
    Identity. If a lot of people identify themselves as Europeans first, it would make sense to call it all a country, but most people don't (in my own obviously limited experience). I'm just saying that in the 27 years I've lived, I've never thought or heard anyone around here seriously think of Europe as a country, other than as a thought experiment, goal, or wishful thinking. I'm not saying it won't become a country at some point though, nor am I making a value judgment.

    "Set of countries" is much more realistic, IMHO. Separate but united, sort of.

  • by clyde_cadiddlehopper ( 1052112 ) on Saturday June 13, 2009 @08:50AM (#28319169)
    Perhaps this is a stress test for the urine separator in microgravity. Ridiculous, you say? Last year 8 gallons of urine / day [] were collected for reclaim tests. (Honestly, how many astronauts does it take to install a "front porch" for the Kibo module? Certainly not 13.) NASA needs to know how to deal with large volumes of human waste on an extended mission.
  • by Hurricane78 ( 562437 ) <deleted AT slashdot DOT org> on Saturday June 13, 2009 @09:15AM (#28319283)

    By the way, many uninformed people see Europe as a country to some extent. This insults not only a lot of Europeans, it also include a lot of people outside of Europe.

    There. Fixed that for ya.

    The big problem is, that this "union" is force-fed to us Europeans, without there being a point to it.
    That is the real thing here: There is a global "urge" to union us all, under one government. Thereby removing all abilities to go somewhere else, if you don't like it there.
    Which unfortunately be, what many people want to do, with the current totalitarian oppression regimes rising.

    And if you argue that you could make a new party. Then look at how well that works out for the current marionette governments of the USA, and pretty much every European (or even global) government.

    What do you think is next? The north-American union is already in the making. Then comes the union of north-America and the EU. And then?
    I am already on the brink of going to an island and founding my own country. But how am I going to protect it? Against a global union? Good joke.

    Don't understand me wrong. I like people all over the world cooperating. But in a free way. That is what the Internet is for. And, correct me if I'm wrong, but it works stunningly well.
    On the other hand, organizational globalization without a real point, is the removal of freedom, for control. Pure an simple.

    P.S.: Wait for the governments starting to argue, that we must do it because of the economical crisis. Something deliberately created by those that now buy everyone else and invest in gold, to be the only ones surviving this "crisis" of a credit-based currency, that is scientifically proven to crash from time to time.

  • by donaggie03 ( 769758 ) <d_osmeyer@hotma i l . com> on Saturday June 13, 2009 @01:51PM (#28321135)
    I think we are all confusing two (or maybe more) different questions. Sure, if you ask various people what country they were from, or what their nationality was, they would say Spain, France, etc. But what would happen if that same Spaniard were visiting America and I asked him "Hey, are you European?" I guarantee you quite a few would say yes. I can say this with a somewhat high degree of certainty because of two reasons. First of all, if someone asks me where I'm from, I'll say Texas, but if someone asked if I was American, or from North America, then I would say yes. See, it is possible to be part of two political structures. A smaller one and a larger one. One of them you may confirm only if asked specifically, and the other you volunteer, because that's what you are proud of. Second, while I was in the Army, in Afghanistan, soldiers from all over the world would pass through. Many of them would have uniforms and flags that I didn't recognize, so instead of possibly insulting someone from Portugal by asking if he was from Spain, I would ask if he was from Europe. They would just say yes, in whatever accent they had. I would then probably continue the conversation with "Oh, what country are you from?" and he would tell me. But they never denied being European, and they most certainly never got all huffy puffy about it.
  • by osu-neko ( 2604 ) on Saturday June 13, 2009 @04:18PM (#28322119)

    BTW, when was the last time your armed forces were used for defence ? Not since 1945 in my opinion.

    If you apply a wide definition of defense, they're currently being used for defense. If you apply a narrow definition of defense, they haven't been used for defense since, I think, 1848. Certainly not in 1945 -- that was a war in another country, attempting to "preserve democracy" in nations where it was arguably none of our business. If you don't think American should project power abroad in that matter, we really should never have gotten involved in WWII. (And for those who say we were attacked, it should be noted that Hawai'i not only wasn't a state in 1941, it was a bit of territory we acquired by means far, far more dubious than our acquisition of the Phillipines -- if we just stuck to our own defense, the Kingdom of Hawai'i would still be its own country, or at least it would have been until become part of the Empire of Japan.)

    Note, I'm not saying we shouldn't have come to Europe's aid in 1945. I'm just saying there's no reasonable interpretation of your statement. If your definition is wide enough, our current military engagements are defensive. If it's narrow enough, our use in 1945 wasn't defensive. And I don't see any definition where our use of military force in WWII would be considered defensive, but nothing since would. So if your opinion is that the last time was 1945, it's inconsistent somehow. Figure out what you mean by defense, then pick a date that would actually match that use. The most common definitions will yield either 1814, 1848, 1865, or 2009, depending on how wide or narrow you go. 1945 isn't really a consistent option.

Would you people stop playing these stupid games?!?!?!!!!