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Space ISS Politics

Russia Forming Space Alliance With Iran, May Fly Iranian Astronaut ( 107

MarkWhittington writes: Quietly, the Russians appear to be forming a space alliance with the Islamic Republic of Iran, according to a story in Sputnik. Not only is Russia in talks to launch Iranian satellites on Russian rockets but also to include an Iranian astronaut on a future space mission. What that space mission might be is open to question. A visit by an Iranian astronaut to the International Space Station would likely kick up a political firestorm with the United States, even though the Obama administration is attempting to develop a rapprochement with the Islamic Republic.
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Russia Forming Space Alliance With Iran, May Fly Iranian Astronaut

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  • by koan ( 80826 )

    Which way is east in space?

    • Since we're still talking about Earth orbit here, it's not that hard to determine.
    • Find the North Pole, east is on the right.

      • Unless you're "upside down" and the North Pole is on the bottom. (Up and down in space mean nothing, and you've still "found" it).
        A better indicator would be to point in the same direction of the Earth's spin.
        • Up and down in space mean nothing

          Not true ... the biggest localized gravity well is down. Orbit is just falling and missing in a predictable manner. ;-)

    • Off topic.

      Oh, you meant, "which way is "? But that wouldn't sound as silly as "Which way is east in space?"

      I'm all for mocking religion, but it is such an easy target there's no reason to misrepresent anything.

      • doh! should've paid attention to the preview.

        Oh you meant "which way is [insert holy city of choice]"?

    • Did you mean which way is the shrine in Mecca?

      From LEO, it varies, just as it does on the surface. From far away, it would just be towards Earth.
    • by Rei ( 128717 )

      Muslims are supposed to pray toward Mecca, not "east". So they just need to know where they are in space, aim appropriately, and potentially have some angular momentum at times. That's not the tricky one. The tricky one is, what to do about fasting during Ramadan? ;) My understanding is that Ramadan fasts may be omitted for a person who is traveling, and so I suspect they'd just define that as "travel".

      • by Anonymous Coward

        It'd already been done:

    • It's not that hard. In a gravity-dominated, rotating frame of reference, one always has two special directions, namely the rotation axis (north-south) and direction towards the mass centre (up-down). The east-west axis for given point (unless these two are the same, which only happens at the poles) can be defined as a direction perpendicular to both, with east heading forward relative to rotation speed.

      Earth's orbit, Solar system, and Milky way are all such systems. And there's little chance they get beyond

    • Considering how orbital mechanics work, usually the direction you're going.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Since they'd be flying with the Russians, wouldn't that make 'em cosmonauts rather than astronauts? While I always found the distinction irrelevant, there's still a difference between astro, cosmo, spatio and taiko nauts...

    Or are americans really just not good enough to have a term of their own and astronaut just encompasses their (american) scientists as well as all others?

    • Why would you call an Iranian astronaut a cosmonaut? If a Russian cosmonaut was flying with the Americans you wouldn't call him an astronaut. Iran calls them astronauts, not cosmonauts. Burned.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by ventsyv ( 2740063 )
        Cosmonaut and astronaut are synonyms. Cosmo is of Greek origin and means "world" or "universe", and in Russian it means, space, thus "cosmonaut" is someone who has been in space. Astro comes from Greek as well but it means "star". Astronaut is a term that comes from French and literally means someone who has been to the stars (the French being more poetic here). So it doesn't matter what you call it, the two words can be used interchangeably, but for some reason US media seems to call Americans astronauts
      • by Rei ( 128717 )

        Why would you call an Iranian astronaut a cosmonaut?


  • by skaag ( 206358 ) on Thursday January 21, 2016 @01:38PM (#51344771) Homepage Journal

    People need to understand that a more technologically advanced Iran means the world will deal with a more advanced country, and a more advanced government, period. Iran has a lot of extremely smart people who's voices are not heard because they are drowned by the voices of the mentally insane.

    The sooner Iran values knowledge and science more than it values blind belief in fairy tales, the better for the rest of the world.

    • Yes, really. This guy (probably will be male) will be from a technology / engineering background and vetted six ways from Sunday. He won't be there to antagonize anyone despite the junior high mentality here. It is entirely symbolic, but humans love symbolism.

      Might even do some good. The only real risk will be to the Iranian astronaut as he would irrevocably be branded as someone working with the Western powers. That might be an issue, depending on how things go. But the only real chance of getting so

    • People need to understand that a more technologically advanced Iran means the world will deal with a more advanced country, and a more advanced government, period. Iran has a lot of extremely smart people who's voices are not heard because they are drowned by the voices of the mentally insane.

      The sooner Iran values knowledge and science more than it values blind belief in fairy tales, the better for the rest of the world.

      The real issue here is that we are dealing with an authoritarian government. It's hardly a blind belief, but belief in a control mechanism over society used to justify their authoritarian stance. Becoming more technologically advanced won't help them any more than Germany being on of the most technologically advanced countries during WW2 helped overthrow the Nazis. Speaking out against their blind beliefs will just single people out long before they become a threat to the government. Sure, I do think that b

      • by skaag ( 206358 )

        Did you notice how fast things turned in Iran into the shit show that it is today?
        I believe that with the correct sequence of events, orchestrated by a talented group of people, things in Iran can turn back just as fast.

        The people of Iran wish for it. They are tired of the current regime. Now all you need is the correct players, in the correct places, playing the right moves.

  • by Zontar_Thing_From_Ve ( 949321 ) on Thursday January 21, 2016 @01:56PM (#51344909)
    As an American, believe me when I tell you that our government and most of our country (except for a few crazy right wingers) would love for Iran-US relations to improve at least to where each country doesn't cause the other one problems. In fact, I believe that the USA and Iran will one day again be great friends. Whether that is 10 years, 20 years or 50 years from now remains to be seen. But for reasons I won't go into less it digress into a pointless political discussion that never ends, it seems pretty inevitable for me. Just like if you find the average American under 60 years old probably has a very positive opinion of Japan but old people who lived through World War II may still carry some grudges, with time the older generation that hates the other side will die out and the younger generation will reap the benefits of friendship. I don't think having an Iranian on the ISS would be a big deal and if it leads to less tension between the 2 countries, I say "How quickly can we make this happen?"
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by ChrisMaple ( 607946 )

      WWII is 70+ years gone. Japan has been behaving in an exemplary manner for a long time.

      Right wing reactions to various foreign nations tends to be based on things like

      • Are they threatening to kill us?
      • Are they infiltrating our country with e.g. bombers
      • Do they have a culture of rape and enslavement in their own country
      • Have they recently attacked our armed forces
      • Do they kidnap our citizens
      • Are they engaging in warfare against our allies

      Such behavior makes it not in the good interest of the United States to coo

  • I am sure Iran has great scientists and visiting space station is not going to help them develop nukes (or at least experiment payload can be screened to rule that out). What objections can we possibly have to advancement of human knowledge, no matter which country the astronaut is from?

    • Russia has taken to space representatives of many of the former Eastern block countries. Having sent a man to space is a matter of national pride and for the Russians it's easy (and cheap) way to honor their allies and cement their relations with them. The US resents the legitimacy that such an action will give the Iranian regime and the propaganda that it will generate. I don't think anyone will object having Iranian cosmonaut if not for those 2 reasons.
  • In fucking space!!!!

    Where do I sign?

  • Infidels (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Tony Isaac ( 1301187 )

    I thought that the reason Iranian leaders hate America so much is because it is a nation of infidels. How would Russia--with its atheist views--not be considered infidels too?

  • by DarthVain ( 724186 ) on Thursday January 21, 2016 @03:02PM (#51345473)

    I'm sure we all remember the hilarious Iran Photoshop of their missile program. Having Iran dependent on Russia for satellite launches means they have one less reason to try to advance their own rocketry science. If all it takes is a token Iranian photo-op on the ISS then that is a pretty cheap win. With oil in the toilet Russia could probably use the currency also, and a stable Russia is probably a good thing.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    We know that Iran will use this space program for a sinister purpose. Iran has a history of being a country with an aggressive foreign policy, trumped-up pretext for foreign invasions, tonnes of WMD's, and intimidation of any place that does not agree to their policy decisions. It is known they are mass murderers. Name me one aggressive foreign policy, false pretext for war or WMD that America has. None. We can't trust those foreigners.

  • In my opinion, an alliance between Russia, Iran, China, India, Vietnam, etc. will define the future. Iran is the ancient civilization. Many concepts and inventions, which we use daily nowadays, were created by the human genius in the ancient Persia.

    In comparison, the EU project, or even the US project, have got a serious weakness, - littleness. Eurasia has got 54 million square kilometers of territory, 5 billion population []

    Firstly a modern railway network connecting th
  • Am I the only one sick and tired of almost everyday non-news about Russia? Russia may, Russia will, Russia is planning, Russia is going, Russia wants, etc. Or: a few decades ago Soviet Union did that thing! - well, not really, but planned, wanted, almost got there, etc. Things that actually happen in Russia or done by Russia are not that great these days (years). And certainly most of them are not quite /. material.

Thus spake the master programmer: "When a program is being tested, it is too late to make design changes." -- Geoffrey James, "The Tao of Programming"