Wed, Mar 31, 2004
Purpose: Saving Money
It's the sort of reasoning we on Earth can certainly understand.
If you want to save money on travel, make fewer trips, right?
That's the line of thinking at Russia's cash-strapped space
agency, where officials Tuesday announced plans to extend
astronauts' stays aboard the International Space Station by six
months -- effectively doubling the tour of duty.
"The Russian side has sent a suggestion to NASA to prolong the
work of the main crew from six months to a year," Sergei Gorbunov,
spokesman for Russia's space agency, said by telephone.
NASA's input on this may be academic at this point, since the
shuttle fleet has remained grounded since February 1st, 2003, when
the Columbia disintegrated upon re-entry. The remaining shuttle's
return to flight has been delayed from this fall until at least
Spring of next year.
In the meantime, Russia's Soyuz program is the only game in town
-- unless, of course, you count the Chinese variant.
"After the loss of the shuttle, Russia lost a part of its
extra-budget funds, therefore we are suggesting this option." said
He also suggested astronauts would benefit from spending longer
on the orbital platform and their health would not be damaged. "The
crew does not have enough time to carry out all their tasks in six
months. That is why the term should be extended. Doctors allow
people to spend this much time in space. It does not affect health
in any way."
So far, there's been no comment from NASA. The longest stay in
space to date is 438 days. The record was set by Valery Polyakov,
during his stay aboard the Mir Space Station in 1994 and 1995.
Three-Eight Charlie If you know the name of the first woman to fly solo around the world, you’re ahead of most people. By the way, if you thought it was Amelia Earhart, you&r>[...]
Holding pattern. A racetrack pattern, involving two turns and two legs, used to keep an aircraft within a prescribed airspace with respect to a geographic fix.>[...]
“We need a world-class system of weather prediction in the United States – one, as the National Academy of Sciences recently put it, that is ‘second to none'." So>[...]
Send Them A Story -- We Don't Mind! Do you need another set of eyes to see that story you can't believe Jim just wrote? Want to spread Hognose's unique wisdom and perspective to th>[...]
Cites 'Strong Record On Aviation Security' The Association of Flight Attendants-CWA (AFA) has endorsed Congressman Ed Markey for the U.S. Senate, specifically noting his proven rec>[...]