Feeds

Cosmonaut bemoans ISS toilet row

Can't use apparently non-existent deluxe US space dunny

3 Big data security analytics techniques

Cosmonaut Gennady Padalka has bemoaned an increasingly petty US-Russian spat in which politics apparently threaten the brotherly co-operation which has hitherto marked life aboard the International Space Station.

The Expedition 19 Crew. Pic: NASAPadalka (pictured centre with NASA astronaut Michael Barratt, left, and Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency astronaut Koichi Wakata), is currently on the orbiting outpost as part of Expedition 19, which blasted off last Thursday from Baikonur Cosmodrome.

Before leaving, he reportedly told the Novaya Gazeta that, since 2005 when space missions were put on a commercial footing and the Russians starting billing US astronauts for its services, the Americans have responded by an increasingly isolationist stance on their own facilities.

Specifically, Padalka claimed officials had "rejected his request to work out on the American exercise bike". He said: "They told me: 'Yes, you can'. Then they said 'no'. Then they hold consultations and they approve it again. And now, right before the flight, it turns out again that the answer is negative."

Worse still, Padalka said that American and Russian crew members had been told to use their own 'national toilets'. Various news reports have picked up on this aspect of the row, with some suggesting cosmonauts will not be able to relieve themselves in the Americans' deluxe "astro-loo", as one paper put it.*

This could actually prove rather more tricky for US crew aboard the ISS, since the orbiting outpost's Ассенизационно-Санитарная Установка, or "Waste Management System", is actually a Russian-built affair housed in the Zvezda module.

Presumably, the deluxe American dunny in question is the one NASA stumped $19m for back in 2007 - another Russian-built device similar to that already on board. This toilet is, however, destined to be housed on American territory - the Node 3 module slated to arrive aloft aboard Endeavour on STS-130 mission, provisionally booked for lift-off on 10 December this year.

It's unlikely, however, that Padalka and his comrades will force astronauts to either go outside for a leak or resort to nappies pending the arrival of a second facility. He said: "Cosmonauts are above the ongoing squabble, no matter what officials decide. We are grown-up, well-educated and good-mannered people and can use our own brains to create normal relationship."

He concluded: "It's politicians and bureaucrats who can't reach agreement, not us cosmonauts and astronauts." ®

Bootnote

* It's possible that this is referring to NASA's extremely expensive and bothersome urine recycling machine. Exact details of who's currently allowed to take a slash where have proved elusive, although a ban on cosmonauts providing the raw material for much-needed drinking water when the ISS crew is expanded to six is, frankly, highly unlikely.

Top three mobile application threats

More from The Register

next story
So, just how do you say 'the mutt's nuts' in French?
Vital linguistic question interrupts LOHAN spaceplane mission
95 floors in 43 SECONDS: Hitachi's new ultra-high-speed lift
Guangzhou skyscraper denizens to hold on to hats
Most Americans doubt Big Bang, not too sure about evolution, climate change – survey
Science no match for religion, politics, business interests
KILLER SPONGES menacing California coastline
Surfers are safe, crustaceans less so
LOHAN and the amazing technicolor spaceplane
Our Vulture 2 livery is wrapped, and it's les noix du mutt
Liftoff! SpaceX Falcon 9 lifts Dragon on third resupply mission to ISS
SpaceX snaps smartly into one-second launch window
STEALTHY NANOROBOTS dress up as viruses, prepare to sneak into YOUR BODY
Cloaking techniques nicked from viruses tackle roadblocks on way to medical frontier
Space station astronauts pop outside to replace crippled computer
Speedy space walk by snorkel-equipped spacemen followed by trash day
prev story

Whitepapers

Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Mainstay ROI - Does application security pay?
In this whitepaper learn how you and your enterprise might benefit from better software security.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.