Slashdot | Cold War Standoff Over ISS Toilet

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Paul D. Fernhout

Mar 31, 2009, 7:57:55 PM3/31/09
to OpenVirgle
"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.'"

Just thought this was an interesting story about governance and space

--Paul Fernhout

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