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Cold War Standoff over ISS Toilet

pickens (49171) writes | more than 5 years ago

NASA 0

Hugh Pickens writes "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.""

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