Today I added a new Category, called “Space, Science and Technology”. In order to cover these important topics in the Russian press. Tomorrow, if all goes as planned, I will have something for you on 3-D printers. But for today, I want to report on the latest news from the International Space Station.
I’ll start with the English-language version of the story from Yahoo.
This starts off like a joke:
No, actually, the 3 astro/cosmonauts flew blissfully for 6 hours, but then were forced to execute a manual docking procedure once they arrived at the space station. This happened yesterday.
Next we move on to the Russian press, where conspiracy theories abound. ‘Tis a terrible world we live in, relations between the U.S. and Russia are so awfully cocked up right now, that nobody even trusts anybody any more. Russians believe that Americans are capable of just about any perfidy against them; and they are probably right. Hence, there was speculation in Russian media, including reputable media like TASS, that the American cargo space craft Cygnus had deliberately issued a radio signal, which screwed up the Soyuz communications, and forced the pilots to fall back on manual docking procedures.
Don’t Worry, Be Happy
VZGLIAD interviewed Space Scientist Alexander Zheleznyakov, who debunked the various conspiracy theories. The ground-manager of the Russian side of the Space Station, Cosmonaut Vladimir Soloviev, also dismissed the notion of American sabotage as “complete nonsense”. Soloviev also pointed out that the Soyuz made it almost all the way to the station on auto-pilot before having to switch to manual. He said the reasons for the technical glitch are still being investigated. One theory is that there was “insufficient traction” (недобор тяги), in particular of the motors which drive orientation and docking.
Don’t Stop Me Now!
Whatever the causes of the technical glitch, thank goodness that everybody is okay.
English media reported that, while waiting to blast off on their interesting mission, the astro/cosmonauts listened to Queen’s “Don’t Stop Me Now!” blasting over the sound system of the Soyuz. And indeed, nothing was going to stop these brave pilots from reaching the space station, even if they had to roll up the sleeves of their spacesuits and dock it by hand, using ropes and duct tape!