Witty people say that any post title which consists of a Yes/No question should always be answered with a very strong NO!
However, being an Optimist, I do have these two pieces from VZGLIAD on the theme of Russo-Pindo space cooperation: This one and this one. I shall start with the first piece, which is uglier, as it involves some gross sludge in space. The reporter is Anton Kass. Apparently, at the Russian segment of the International Space Station (ISS), there has been some kind of problem with the water. When it became undrinkable, the cosmonauts had to beg their American colleagues for clean water to drink. And the Americans were very nice people and gave them some water.
The problem appeared in the hot-water tap, some kind of gross yellow sludge suddenly appeared; one recoils in horror to even guess what it might be. The cosmonauts were told to use American water for drinking; but for technical needs they could still use the sludgy water after putting it through some type of treatment.
There is speculation that the water tanks in the Cargo Spacecraft Progress MS-07 might have become contaminated with something. Either that, or there is some problem with the water heater on the Russian segment of the ISS.
Like I said, it was very nice of the American astronauts to allow their Russian colleagues to borrow their drinking water. Here’s the thing, though: American astronauts drink water recycled from their own urine. The Russians are experimenting with this disgusting idea in their own “Dawn” module, but aren’t quite there yet. Up until now, the Russians didn’t recycle their urine, like typical slobs they simply tossed it out the porthole into space. I’m just kidding, they would pack their urine into the Progress Spacecraft Cargo Bay and send it back to Planet Earth. Then the Progress would either burn up in the atmosphere (desirable), or splash down into the Pacific Ocean (to the horror of the local marine life).
Oh wait, I just noticed the addendum at the last paragraph: Russian scientists finally figured out what this yellow sludge is. It turns out to be обычная накипь which translates into English as “conventional scum”. Well, thank goodness it wasn’t UN-conventional scum! One has no time for that sort of scum.
Moving On To A Happier Theme….
Namely, Cosmonaut Summer Fashions!
This piece is by Olga Nikitina, and naturally the VZGLIAD fashion writer should be a woman. Everybody knows that Valentina Tereshkova’s main concern when launching off as the first woman ever into outer space was: “Does this spacesuit make me look fat?”
Nikitina’s piece is not just fluff, though, there is a sinister political undercurrent. The lede is that the Americans insist (so typical of Americans) that the Russians must adhere (also typical of American bullying tactics) to international fashion standards. The Russians must give up their traditional spacesuits in favor of the American models.
Russians have traditionally worn a type of spacesuit called an “Orlan” when executing spacewalks outside the module. Now the Americans are building a station called the Lunar Orbital Platform Gateway, and they want everybody spacewalking in the same costumes, American-made. No doubt this is at the insistence of some crazed Broadway producer who expects the spacewalking astronauts to perform an inter-galactic show number for the cameras. Why else would they all need to be dressed the same?
Nikitina’s source dished to her that the Americans also expect the Russians to build their Lunar Gateway Module precisely according to American engineering standards. The Russians have to do everything like the Americans want. For the Americans, everything is either my way, or the highway.
The Russians are balking (“Hey, didn’t we invent space travel?”), and there is a huge cat-fight going on, like between two major fashion moguls. A couple of months ago, Russia proposed using their famous Orlan spacesuit as the prototype for the next-gen model, which they have named Orlan-MKS. Russkies feel that the Orlan-based spacesuit will not only be functional on the Moon, but will look quite classy up there; whether one is standing on a parched rock, or climbing down a burned-out crater. However, the Americans have a counter-argument, claiming that their next-gen model will look more fabulous in the synchronized space-walking production number. I have not been able to find a picture, though, so the supposedly stunning Pindos spacesuit might just be vaporware, for all we know…