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Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Russian cosmonauts demand space booze

Oh, those wacky Russians:
The tenth permanent crew of the International Space Station (ISS) today suggested space chiefs reconsider the ban on alcohol on the orbiter. "Fifty grams of wine a day like submariners get on a long mission would make working and living on the ISS more comfortable," Russian cosmonaut Salizhan Sharipov said at the Korolyov space control center by Moscow. The amount he proposed is roughly half a wine glass.
The ban on taking alcohol to the station is enforced by NASA but the Russian agency has been known to turn a blind eye to bottles of cognac secreted by cosmonauts for celebratory nips on holidays and birthdays.
They've also been known to turn a blind eye to 55-gallon drums of vodka secreted by cosmonauts for celebratory nips upon waking up, brushing their teeth, performing experiments, eating lunch, floating around, checking the time... For another perspective on what happens when you mix rockets, Russians and rye, we turn the clock back to 1999, when the director of Russia's mission control center was arrested in Florida:
"The man confronted the male paramedic and then kicked a female paramedic in the abdomen, knocking her through the ambulance door and to the pavement, the arrest report said. Neither medical worker was seriously hurt, said Orlando Domingez, spokesman for Fire Rescue agency. The arrest report indicated that alcohol may have been a factor in the incident. Sources said Lobachev's blood-alcohol was 0.268 percent, more than three times the legal limit for alcohol impairment."

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