Space Station Crew Can Access Gun

Space Station Crew Can Access Gun

This is a discussion on Space Station Crew Can Access Gun within the Off Topic & Humor Discussion forums, part of the The Back Porch category; Space Station Crew Can Access Gun - Orlando News Story - WESH Orlando CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. -- Astronauts aboard the International Space Station apparently have ...

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  1. #1
    VIP Member Array JonInNY's Avatar
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    Space Station Crew Can Access Gun

    Space Station Crew Can Access Gun - Orlando News Story - WESH Orlando

    CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. -- Astronauts aboard the International Space Station apparently have access to a gun.

    Russian Cosmonauts carry a gun on their Soyuz space capsule, which is attached to the space station.

    Every spacecraft carries survival gear for crash landings, and the Russian Soyuz has a kit that includes the gun.

    But although the gun has been there for as long as the space station has been in orbit, its existence is kept quiet. NASA and Russian officials won't talk publicly about it.

    Former NASA engineer Jim Oberg, who is an author and journalist, wrote about the gun on his Web site. He said the gun has no place in an environment where people are under such high stress.

    "There have been cases of severe psychological strain on people in space, strain that they have taken out -- that their shipmates worried about the ultimate actions," Oberg said.

    Experts said the idea of an astronaut losing control was unthinkable until one year ago, when Lisa Nowak shattered the myth.

    Her own attorney said she was insane when arrested for hunting down another woman, and prosecutors said she was heavily armed.

    Nowak had flown in space just seven months earlier.

    Oberg knows an astronaut bent on orbital manslaughter could simply throw any number of switches to do the job, but he said the crews would be safer if the gun was locked up or left on Earth.

    The gun is located in a survival kit between some seats aboard the Soyuz spacecraft. All the crewmembers know about it, and U.S. astronauts who fly aboard the Soyuz are trained to use it.
    "Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch; Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote."
    -- Benjamin Franklin


  2. #2
    Member Array Wolf357's Avatar
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    Yes, I think the single firearm being within reach of anyone who might snap is a bad idea.

    To logically eliminate this potential problem, every astronaut should be issued a firearm to prevent a Virginia Tech incident from occurring on a shuttle, or the station... Also, who knows what man might encounter as they venture further out into space.
    And Jesus said, "If you don't have a sword, sell your cloak and buy one." (Luke 22:36)

    I am a peaceful man. But I am not a pacifist.

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    Senior Member Array cmidkiff's Avatar
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    I would guess that they are quite unlikely to be attacked... Klingon's having not made it to this quadrant yet...

    Not that I mind that there's a gun up there, but what, exactly, is their reasoning? Target shooting in nul gravity (wouldn't that be fun!)? Space alien attack? Shooting down an enemy missile aimed at the station? The only thing I can think of would be as a tool for euthanasia, and I would imagine that there are far better tools available, should such a thing be called for. I guess just the general 'you never know' type of a notion... leave it to the Russians :)

    Quote Originally Posted by Sean Connery
    ...be careful what you shoot at. Most things in here don't react too well to bullets.
    Liberty is an inherently offensive lifestyle. Living in a free society guarantees that each one of us will see our most cherished principles and beliefs questioned and in some cases mocked. It's worth it.

  4. #4
    VIP Member Array matiki's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wolf357 View Post
    Yes, I think the single firearm being within reach of anyone who might snap is a bad idea.

    To logically eliminate this potential problem, every astronaut should be issued a firearm to prevent a Virginia Tech incident from occurring on a shuttle, or the station... Also, who knows what man might encounter as they venture further out into space.



    Has anyone read "The Right Stuff" by Tom Wolfe? It gives you a good idea of how NASA treats astronauts. They're machines, or animals, depending on how you look at. As the blogger demonstrates, they don't trust the astronauts, even after the ridiculous amount of testing they go through.

    Quote Originally Posted by cmidkiff View Post
    I would guess that they are quite unlikely to be attacked... Klingon's having not made it to this quadrant yet...

    Not that I mind that there's a gun up there, but what, exactly, is their reasoning? Target shooting in nul gravity (wouldn't that be fun!)? Space alien attack? Shooting down an enemy missile aimed at the station? The only thing I can think of would be as a tool for euthanasia, and I would imagine that there are far better tools available, should such a thing be called for. I guess just the general 'you never know' type of a notion... leave it to the Russians :)
    Re-read the article. It's there for emergency escapes, it's in the Soyuz space capsule, which they would use for an emergency. If they crash land they could be in hostile territory (i.e., Iraq, Iran).
    "Wise people learn when they can; fools learn when they must." - The Duke of Wellington

  5. #5
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    Well the Soyuz is made to land on land not the sea like the old Apollo's were.

    If the have to abandon ship I imagine they will head to whatever landmass they can reach safely, some landmasses might not be friendly.
    “You can sway a thousand men by appealing to their prejudices quicker than you can convince one man by logic.”

    ― Robert A. Heinlein,

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    Senior Member Array Musketeer's Avatar
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    The gun is there for use on Earth after an unplanned landing somewhere that may be hostile.

    Sorry but I see no problem with it being there, although it is unneeded. One handgun isn't going to make any difference is Soyuz lands in Sudan, Iran or any other nasty place. It is completely useless on board. Things that punch holes in the walls are NOT welcome in space.

    Much ado about nothing.

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    Distinguished Member Array C9H13NO3's Avatar
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    Great, now the anti-defense campaigners are going to try to make outer space a gun free zone too. How do you post that one?
    -Ryan

    All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.

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    Member Array Tye_Defender's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Musketeer View Post
    The gun is there for use on Earth after an unplanned landing somewhere that may be hostile.

    Sorry but I see no problem with it being there, although it is unneeded. One handgun isn't going to make any difference is Soyuz lands in Sudan, Iran or any other nasty place. It is completely useless on board. Things that punch holes in the walls are NOT welcome in space.
    I think we are forgetting that guns have other uses then defending oneself against the bad guy. If there was an emergency and the crew managed to bail out of the ISS and land safely, it would be very embarrassing for them to be eaten by a bear!

    Oh, and if we don't trust them with a gun, why do we trust them with the capsule. If I do the math correctly, that capsule without it's parachute would do more damage then any non-nuclear bomb we have in the US arsenal.

  9. #9
    VIP Member Array MitchellCT's Avatar
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    Of course they have a gun on the space station.

    The Borg adapt to quickly to phaser fire and other energy weapons, so it makes sense that projectile weapons are available.

  10. #10
    Distinguished Member Array C9H13NO3's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MitchellCT View Post
    Of course they have a gun on the space station.

    The Borg adapt to quickly to phaser fire and other energy weapons, so it makes sense that projectile weapons are available.
    Gun or no gun, resistance is futile.

    Now I feel like a dork for saying that...
    -Ryan

    All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.

  11. #11
    Distinguished Member Array morintp's Avatar
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    I know this is for use on Earth, but it got me thinking a bit. How exactly would firing a gun work in space with all the laws of motion? Here on earth, when you fire a gun, you usually have contact with the ground and your stance/grip accounts for the "equal and opposite" force the bullet requires to leave the barrel.

    In space, if you were just floating, and fired, I'd expect you to at least do some cartwheels or backflips. But possibly even fly backwards from the force. Now, provided you do have some sort of support to fire the gun from. In this case, if the bullet leaves the gun at an equivalent velocity to earth, wouldn't it fly forever until it encountered an object or gravity?

  12. #12
    Senior Member Array stanislaskasava's Avatar
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    This thread is cracking me up. It reminds me of too many bad space movies. Those dramas where one of the crew can't take the pressure.

    OOOH! They have A GUN IN SPACE! Boogity boogity.

  13. #13
    Ex Member Array Ram Rod's Avatar
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    I would guess that they are quite unlikely to be attacked... Klingon's having not made it to this quadrant yet...

    But my question is------will the pistol even fire in the weightless environment?? What kind of effect would it have if it did?

  14. #14
    Member Array aepilotjim's Avatar
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    The gun will fire. The bullet will fly. Of course with no gravity, your sights will be off. Remember the sights are set for an arc that the bullet would fly here on earth. And, thanks to Newton, you'll fly the opposite direction as well. You're rate of motion will be a function of you mass, just like the bullet. Ain't physics fun!

    As for having a gun on board the station. One cosmonaut admitted, after the fire onboard the MIR, that he was suicidal to the point that he'd decided to do it. He went to bed and when he woke, he felt better enough to talk to the others on board. If I remember the American on board that rotation said he completely agreed with the man. Stress up there can be unbelievably intense. It's in many ways worse than being in a submarine, in that way.

    With that said, the gun is there for survival after the crew have bugged out in the soyuze capsule. That means defense and food. It has a purpose and shouldn't be removed because some paranoid on the ground that couldn't qualify for the program thinks "guns are bad, mmmkay".

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    They need an Air Marshall on board too. Does TSA check their driver's license and shoes before launch?

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