WhiteBoardness 10/30/95 - Russians & Rockets
Date: Tue, 31 Oct 95 12:07:55 -0800
From: Peter Langston <psl>
Subject: WhiteBoardness 10/30/95 - Russians & Rockets
Excerpted-from: WhiteBoard News for October 30, 1995
Two Russian cosmonauts, who last year refused orders from ground control to
do a spacewalk, are being fined, the first such disciplinary action in the
history of Russian space exploration, the Moscow newspaper Komsomolskaya
Pravda reported Saturday.
Vladimir Deshurov and Gennadi Strekalov felt that after five of the
strenuous and dangerous spacewalks, they had done enough. The two were the
18th crew of the space station Mir. They returned to Earth last summer.
Because they refused an unplanned sixth spacewalk to fix a U.S. module
bolted onto the station, $4,500 of each man's $30,000 bonus will be docked,
the paper said.
Strekalov replied that the spacewalk was unnecessary and resisted pleading
and badgering from the ground. His wife was brought to mission control to
speak to him, but he would not listen to her, either.
A U.S. astronaut, Norman Thagard, was also on the Mir during the 115-day
Whiteman Air Force Base, Missouri:
It was a Russian's Cold War dream. Pavel Grachev triggered an explosive
charge Friday, destroying a U.S. missile site that once housed a rocket
ready to deliver a nuclear payload to his country.
"The first foreigner to blow up a U.S. missile silo is the minister of
defense of Russia; how about that?" said an obviously elated Grachev as a
cloud of gray smoke billowed from the earth a quarter-mile away.
Defense Secretary William Perry also participated in what he called "an act
of great symbolic significance."
The two men were in a festive mood, and for good reason. The silo in the
cornfield about 65 miles from Kansas City once held a Minuteman II missile,
its single nuclear warhead aimed at the Soviet Union.
All of the 150 ICBMs in the Whiteman area have been removed, and with
Friday's blast, 18 of the silos have been destroyed. Eventually they all
will be filled and covered. Each missile site occupied an acre, most of
them in the middle of fields where local farmers grew crops.
© 1995 Peter Langston