Russian cosmonauts Oleg Skripochka and Alexander Kaleri, along with NASA astronaut Scott Kelly, blasted off last night from Kazakhstan's Baikonur Cosmodrome ahead of a five-month stay aboard the International Space Station. The Soyuz launches from Baikonur Cosmodrome. Pic: NASA Their Soyuz TMA-01M spacecraft lifted off at 23:10 …
Lester, I'm disappointed...
No mention or headline pun about Anna Chapman being there to watch the launch?
"Hot Russian Spy Enjoys Three Astronauts"
But it wouldn't be quite correct, given two are cosmonauts, and only one an astronaut.
Cosmonaut apparently means space sailor, and astronaut means star sailor. Until they, as Ali G once asked Buzz Aldrin, they land on the sun, the Russian terminology seems more accurate.
Personally I favour the Chinese version - "hángtiānyuán" meaning (according to Wiki anyway) "sailing personnel in sky".
Didn't make the grade?
What happened to poor Robonaut 1? Did he fail the training? Screw the pooch? One too many low-passes over the admirals daughter? Run out of chewing gum?
I think we should be told. Get off your yellow journalistic butts and find out!
Maybe a silly question
For many years now there have been female astronauts.
I have oft wondered, what with all the experiments concerning weightlessness.
Have there been any experiments performed whereby two astronauts perform astronaughties in space. Purely to check how sperms perform under weightless conditions of course, only for science.
Re: Maybe a silly question
You know men can have sex with men too.
But I don't want to ruin your fantasy.
Yes, men can indeed have sex with men. However, to really check to see if procreation is possible in weightlessness it really would be necessary for the sperm to be placed in a non-hostile environment. There it can be seen if they (sperms) perform, deform or otherwise get buggered up (oops) by the weightless environment. So, the requirement is to have male to female sex in this environment and after some time to extract some sperm and test it/look at it.
I'm sure that scientists have seen many samples of sperm produced in a weightless environment, it is pretty easy to produce of course, but does it still work properly when placed in a female, that's the research.
i have two questions
1) do the americans have to learn russian or do the russians have to learn english?
2) procreation in space is actually quite important until somebody figures out a better propulsion system, i mean, if we're going to go out and look around somewhere interesting, a planet with air for example, then people are going to need to reproduce along the way since it's going to take more than one life time to get there.
Weather or not men are able to have sex in zero g or not is not important, since they wont be reproducing and i bet you any money you like that a man will have had a wank in space already, but has anyone actually dipped their pen in the company ink so to speak?
"1) do the americans have to learn russian or do the russians have to learn english?"
In answer, a question: If a person who knows two languages is bi-lingual, and a person who knows three languages is tri-lingual, what do you call a person who only knows one language? Answer below ... 
"Weather or not men are able to have sex"
Speaking as one of said troglodytes, men are nearly always able to have sex (barring medical/physical issues). Funny thing is, so are women. Maybe we evolved together, and aren't as dissimilar as society would have the masses believe?
As a side-note, that's an appalling spell of wether ...
 Answer: an American. Note CAPS.
 Yes, I know, it's "whether" ... I have around 1700 head of sheep and several dozen goats, and thought it funny in this context. So shoot me ;-)
*Thank you* for your continuing coverage about the ISS, El Reg
I may love to joke and scorn about some of the news, here, but this is something I don't play around about: I heart space business, even in the government-sponsored continuing tradition of the same that keeps it all alive when everyone else is obsessing about Lady Gaga's latest Kielbasa accessory.
If the good people of the free market keep up at it, maybe we'll start to see some actual private-enterprise manned ventures beyond the lowest reaches of the great blue. Tipping the hat to the folks who have been in this for decades, though - good fare.
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