back to article Fresh shift of 'nauts arrives at Space Station, planning torch jaunt

Astronauts and cosmonauts from Russia and the US had a fuss-free journey to the International Space Station, where they have just arrived for a five-and-a-half-month stint working and living on the hurtling lab. Oleg Kotov, Mike Hopkins and Sergey Ryazanskiy took just under six hours from lift-off from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in …

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Bit of a traffic jam

After making a fix on the software, Cygnus' controllers were asked to delay the next attempt to dock up until after the Soyuz docking had taken place. If they hadn't both of the vehicles would have arrived at the station about the same time.

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Why an unlit torch? Putin can teach geese to fly and wrestle bears all while discovering priceless archaeological artefacts, surely he could have thumbed his nose at physics and chemistry and invented a torch that would burn in space?

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If I remember correctly, even if you have an oxygen source that allows you to start a fire in space, the smoke doesn't go anywhere in zero G and just hangs around the flame and quickly smothers it.

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"the smoke doesn't go anywhere in zero G and just hangs around the flame and quickly smothers it."

And the solution is? Wave the bloody torch!

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"he could have thumbed his nose at physics and chemistry and invented a torch that would burn in space?"

I'm sure that an acetylene-oxygen welding torch would burn in space quite happily, without Mr Putin having to pervert the course of nature...

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A flame burns in a spherical shape, and quickly burns the nearby oxygen.

The original Russian cosmonauts were forced to wave their cigarettes from side to side constantly or they'd go out. They were also forced to drink their vodka from plastic bags. Times were hard.

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Yes, but...

Assuming it's a gas torch like the UK ones were, the exhaust will be blown away by the fresh fuel although this would still make for inferior combustion in an enclosed space.

In space you'd just need an oxygen source to go with it and the momentum of the gasses coming out of the nozzles, combined with the near absence of owt to stop it (unless the cosmonaut decides to peer down it to see if it's lit...) would carry the burning gasses and exhaust away. The hard bit would be maintaining the region of combustion at a high enough temperature and pressure to keep it lit. Maybe an open topped glass enclosure to contain the gasses for long enough to burn them, like a hurricane lamp, would do it.

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Flaming in space

Difficult though it may be, the Russians did manage to set their Mir space station alight using Solid Fuel Oxygen Generators (SFOG). The fire lasted 90 seconds according to official sources at the TsUP (pronounced 'titsup'?); astronaut Jerry Linenger, however, insists the fire burned for around 14 minutes.

Flames icon just because.

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Oh... and on your way in...

can you pick up that package that's sitting on the doorstep.

Ta very much!

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Oh, if only the cosmonaut that waves the torch could then come out as gay - that would be brilliant!!

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I'm not convinced you can mince appropriately in zero-G, especially in a space suit.

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Media-friendly Spacewalk for the 2014's winter Olympic Games

I don't think this will erase the stain of Russias gay bashing.

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IT Angle

The short journey is due to the upgreded flight computer

apparently

The cruchy old one weighed about 90lb (Implemented in discrete TTLski logic) had been doing solid work for about 4 decades but they felt it was time for an upgrade.

Young people. Don't know how lucky they are. We did all with slide rules and log tables blah blah......

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Re: The short journey is due to the upgreded flight computer

Another reason is the retirement of the shuttle. Because the shuttle no longer needs to visit the ISS, the entire station has been boosted to a higher orbit. The transfer used now was not possible with the lower orbit.

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Coat

And THAT....

...is how high the shark needs to be jumped these days.

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