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Russia Bailing On The ISS

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ISSSix weeks after NASA announced that it would be cutting ties with Russia, except for their collaboration on the ISS, Russia has gone a step further, saying that it plans to stop participating in the ISS after 2020.

Dmitry Rogozin, Russia’s Deputy Prime Minister, said that Russia will use its resources to focus on other projects. In the statement, he said, “We are very concerned about continuing to develop high-tech projects with such an unreliable partner as the United States, which politicises everything.” He also mentioned “inappropriate” sanctions, including plans to deny the export of high-tech equipment to Russia. In turn, Russia says that while it is ready to deliver engines used to build widely-used Atlas V rockets, it will only do so on the “condition that they will not be used to launch military satellites.” Um…

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Soviet Space Stamps And Postcards Might Convince Me To Actually Write A Letter

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Soviet2I never really got the appeal of collecting stamps. I’m not saying the hobby doesn’t have an appeal, mind you, merely that it doesn’t appeal to me. But hey, I say that as a guy with a half dozen longboxes of comics I’ll probably never look at again packed into a storage unit, so who am I to judge? Still, if anything were going to woo me into the field of philately, these vintage Soviet stamps honoring Russia’s space program might be just the thing.

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Russia Plans To Send Probe To Ganymede

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ganymedeJupiter is set to give Mars and Saturn a run for their money when it comes to being the most talked-about planet in the coming years. The news that Jupiter’s moon Europa contains water vapor plumes helped solidify the Solar System’s biggest planet as a particularly important exploration target, especially when it comes to the search for life. A number of missions, including Juno, which is scheduled to arrive in 2016, have Jupiter in their sights, including the ESA’s JUICE (JUpiter ICy moon Explorer) probe, which is due to launch in 2022. Now it seems that Russia will join the fun, presumably by linking up with the JUICE mission by sending a probe to explore Jupiter’s moon Ganymede.

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Divers Haul Remnants Of Meteorite Out Of Russian Lake

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meteoriteDredging the Costa Concordia from the depths into which it sank has made major news lately, but I think this deep-sea discovery is even more noteworthy and far less sad. Divers hauled up a 1,255-pound, five-foot-long meteorite from Lake Chebarkul in Russia. They won’t scale it and cook it for dinner, but that’s still one hell of a fishing trip.

You might remember reading and seeing videos (such as the one below) last February when a huge meteor barreled into the atmosphere and set off shockwaves that injured over a thousand residents and caused significant damage to buildings in Chelyabinsk, Russia. Ever wonder what happened to that meteor? Wonder no more.

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First Female In Space Volunteers For One-Way Mars Mission

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valJune 16, 2013 will mark the 50th anniversary of the launch of the Russian Vostok 6 mission, which was the first time a female cosmonaut had been sent into space. That cosmonaut’s name is Valentina Tereshkova, and even at 76 years of age, her desire for adventure has yet to die down.

While speaking at a pre-celebration for the anniversary, Tereshkova made it clear that she was ready to go to Mars, even if it meant never coming back. You guys migth recall the overwhelming response to the one-way ticket to Mars volunteer program. I’m not positive, but I’m pretty sure Tereshkova pulls rank over anyone else in this situation.

“Of course, it’s a dream to go to Mars and find out whether there was life there or not,” she said. “If there was, then why did it die out? What sort of catastrophe happened?”

Seemingly without a sense of irony, Tereshkova decried space travel as a luxury instead of a privilege, saying that “only specialists should be making space flights because, while there have been a lot of flights and more than 50 astronauts, there is still a lot that hasn’t been studied.” But of course, if they can “bring some use working aboard a spaceship,” then she’s all for it. I guess the last 30 years of reverence diluted her memory of being a civilian parachutist before being chosen for the three-day orbit.

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The Walking Ostrich Robot: Russia’s Gift To The World

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Not every robot in the world needs to be sleek, shiny, and full of gun turrets in order to be badass. Sometimes the goofiest-looking bots are the most impressive, due to the ideas and craftsmanship involved. And, of course, goofy robots have far less of a chance of destroying humanity, so it’s pretty easy to hop on their bandwagon.

Nothing is hopping in the video below, but there is some walking involved. Four Russian robo-thusiasts who call themselves Konstantin Ivanov created a walking ostrich robot using only $1,500 worth of wood, electronics, and ingenuity. Presumably vodka was also in the mix, guiding their decision to model the robot after an ostrich, instead of one of nature’s more vicious birds, like the peacock or titmouse. I make fun, but this huge chunk of mobility is quite a sight, and I’d be honored to own one as a pet.