Space: January 28, 2003


NASA has a problem with the International Space Station. Well, another problem. Having decided to use a Soyuz capsule as a lifeboat for the permanent three-man crew, the problem is getting one. Russia is obliged to provide one until 2006 but after that, NASA was supposed to buy a new one from Russia every few years to keep a "fresh" capsule on station. But NASA is prohibited from buying things from Russia until the Russians stop helping Iran develop missiles and weapons of mass destruction, something that won't happen. Congress will have to give NASA a special exception, or pay NASA to invent a new kind of lifeboat.--Stephen V Cole


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