Top 10 Interesting Facts About The International Space Station

The Toilet Astronauts Use Is Dependent On Their Nationality

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In the early years of the International Space Station, astronauts and cosmonauts shared equipment, facilities, food, and even toilets. This started to change around 2003, after Russia started requiring other nations to pay for their astronauts’ use of Russian equipment and facilities. The affected nations started billing Russia for their hardware used by the Russians.

Things became more complicated in 2005, when Russia started charging NASA to transport US astronauts to the ISS. In return, the US banned cosmonauts from using US facilities and equipment, including toilets.Patriotism is of utmost importance here. Be proud of your nation’s toilet.

Russia Might Kill The Program

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Russia does not have the power to directly ban the US or any other nation from the International Space Station. However, Russia could indirectly ban the US from the ISS.

As we already mentioned, the US needs Russia to get astronauts to the ISS. In 2014, Dmitry Rogozin hinted that Russia intends to expend the money and resources it spent on its space program on other projects starting in 2020.This is even though the US wanted to continue sending astronauts to the ISS until 2024.

If Russia really does reduce or even suspend its space program by 2020, it could limit or even stop US astronauts from accessing the ISS. Rogozin added that Russia could go to the ISS without the US, but the US could not go without Russia.

NASA is already working with commercial space companies to transport and retrieve US astronauts from the ISS should Russia do anything funny. In the meantime, NASA could also get that trampoline Dmitry mentioned.

There Are Weapons On Board

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There are typically one or two guns on the ISS. They belong to the cosmonauts but are kept in a survival kit that is accessible to everyone. Each gun has three barrels and is capable of shooting flares, rifle rounds, or shotgun rounds. They also feature fold-out devices that can double as shovels or a machetes.

It is unclear why cosmonauts keep this multipurpose gun on board the ISS. However, we know that in 1965, some cosmonauts returning from space ended up beset by aggressive bears that apparently just wanted a taste of space-baked humans. The weapon could be intended for such purposes.Or it could be intended for unwelcome aliens that attack the ISS.

Chinese Astronauts Cannot Visit The ISS

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Chinese astronauts cannot visit the ISS because the United States does not want them there. The ban came in 2011, when the US Congress banned any collaboration between the US and Chinese space programs.The ban was enforced over fears that the Chinese space program has undisclosed military uses. The US does not want to indirectly aid the Chinese military and technology by directly supporting its space program.

According to Time, this is a bad idea. The US government needs to understand that banning China from the ISS or stopping any collaboration between the US and Chinese space programs will not stop China from continuing its own space program. China has sent astronauts to space and a robot to the Moon. It also has plans for a new space station of its own. China is even planning on sending a rover to Mars.

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