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Posted: 10/12/2007 6:55:15 AM EST
[Last Edit: 10/12/2007 6:55:43 AM EST by Mister44]
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Russians blast off without space pistol

By Bonnie Malkin and agencies
Last Updated: 11:37am BST 12/10/2007

Russia is sending a cosmonaut into space without a fearsome triple-barrelled "space pistol" for the first time in 20 years, due to a shortage of ammunition.
# Like old times as Putin pulls levers of power
# Vladimir Putin eyes prime minister's job
# Garry Kasparov in Russian presidency bid

Yuri Malenchenko will join colleagues on a flight to the International Space Station (ISS) today, but he will travel without the specially-designed weapon.

Russians blast off without space pistol
The gun has been in service for more than 20 years

Created in 1982 and in service since 1986, the TP-82 pistol was not primarily designed to fend off hostile extra-terrestrials.

Instead it is meant to protect the shuttle's crew if they land in a hostile environment back on earth.

The unique pistol has three barrels which fire hunting rounds as well as rifle bullets and signal flares. Its butt serves as a machete and a spade.

However, the gun's original ammunition has deteriorated so much it is no longer viable and no new bullets are available.

Nevertheless, the cosmonaut will not risk going into space completely unarmed. "Malenchenko will be taking with him a simple pistol," a Russian space official said.

His will not be the only weapon on board the flight. ISS crew commander and US astronaut Peggy Whitson will be wielding a "kamcha" - a traditional Kazakh horse-whip, which a Russian space official advised her to take "as a symbol of a commander's authority on board".

"I do not believe I will have to use it," she said in Russian with a smile yesterday. "Well, let's have it, just in case."

The voyage to the space station blasts off on Wednesday afternoon.

The Russian Soyuz rocket is due to dock with the ISS on Oct 12. Once in space, the astronauts will spend six months in orbit.


Dreams do come true!
Link Posted: 10/12/2007 6:58:11 AM EST
So make another one, for Godsake

Digging the horse whip though.
Link Posted: 10/12/2007 6:58:16 AM EST
Link Posted: 10/12/2007 6:59:07 AM EST
I first heard about Peggy Whitson having a whip aboard a couple of days ago.

On a completely unrelated note, anyone recommend a treatment for priapism?
Link Posted: 10/12/2007 6:59:27 AM EST
Why would you not have a weapon on your person and space station ?
Link Posted: 10/12/2007 7:01:25 AM EST

Originally Posted By vrwc0915:
Why would you not have a weapon on your person and space station ?


Gotta be ready for home space station invasion robberies.
Link Posted: 10/12/2007 7:01:51 AM EST
Wait a freaking minute here. The Ruskis are arming their cosmonauts with "simple pistols" and our guys get a freaking horse whip?

We need to arm our astronauts with a bigger gun just to keep the russians in line.
Link Posted: 10/12/2007 7:04:53 AM EST
In before the “birdshot for space station defense” argument starts.
Link Posted: 10/12/2007 7:05:16 AM EST
So, umm, what's the best round for Cosmonauts? Astronauts? Tikonauts?





-K
Link Posted: 10/12/2007 7:05:56 AM EST
Are US Astronauts unarmed

Surely they have something at least stowed
Link Posted: 10/12/2007 7:06:21 AM EST

Originally Posted By Special-K:
So, umm, what's the best round for Cosmonauts? Astronauts? Tikonauts?





-K


5.7x28mm.
Link Posted: 10/12/2007 7:09:45 AM EST
[Last Edit: 10/12/2007 7:11:06 AM EST by MonkeyGrip]
The main use will be to shoot insubordinate subordinates, or those simply failing to demonstrate adequate (suicidal) devotion to StalinPutin the motherland. Or perhaps shoot themselves upon equipment failure to avoid a more painful space related death.
Link Posted: 10/12/2007 7:13:14 AM EST
Uh - its STUPID to be armed while on the space station or in space.

1) Anyone on your space station is approved to be so. There is no need for self defense - they are there working on common goals.

2) Pretty much any caliber of round (perhaps not a .22) is enough to punch a hole in your capsule or station. WOOOSH - hope you liked your air while you had it.


The Russian gun was a survival aid. Unlike the US program that lands in water, or the shuttle that can glide onto a runway, the Russians land on land. They could be in the wilderness for awhile and need it against wolves. There is also the off chance of landing in one of the ex-russian states and get harassed by anti-russian militias. THAT makes since...
Link Posted: 10/12/2007 7:15:19 AM EST

Instead it is meant to protect the shuttle's crew if they land in a hostile environment back on earth.



How about an AK instead
Link Posted: 10/12/2007 7:33:19 AM EST
Why don't they just give them shotguns ? Something like a short-barreled Mossberg Mariner with a pistol grip.

Link Posted: 10/12/2007 7:37:50 AM EST

Originally Posted By MonkeyGrip:
The main use will be to shoot insubordinate subordinates, or those simply failing to demonstrate adequate (suicidal) devotion to StalinPutin the motherland. Or perhaps shoot themselves upon equipment failure to avoid a more painful space related death.


Well, it is possible that a weapon might have to be used in the case of an astronaut suffering from delirium, dementia or a mental breakdown trying to open an airlock with the intention of depressurizing the entire station and killing everyone on board.

Just because it hasn't happened doesn't mean it can not. Our astronauts occasionally bring a pistol aboard the space shuttle when they have sensitive items on board.
Link Posted: 10/12/2007 7:57:44 AM EST

Originally Posted By Dracster:
There's already a documentary on what to use in outer space. All they need to do is a little research.

img.photobucket.com/albums/v498/dracster/outland_cover.jpg


The movie poster shotgun is wrong, IIRC they were sawed off 1100 Remingtons

Good movie. A remake of Gary Cooper's High Noon.
Link Posted: 10/12/2007 8:13:09 AM EST

ISS crew commander and US astronaut Peggy Whitson will be wielding a "kamcha" - a traditional Kazakh horse-whip, which a Russian space official advised her to take "as a symbol of a commander's authority on board".


Let's just say, what happens on the space station STAYS on the space station.
Link Posted: 10/12/2007 8:45:25 AM EST
If ever there was a reason to revive the GyroJets, here it is! (Sorry, I don't have a picture handy-- just look them up if you don't know what they were.)
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