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[P]
Sexual Harassment in Space?

By xah in News
Sun Apr 23, 2000 at 04:02:57 AM EST
Tags: Culture (all tags)
Culture

As space shuttle Atlantis prepares to launch for its mission of boosting the International Space Station to a higher orbit, more old fashioned problems haunt the ISS, the most complicated international scientific challenge ever attempted. During a simulation of the psychological effects of prolonged confinement in a space craft, a male Russian cosmonaut forcibly planted his lips on the lips of a female French-Canadian scientist during the drunken revelry of a New Year's Eve party.


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She was the only woman in a crew of eight and felt quite intimidated by the macho Russians, their attitudes towards her, and their pornography. Apparently the Russian directors of the experiment paid her concerns little heed until NASA intervened. There is a serious issue here. What if sexual harassment or perhaps a more serious crime were committed on a space station? How can the law or our societal norms be enforced on such a remote outpost? Should Earth law apply to space?

But only technological problems await the crew of Atlantis. During the last visit of the ISS, the astronauts displayed symptoms of irritation that couldn't be explained by Space Adaptation Syndrome. Scientists concluded that fumes from the Russian-manufactured Zarya module might be responsible for an increased carbon dioxide presence. NASA seems to have this problem in hand. The astronauts' first project once aboard the SST is to test and improve the air quality.

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o Atlantis
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o forcibly planted his lips
o Space Adaptation Syndrome
o an increased carbon dioxide presence
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Sexual Harassment in Space? | 26 comments (26 topical, editorial, 0 hidden)
I think this should produce some in... (3.00 / 8) (#5)
by jetpack on Sun Apr 23, 2000 at 12:42:03 AM EST

jetpack voted 1 on this story.

I think this should produce some interesting discussion, so I'm voting "yay, verily"

But for chrisake, dont tell Jon Katz about this. I'm sure he'll poor hot grits down his pants and call it some kinda revolution or something.
--
/* The beatings will continue until morale improves */

This is an important story, and an ... (1.75 / 4) (#6)
by Geon on Sun Apr 23, 2000 at 12:48:19 AM EST

Geon voted 1 on this story.

This is an important story, and an interesting one.

Speaking as an aerospace engineer, ... (3.70 / 9) (#3)
by Ozymandias on Sun Apr 23, 2000 at 01:36:34 AM EST

Ozymandias voted 1 on this story.

Speaking as an aerospace engineer, NASA doesn't know dick about space or engineering. We might laugh at Russia's government and economic problems, but there is one undeniable fact; NASA lost the space race. Which is why I and so many of my colleagues are now in other fields. As for the kiss; sure, there's a problem. When you have a small group of people, highly trained or no, mixed sexes or no, there's only one way to go - rigid chain of command, with military-style rules of conduct. Better to have an all-male or all-female crew, but regardless, you can't control a small group by committee. The cosmonaut should be punished, certainly. Not by the rules of the ground crew; by the rules of conduct established for the mission by the commanding officer. The CO is the one who planted the kiss? Then he shouldn't have been the CO. You can't run it from the ground, either. There's nothing new here, from the human perspective. The human race has explored from day one, in steadily more ambitious groups and vehicles. And one thing has not changed since Columbus; the man on the scene is the only one who knows the score. You can't control from the ground, or the mission will fail. Something the Russians used to know and NASA never learned.
- Ozymandias

Re: Speaking as an aerospace engineer, ... (none / 0) (#13)
by xah on Sun Apr 23, 2000 at 03:18:13 PM EST

The US didn't lose the space race to the Russians. Look whose flag is planted on the moon. Mir was a big advance that America couldn't equal, but with the ISS, the Russians are playing only a minor part. Besides, American companies have hired away many of their good engineers now.

A second point. With the advent of space tourism in a few decades, the military command and control structure will have to be altered for such missions.

[ Parent ]

Re: Speaking as an aerospace engineer, ... (none / 0) (#14)
by Commienst on Sun Apr 23, 2000 at 03:44:28 PM EST

Whats a bigger achievement landing a man on the moon and have him walk around that desolute rock for a few hours, or having a space station up with cosmonauts in it for over 14 years? In my opinion it is no contest Mir is a bigger achievement in my opinion. From a scientific standpoint the experiments done on Mir garnered more knowledge about space than most things the Americans ever did.

[ Parent ]
Re: Speaking as an aerospace engineer, ... (none / 0) (#24)
by CodeWright on Mon Apr 24, 2000 at 07:52:44 PM EST

Actually, the value of Mir was less benefit to "science" and more benefit to "engineering".

There is no doubt that "good science" was achieved through the Apollo moon landings, even though they were primarily a PR maneuver.

However, the accomplishment of Mir lies in its foundation as the arcstone of orbital infrastructure development. Mir wasn't even the first station that the Russians orbited -- several Salyut stations preceded it.

Although the dedicated scientists and engineers at NASA have managed to do good work IN SPITE of NASA, the Russian space program was able to establish a broad base of engineering "know-how" through incremental development of their launch capability -- unfortunately for the dedicated men and women of the Russian space program, communism is a pipe dream and couldn't continue to provide the capital resources required for further space development.



--
A: Because it destroys the flow of conversation.
Q: Why is top posting dumb? --clover_kicker

[ Parent ]
Re: Speaking as an aerospace engineer, ... (none / 0) (#26)
by Ozymandias on Fri Apr 28, 2000 at 01:55:43 PM EST

Wrong, wrong, wrong.

The US planted a flag on the Moon over thirty years ago. Today, high NASA officials have testified that the US couldn't get back to the Moon in less than 15 years. Our entire fleet consists of one class of vehicle, the Space Shuttle, that was designed and built in the 70s. They're heavy, expensive, complex, easy-to-break pieces of shit. Meanwhile the ISS is a worthless project; it might at one time have provided some benefit, but it's crap now. And NASA is trying to force Russia to throw away Mir. Think about it - habitable volume Up There has to be the single most valuable commodity in existence, and NASA wants to throw it away. What's that tell you?
- Ozymandias
[ Parent ]

We don't need "Earth law" in space ... (2.50 / 4) (#2)
by Velian on Sun Apr 23, 2000 at 02:08:53 AM EST

Velian voted 0 on this story.

We don't need "Earth law" in space until there's more than 10 known living beings in the entire universe, besides on Earth.

Re: We don't need "Earth law" in space ... (none / 0) (#7)
by xah on Sun Apr 23, 2000 at 01:03:45 PM EST

Why ten? Why not eight?

[ Parent ]
Re: We don't need "Earth law" in space ... (2.00 / 1) (#8)
by Velian on Sun Apr 23, 2000 at 02:05:37 PM EST

Because I don't know exactly how many people we've ever had in space at any given time. heh!

[ Parent ]
Re: We don't need "Earth law" in space ... (1.00 / 1) (#10)
by xah on Sun Apr 23, 2000 at 02:41:26 PM EST

That's a good question. I bet it would be 10-12. Whatever the Mir crew + 1 space shuttle crew would sum to.

[ Parent ]
Re: We don't need "Earth law" in space ... (none / 0) (#21)
by Velian on Sun Apr 23, 2000 at 11:10:56 PM EST

I think that's 10.

[ Parent ]
Why should our cultural values take... (3.00 / 5) (#1)
by FlinkDelDinky on Sun Apr 23, 2000 at 02:26:09 AM EST

FlinkDelDinky voted 1 on this story.

Why should our cultural values take a higher position than theirs? We value men and women a certian way, they value men and women a certian way.

If we don't like the way our personel are treated by them then we should take our personel, capital, and ambitions else where.

We aren't the same, Americans and Russians, men and women. Male/Female relationships are complicated things. No two societies will deal with it the same way.

That's okay as long as we realize that we don't have to work with them. You know, nature has provided a solution for measuring the relative value between systems , it's called natural selection. Let the best woman win :-).

Re: Why should our cultural values take... (none / 0) (#16)
by Commienst on Sun Apr 23, 2000 at 04:38:15 PM EST

We do need the Russians. We need their soyuz and zenit rockets to help get parts of the space station up and to return home.

The Americans are fools for using the Space Shuttle System the thing cost more to launch than a rocker, what a blunder they made. The Zenit or Soyuz can launch and have its vehicle dock with the space station and the astronauts can make a round trip with one launch. With the American shuttle they need to make 2 more expensive launches because the shuttle can not stay up and dock with the station so it needs to make another trip to bring the crew back home.

[ Parent ]

Re: Why should our cultural values take... (none / 0) (#17)
by FlinkDelDinky on Sun Apr 23, 2000 at 05:17:09 PM EST

We need their soyuz and zenit rockets to help get parts of the space station up and to return home.

No, we don't need the Russian's rockets. Rather, we would like to profit from the cost savings of using cheaper launch vehicles.

If NASA felt like it (i.e. congress gives them orders and funds) we'd have nice cheap launch systems.

Don't the Europeans have a good cheap launch system? Don't they launch out of Africa or something? I think France runs it.

The Russians have some great accomplishments in space. There's no doubt about that. But they're a bit player now. Mir was cool, to bad the Russians couldn't afford to do much with it except make people stay in it for a really long time.

[ Parent ]

China is the 3rd space power not France (none / 0) (#19)
by Commienst on Sun Apr 23, 2000 at 07:58:03 PM EST

No the European Space Agency just pays Nasa or the Russian Space Agency to launch what ever they need for them. The only two countries that have the technology and resources to launch stuff into space right are Russia and the United States.

I remeber reading that China launched and retrieved an unmanned space craft in this slashdot article. This /. article talks about China planning on launching a manned mission but that never materialized. My guess is China would be the third space power sometime soon (what with all the secrets they stole from the US).

[ Parent ]

Re: China is the 3rd space power not France (none / 0) (#20)
by FlinkDelDinky on Sun Apr 23, 2000 at 09:20:14 PM EST

I wonder why I thought the Europeans had a launch system? I keep hearing the word 'Arienna' (<-sounds like) in reference to some sattelite launch system.

I few years back I remember reading an article about a gel based fule (as opposed to liquid or solid) that they thought could make sea launches reasonable.

I wonder what came of that? BTW, I'm not talking about submarine ICBM's.

[ Parent ]

Euro Space Agency (none / 0) (#22)
by jetpack on Mon Apr 24, 2000 at 06:17:06 PM EST

You are correct, and our communist friend is not.

The European space agency, regularly launches Ariane rockets. The last two launches were in March and April of this year, as can clearly be seen. Be prepared for a wait - the site is insanely slow from where I am.

However, these are unmanned launches. I'm not aware of any Europeans going on manned missions except for the occasional shuttle launch.

BTW, IIRC, Japan has a launch system in developement, if not in actual use. I'd check to be certain, but their site is not responding very well.


--
/* The beatings will continue until morale improves */
[ Parent ]

Re: Euro Space Agency (none / 0) (#23)
by CodeWright on Mon Apr 24, 2000 at 07:44:25 PM EST

Any country capable of launching a ballistic missile can put payloads in orbit. At last count, the number of countries able to do this is somewhere around 20 or so.

Non inclusive list:

  • United States of America / NASA
  • Russia
  • European Space Agency (includes the space programs of England, Germany, France, Spain, Italy, Canada and a few others -- each of whom could independently launch payloads)
  • China
  • Japan
  • North Korea
  • India
  • Brazil
  • Argentina
  • Pakistan


  • --
    A: Because it destroys the flow of conversation.
    Q: Why is top posting dumb? --clover_kicker

    [ Parent ]
    Re: Euro Space Agency (none / 0) (#25)
    by Anonymous Hero on Wed Apr 26, 2000 at 12:47:10 PM EST

    Um, actually, Argentina has no missilistic capabilities. The Condor program was canceled in 1989/1990. We do have nuclear capabilities, however. Just wanted to clarify.

    [ Parent ]
    Raises some interesting questions.... (2.40 / 5) (#4)
    by CyberPuppet on Sun Apr 23, 2000 at 03:35:34 AM EST

    CyberPuppet voted 1 on this story.

    Raises some interesting questions.
    --
    The Teenage Computer Network

    Re: Sexual Harassment in Space? (3.00 / 4) (#9)
    by Velian on Sun Apr 23, 2000 at 02:07:03 PM EST

    Looks like the "1.00" fella is still doing it to every single post on every single story. Even this post, I'm sure.

    That must be tedious.

    [offtopic] Hey Rusty... (1.00 / 1) (#11)
    by shepd on Sun Apr 23, 2000 at 03:00:45 PM EST

    Would you mind making it so that when I push the rate button, all my ratings
    are submitted all at once?  While it would make the life of the mindless 1
    rater easier, it would also make it a heck of a lot easier to counteract such
    foolishness.  Thanks.
    
    Just asking... :-)


    [ Parent ]
    Re: [offtopic] Hey Rusty... (none / 0) (#12)
    by rusty on Sun Apr 23, 2000 at 03:08:31 PM EST

    Will do. I'm sorry about that. :-)

    ____
    Not the real rusty
    [ Parent ]
    Priorities Anyone? (2.50 / 4) (#15)
    by Commienst on Sun Apr 23, 2000 at 04:29:22 PM EST

    We need to get our prioritites straight here. What is more serious a forced kiss or fight on a space station with delicate equipment? The fight is more serious; we can not have people on a space station fighting they could cripple the station possibly killing everyone on board.

    Re: Priorities Anyone? (3.00 / 2) (#18)
    by rusty on Sun Apr 23, 2000 at 05:32:39 PM EST

    I think both incidents are examples of the same basic problem (as pointed out elsewhere in these comments)-- lack of discipline. Either one is an example of a serious problem in discipline, and both should be treated as serious offenses, and evidence of a strong need to reevaluate the chain of command.

    ____
    Not the real rusty
    [ Parent ]
    Sexual Harassment in Space? | 26 comments (26 topical, 0 editorial, 0 hidden)
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