In addition to training spacewalks, breaking skills training with robotic technology and piloting a spaceship, NASA now requires that all future astronauts learn to speak and read in Russian.
The rule is very clear and simple: if you fail the exam on the knowledge of a foreign language, you can not go into space.
A number of NASA astronauts were taught Russian still with the same time as the United States and the Soviet Union began to work at the station "Mir" in the 1980s, told FoxNews.com Duane Ross (Duane Ross), the training manager for astronaut candidate. But in 2009 the space agency has updated its rules — and now all American astronauts will have to learn Russian.
"The English — language that is coherent in space" — explains Ross. But due to the close cooperation with the Russian Space Agency, now for American astronauts is a requirement the ability to speak in Russian, he says.
NASA to retire its fleet of space shuttles in July, as a result of the Russian rocket "Soyuz" remained for some time the only means of delivering astronauts and cosmonauts to the International Space Station and back, for many it was a sign that the Russian "won" the space race.
Many former astronauts, NASA administrators and government officials consider the assignment, or even loss of the space race simply unacceptable.
"When China can reach the moon, but we can not, I do not see why any other country should regard us as a world leader," — said on September 22 former NASA Administrator Mike Griffin (Mike Griffin) members of the House Committee on Science, Space and technology.
"Bring the shuttle out of the garage — said the famous planted on the moon astronaut Gene Cernan (Gene Cernan). — They’re in the prime of his life. How can we just throw them away? "
With the demise of the "Constellation» (Constellation) — road development program that was supposed to replace the space shuttle, which President Obama lifted in 2010, NASA realized how much she will be forced to rely on Russia.
Around the same time, space agency has established a new requirement for all candidates for astronauts, Ross told FoxNews.com.
"In 2009, we knew that these guys will be sent to the ISS, so we have introduced such a requirement, — he said. — There is a certain level of knowledge that they should have to go through. "
Russia is clearly aware of the extent to which the American space program depends on it. Barely a few months after the cancellation of the "Constellation" in January 2010, as Russia has announced plans to more than double the cost of seats on its rockets "Soyuz" — from $ 26.3 million for the astronaut to 55.8 million in 2013 and 2014.
And three months ago, just after safe landing space shuttle "Atlantis" (the last flight under the U.S. space shuttles), the Russian space agency noted the historical achievements of the U.S. space program and declared the beginning of a period of Russian dominance in space.
"From now on in the field of manned space flight began the era of" Soyuz ", the era of reliability," — said Roscosmos July 21.
Bye bye — and thanks for all the help seemed to say the message.
NASA, seems to understand just how difficult and awkward it should look like the requirement of knowledge of the Russian language: The latest brochure for the selection of astronauts and the training program does not contain any mention of the requirement for the Russian language, even whole pages of copious details on other aspects of training. Ross told FoxNews.com, that the space agency plans to soon update the brochure.
On Monday, the space agency announced that it plans to remove from 8 to 12 new astronauts who will add to its roster, after the report of the National Research Council (National Research Council), who warned that a U.S. astronaut corps is reduced.
To learn more about the training of astronauts — or apply for the — visit astronauts.nasa.gov.
If you speak in Russian, it will help.
Original publication: English Language the Latest Casualty of Space Race
Posted on: 05/10/2011 9:12