So, Expedition 7 has launched from Baikonur Cosmodrome to replace the Expedition 6 crew on the International Space Station. Expedition 7 went through a few crew changes, originally starting with Moschenko being swapped out with Kaleri after getting sick. Kaleri was among the last crew on Mir. After STS-107 crashed, Kaleri was dropped in favour of the current two man crew: Yuri Malenchenko and Ed Lu. I don’t know why they went with a two-man crew. The Soyuz is clearly capable of carrying three crew.
This will be the 1678th launch of a Soyuz, and as far as I know there has only been two lost, one killing Vladimir Mikhailovich Komarov in 1967 when the parachute lines tangled, and one in 1971 killing Dobrovolsky, Patsayev, and Volkov when their cabin depressurised on re-entry. Two losses over nearly 1700 flights, and not one lost in 30 years, seems much more reliable than the American space shuttle which has failed twice, once on lauch killing 7 and once on re-entry killing 7 more. You tell me which is more reliable.
If the space station is going to survive, then it will be the Russians who will save it while the Americans hide in a hole for a few more years. After reading “Dragonfly” by Bryan Burrough, I have gained great respect for the Russians and their space program. If something goes wrong, the Russians tend to fix it and get on with things. Americans have investigations, councils, more investigations, rhetoric, and more investigations.
So, we’ve all heard about Mohammed Saeed al-Sahaf, Iraqi Minister of Information (currently on administrative leave). Check out www.welovetheiraqiinformationminister.com which is a collection of all his memorable quotes given to journalists during the last few weeks.
- “There are no American infidels in Baghdad. Never!”
- “My feelings – as usual – we will slaughter them all”
- “Our initial assessment is that they will all die”
So, we have our house on the market now. Yes, we are selling up and moving to Harvest Lakes, a new estate in Atwell, which is about 15 mins down the Kwinana Freeway. It’s got some nice lakes and parks, and looks quite nice. We are buying a smaller “Cottage Lot” and putting a smaller house on it. We will have to tighten our belts if we are going to afford it.
So, the coalition forces have almost secured Baghdad. This is about three weeks after the start of hostilities. Actually, the hostilities started in 1991 during the first Gulf War. No truce was ever called, so technically this is the same war. Three weeks to amass a large army, and almost completely invade a country with less than 120 casualties is very impressive.
Still no sign of Atomic, Bio or Chemical weapons, which was the justification for invasion in the first place. I wonder what the upshot of all this is going to be? Is North Korea next? They have openly admited, even proudly decreed that they are developing or have developed nuclear weapons, and their missle tests clearly show that they have the means to deliver them to South Korea, Japan, China, and Eastern Russia.