Space: US-Russia collaboration

ENGLISH IS THE LATEST CASUALTY OF SPACE RACE

The rule says if you do not know a foreign language, you cannot go to space.

Along with training in spacewalks, robotics and piloting a spaceship, NASA now want all the future astronauts to learn and speak Russian.

Back in the 1980s, a handful of the US astronauts had taken training in Russian when the Archenemies, Soviets and Americans worked together in the Mir space station. Now, due to close collaboration with the Russians, it has become mandatory for the Americans to learn Russian.

In July 2012, NASA has retired its fleet of space shuttle leaving Russia responsible for transporting astronauts to and from the space station.

After President Barack Obama cancelled Project Constellation, a programme to develop space shuttle replacement, it is evident how difficult it would be to rely upon Russia

Russia too, seems to have grasped the truth and announced the plan to double the cost of seats on its Soyuz rockets from $26.3 million per astronaut to $55.8 million in 2013-14.

NASA seems to realize how awkward it all is. Though the most recent broacher of the Astronaut Selection and Training Programme makes no requirement of the Russian language whatsoever, despite pages of copious details about the other aspects of training.

NASA has also declared that it would be seeking around 8 to 12 new astronauts to bolster its roster with the knowledge of Russian language.

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