Astronauts could be allowed to drink

Posted on January 22, 2006 

Astronauts could be allowed to drink

The ban on astronauts drinking alcohol aboard the International Space Station could be about to be lifted.

It follows pressure from Russian authorities to allow “overworked cosmonauts a chance to restore their strength”.

A source from the Russian medical team for manned space programmes told the Russian Interfax agency: ” They spend over half a year in the orbit with a heavy workload, especially during exhausting space walks when they can loose several kilos in weight over a few hours.

“Many people think a small ration of alcohol would help restore their strength.”

Moderate alcohol consumption was tolerated on Russia’s former orbital station MIR until it was taken out of service, but a strict ban has been in force on the ISS ever since Russia and the US sent the first joint crew.

Christmas gifts sent on a cargo ship to the ISS were thought to include chocolate liqueurs, which is seen as a tentative step in the direction of lifting the ban, the source told Interfax.

However, the same source indicated that the initiative comes only form the Russian side, as Nasa officials are in favour of a “total ban”.

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from Ananova

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