Wow! I guess gun crimes in space are on the rise or something.
Space Station Crew Can Access Gun
February 14, 2008
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. -- Astronauts aboard the International Space Station apparently have access to a gun, it was confirmed today.
Russian Cosmonauts carry a gun on their Soyuz space capsule, which is attached to the space station.
But although the gun has been there for as long as the space station has been in orbit, its existence is kept quiet. NASA and Russian officials won't talk publicly about it.
Former NASA engineer Jim Oberg, who is an author and journalist, wrote about the gun on his Web site. He said the gun has no place in an environment where people are under such high stress.
"There have been cases of severe psychological strain on people in space, strain that they have taken out -- that their shipmates worried about the ultimate actions," Oberg said.
Experts said the idea of an astronaut losing control was unthinkable until one year ago, when Lisa Nowak shattered the myth.
Her own attorney said she was insane when arrested for hunting down another woman, and prosecutors said she was armed.
Nowak had flown in space just seven months earlier.
Oberg knows an astronaut bent on orbital manslaughter could simply throw any number of switches to do the job, but he said the crews would be safer if the gun was locked up or left on Earth. The gun is located in a survival kit between some seats aboard the Soyuz spacecraft. All the crewmembers know about it, and U.S. astronauts who fly aboard the Soyuz are trained to use it.