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Not photoshopped. This pic was snapped by Igor Podgorny after a fire decimated parts of Linevo village in the Volgograd Region of Russia. More about the fire:

Linevo village in Volgograd Region of Russia has become a new victim of fire. About 80 houses were demolished. They spoke about various causes of the fire: strong wind, break of wire or short circuit, even an arson commited by Chechens… But nobody told about the real reason: the houses burnt because someone just set fire to dry grass on the outskirts as it usually happens everywhere…

[via Gizmodo via English Russia]

Фото: © Игорь Подгорный


“Orlan” is the Russian word for “eagle”. The Russian corporation “Zvezda” developed this space suit “ORLAN M” for the Russian space programme in early 1970 für moon walks. As the race to space was ended after the landing of Apollo 11 in the “sea of silence” on the moon surface on july 20th 1969, Russians stopped their moon program 1971 and developed the space suit for other activities as like spacewalks outside from space stations and space-ships.
It became easier and more mobile. Since 1971 the Orlan was used since beginning of the Salyut space stations. 

The “Orlan M space suit” (M means here “modernized”) is an improved version of the previous spacesuit, the Orlan-DMA. It can accommodate a greater range of anthropometric sizes (165 cm to 190 cm).
Radio communications have been modified so that two cosmonauts can speak and listen to each other simultaneously (which they couldn’t in the previous Orlan version). 

The metallic cuirass (the suit’s hard aluminum-alloy torso) is increased in size as are the arm and leg openings for the greater range of wearers’ heights. On the cuirass are fixtures for attachment of the USK, Cosmonaut Self-Rescue Device . The Orlan can be used in both the Pirs and U.S. Quest airlocks (the U.S. EMU can only be used in Quest) of the International Space Station ISS.

The drawback is that the higher pressure means that the Orlan is somewhat more difficult to move in. 

The Orlan operates at a pressure of 0.4 atmospheres (EMU at 0.3 atm.), enabling a pre-breathe time of only 30 minutes (in the EMU pre-breathe is 12 hours in the Joint Airlock, or 4 hours in the EMU itself). 

The Orlan M space suit is very easy concepted: Through the its back the cosmonaut get into the space suite. All vital equipment is in the space suit on the back of the suit, however inside - e.g. fans, water pumps, pressure control valve, oxygene tubes and radio communication system. Each of the articles of equipment has a 1:1 back up system, i.e. if one of the vitally necessary systems should fail, immediately a duplicate takes over the supply.

Technical datas of the “Orlan M space suit”: 

Nominal duration of the autonomous mode: 7 hours
ORLAN-M spacesuit absorption cartridge operating time (with airlock time included): 9 hours
Suit positive pressure: nominal mode 392 hPa - emergency mode 270 hPa
Oxygen available (main and back-up): 1 kg each
Cooling water available: 3.6 kg
Assured heat removal: average 350 W - maximum Up to 600 W
Total consumed power by the suit systems: Up to 54 W
Quantity of telemetry measured parameters: 29
Spacesuit weight (wet): ~112 kg
Service life: Up to 15 vykhody (EVAs) over 4 years (no return to the Earth) 

MK model

Name: Orlan-MK
Manufacturer: NPP Zvezda
Missions: Used on ISS. Used from 2009-present.
Function: Extra-vehicular activity (EVA)
Operating Pressure: 5.8 psi (400 hPa)
Suit Weight: 265 lb (120 kg)[12]
Primary Life Support: 7 hours

MKS model
Name: Orlan-MKS
Manufacturer: NPP Zvezda
Missions: To be used on ISS. And to possibly be introduced in 2015.
Function: Extra-vehicular activity (EVA)
Operating Pressure: 5.8 psi (400 hPa)
Primary Life Support: 7 hours 

Source Roscosmos


World’s First Commercial Space Station Planned in Russia

Called the Commercial Space Station, the orbiting space laboratory and hotel will be able to host up to seven people at a time. It is being planned under a partnership between the Russian companies Orbital Technologies and RSC Energia.

The space station is expected to launch sometime between 2015 and 2016. The cost of individual trips may vary based on launch vehicle, duration and purpose of missions.

Read more.


European Space Agency Plans to Team Up with Russia for the First Manned Mission to Mars

If it’s a space race the Russians want, a space race they shall have. But et tu, Europe? Russian news outlet Ria Novosti is reporting that the European Space Agency (ESA), long the ally of Cold War champion NASA, is teaming with Russia on a joint manned mission to Mars, and that their crew will be the first to set foot on the Red Planet.

Keep reading.


Mutnovsky Volcano (by robnunn)


Picture of the DayIniskin Bay, Alaska. From a National Geographic collection of aerial photos of the Arctic.

The Arctic is rapidly becoming geopolitically interesting: as temperatures rise and ice melts, Russia is pushing to claim more of the newly opening waterways as its own. Read more at this story from August on NPR.

Photo Credit: Robert B. Haas. Via.

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