Russia and U.S.: Partners in space, “enemies” on earth.

Not that Russia or Putin like to see the U.S. as an enemy. In fact, Putin has repeated over and over again, that the U.S. is one of its “partners.” Perhaps in an attempt to remind the government of this country of the angels of its better nature? I remain astonished by Putin’s equanimity in the face of continuous demonization — most of the time, I should add. There is one recent video of an interview with journalists that shows him agitated and insistent, attempting to wake them up to the realities of US/NATO’s in-your-face aggression, the deceptive tactics and propaganda used to keep up the pretense of “Russian aggression,” and the consequent very real danger of nuclear war.

I shudder to think what Putin must be enduring from his own military as no doubt, there are some who are feeling “humiliated,” and whose fingers are as itchy as NATO’s.

Here’s an  article that shows how ongoing Russophobia gets translated into western magazine covers: 

Russophobia and the dark art of  making an anti-Russian magazine cover

Amazingly enough, meanwhile, in space, the U.S. and Russia continue to partner on the International Space Station, a cooperative venture that started in 1976. That’s 40 years ago!

NASA History

Apollo-Soyuz: An Orbital Parnership Begins


But by the mid-70s things had changed. The U.S. had “won” the race to the Moon, with six Apollo landings between 1969 and 1972. Both nations had launched space stations, the Russian Salyut and American Skylab. With the Space Shuttle still a few years off and the diplomatic chill thawing, the time was right for a joint mission.

The Apollo-Soyuz Test Project would send NASA astronauts Tom Stafford, Deke Slayton and Vance Brand in an Apollo Command and Service Module to meet Russian cosmonauts Aleksey Leonov and Valeriy Kubasov in a Soyuz capsule. A jointly designed, U.S.-built docking module fulfilled the main technical goal of the mission, demonstrating that two dissimilar craft could dock in orbit. But the human side of the mission went far beyond that.

The training leading up to the mission exposed the two crews to each other’s nations, helping to break down cultural and language barriers. As Brand said in a 2000 interview, amid the Cold War tensions, “we thought they were pretty aggressive people and … they probably thought we were monsters. So we very quickly broke through that, because when you deal with people that are in the same line of work as you are, and you’re around them for a short time, why, you discover that, well, they’re human beings.”

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Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield:

Chris Hadfield: in space, “you recognize the unanimity of our existence”

Being in space, Hadfield says, “you recognize the unanimity of our existence. The commonality.” The reason his Space Oddity video was such a phenomenon, he says, is not that it told us something about space, but that it told us something about ourselves. “It helped show people something I understand very well: that this is an extension of human consciousness. Human understanding. Human perspective on ourselves. We need to understand it and make it part of our increased self-awareness.” It took a lifetime of training for just a few minutes, but he is able to say: “This was a little step towards that.”

What gives? Why the total disparity between life on earth and life in space? Well, consider geopolitics, and territorial land grabs. The transnational corporations covet that enormous near-pristine Russian land mass that Putin has now declared GMO free!

In the infinity of space, there’s plenty of room for everybody, and yet, astronauts have to get along. Living on the same small space ship, their survival depends on each other.

Way back in the 1950s, Bucky Fuller coined the term “Space Ship Earth,” and it’s time we grokked what that really means.


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