Space

Socialists in Space

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Nobody ever says "I want to be a cosmonaut when I grow up." Or at least they don't anymore in Russia, where devoting your life to the final frontier will net you less than $767 a month.

Students of Moscow's best technical schools snub manned exploration of space.

"I dream to get a good job with a high salary and I don't think there are too many students left who would be romantic enough to abandon material gains for cosmonautics," David Tarkhanyan, a second year student at the Bauman University, told Space News in an Oct. 30 phone interview.

With only 37 cosmonauts currently on call in Russia, things are a bit desperate. But space just isn't very sexy these days, so even glamour can't offset bad pay:

"The romantic aspect of the manned space exploration is no longer there; it has been replaced by gray daily routine," said Sergei Shamsutdinov, an editor at the Novosti Kosmonavtiki magazine, which is published "under the aegis" of the Federal Space Agency and the Space Forces.

One commander recalled the good old days of Communism: "I cannot say there is no one at all, but it is very different from the times when we had thousands standing in line."

Standing in line–now there's something Russians are awfully good at.

Via New Scientist Space Blog

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  1. Maybe the movie “Goodbye, Lenin!” made it to Russia and they saw Sigmund Jahn, the first East German cosmonaut, driving a taxi.

  2. In Soviet Russia, space explored you.

  3. Maybe $767 is a lot in Russia?

    I really dont know what wages are like there. My only knowledge comes from “russian” friends ( who were not technically Russian but from adjacent former Soviet countries where professionals made $30-80/mo in early 2000s).

    It’s difficult as an “Merican” to look at wages without some context.

  4. No wonder all the space tourists go by way of Russian rockets!

  5. “Standing in line–now there’s something Russians are awfully good at.”

    This is absolutely untrue. Russians are absolutely horrible at standing in lines. It caused me unending annoyance when I lived there and it caused me to miss a connecting flight when returning to the US. Russians who fancy themselves better, more deserving, or of a higher status have no problem darting toward any line, be it at a cafeteria, or in customs.

    As for the wage, $767 isn’t good. There are worse things, like being a professor(even driving a bus pays more than that though). The average wage per person is in the neighborhood of a few hundred dollars a month, but many people work multiple jobs, extra hours or have some sort of assistance. And there are often multiple incomes in a household.

  6. That should be “darting toward THE FRONT OF any line”

  7. This is absolutely untrue. Russians are absolutely horrible at standing in lines. It caused me unending annoyance when I lived there and it caused me to miss a connecting flight when returning to the US. Russians who fancy themselves better, more deserving, or of a higher status have no problem darting toward any line, be it at a cafeteria, or in customs.

    I gotta second this… There are basicly no rules when it comes to lines in Russia. Cut in line, shove people out of the way, argue or bribe your way ahead of other people. You would think that all those years of standing in line would have resulted in some sort of protocal of courtesy to be developed, but the laws of the jungle apply.

    But I would gladly accept $767 a month if they want to send me into space!

  8. Russians stand in long lines, while we Americans sit in our cars in long lines.

  9. Well, if they stand in line so much, they obviously aren’t rushin’!

    Aww, c’mon. That’s better than any of DanT’s stuff. Jeez.

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