Firearms could possibly be included in the emergency survival kit of Russia’s next-generation Orel spacecraft, according to a spokesperson for the Russian space agency Roscosmos.

“The survival kit for the next-generation Orel cargo spacecraft will be built in the later stages of its [spacecraft’s] development”, the spokesperson said, adding that Roscosmos is “considering [different] options” when it comes to including firearms in the emergency kit.

Firearms could be indispensable in case of an emergency landing. Spacecraft crew could use them for distress signaling, hunting or protecting themselves.

The current survival kit that Russian cosmonauts are equipped with does not include firearms.

The new manned Orel spacecraft, previously known as Federatsiya, will deliver people and cargo to low Earth orbit, as well as to the Moon.

Its crew will include up to four people and the ship will be able to remain in orbit for a maximum of 30 days, in automated flight mode, and up to a year as part of a space station system. The spacecraft is set to replace the Soyuz rocket, which is currently the only means of transporting astronauts to the International Space Station (ISS).

Roscosmos chief Dmitry Rogozin said earlier that the flight tests of Orel will be completed by 2028.

Russian cosmonauts were officially armed with the TP-82 handgun until 2007. The triple-barreled gun was designed in the Soviet Union to make a cosmonaut’s return safe in case if they accidentally land in deep wilderness. The special pistol was used for hunting and self-defence and also for visual SOS signals.

Source: RIA Novosti

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Natalie Portman joins Hollywood space race with ‘Lucy in the Sky’

Toronto, Canada (AFP) Sept 12, 2019

NASA may have grounded its space shuttles, but more Hollywood A-listers than ever are exploring the final frontier, with Natalie Portman launching one of two astronaut movie premieres at Toronto’s film festival.

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