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2 Apr, 2009 21:16

Teamwork helps in space & in crisis – ISS crew

Space maybe the final frontier, but for the19th crew of the International Space Station, conquering space is unattainable without international teamwork.

From space, the political wrangling of those earth-bound global summit leaders seemed a long way off.

The ISS crew says the global financial crisis isn’t their immediate concern, though they hoped politicians back on earth followed their own example of teamwork.

“We don't have disagreements,” said US astronaut Michael Fincke.

“Here, Americans and Russians are very good partners, as are the Europeans, Canadians and the Japanese. This is the International Space Station and it’s very important that in space we work as a team. And we hope that back on Earth the joint work will be done with the same enthusiasm and success”.

It was all smiles and cheers during the news conference broadcast via satellite.

But earlier, Russian cosmonaut Gennady Padalka complained that his fellow crew members were not allowed to use some of the American equipment onboard, such as the exercise bike and the toilet.

They blamed the division of the space team’s property on bureaucratic officials not agreeing on money matters.

But the crew members denied having any disagreements. Padalka says they have no problems onboard.

“Everything is communal here, the modules we're using, food rations, and so on. Maybe they have some problems down on Earth, but we don't – and feel no pressure whatsoever”.

Meanwhile, space tourist Charles Simonyi has a few more days to spend at the ISS before he returns, along with the members of the 18th space mission.

Not only is he the first tourist to visit the ISS twice, but he may also be the last tourist to visit the station as Russia may stop selling seats on its spacecraft.