Tensions over Crimea shake the U.S.-Russia space partnership. That could be a very good thing for NASA
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Going into orbit aboard a Soyuz spacecraft is a humbling experience. There’s no snazzy space-shuttle cockpit with wraparound windshield and heads-up displays here, no proper couches from which a true commander can fly a true rocket ship. The Soyuz is more like a hamster ball with three small seats stuffed in its bottom into which three adults squeeze themselves shoulder to shoulder. The legroom is so limited, they must fly with their knees drawn up toward their chests—rocket jocks in fetal position. The commander—on his back on the floor in his grownup car seat—can’t even reach the instrument panel without the help of a sort of conductor’s baton with a rubber tip.
The U.S. used to hoot …