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英文文章:空间站的宇航员被要求节食

Space Station Astronauts Told to Ration Food

中文导读:据路透社莫斯科报道,国际空间站的食品储存仅能维持在站上工作的二名宇航员一个月的时间。 他们已被告知每天要少食10%的食物,并希望满载供给的飞船能在圣诞节后的那天,12月26日到达。俄罗斯官员将这次食品短缺归咎于前一批到站上工作的人员的大吃大喝。 美国航天局的官员称二名宇航员无任何生命危险, 如果食品未能按时到达,他们将按预定计划撤离空间站。

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Two astronauts face a not-so-merry Christmas after being told to ration their food and hope a cargo ship with extra supplies docks on Dec. 26.

The crew aboard the International Space Station (ISS) only has enough supplies to last a month and must wait until the day after Western Christmas for a Russian cargo ship to deliver new supplies, space officials said on Friday.

Russian cosmonaut Salizhan Sharipov and American Leroy Chiao have been asked to cut out calories equal to three cans of Coke from their daily diet -- around 10 percent of their daily allowance and an amount that would be little noticed, NASA said.

Russian officials, quoted in the local media, have accused the previous crew of overeating during their 6-month mission earlier this year, leaving a deficit of meat and milk and a surplus of juice and confectionery.

"They have enough food for approximately another month, after that they won't be able to have a balanced diet," said Russian space agency spokesman Vyacheslav Mikhailichenko.

The Dec. 24 launch of the next Progress is now vital for the crew, stationed in orbit since October. It is due to dock with the ISS on Dec. 26.

NASA officials said their situation was not so different from being cut off on earth, and their lives were not at risk.

"If you get snowed in, you're going to make do," said Jim Newman, director of NASA's Human Space Flight Program in Russia, who said the shortage pointed to the need for a better food inventory system rather than greedy astronauts.

"If it launches as planned, they will have a very nice holiday season," he added.

If they do not receive fresh supplies, the astronauts would have to evacuate the station and return to earth on the Soyuz capsule that is docked there.

"If the Progress is unable to arrive, there is a plan we can put into place for an orderly and safe return," said Newman.

Russia has been the sole lifeline to the ISS for almost two years when the United States grounded its shuttle fleet after the fatal Columbia accident.

Russia has often complained of its financial struggle to keep the ISS fully serviced single-handedly. Shuttle flights could resume in May, officials have said, but in the meantime Russia will continue to launch all manned and cargo ships.

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