posted on Aug, 11 2006 @ 10:08 PM
Actually, CX, Russian Soyuz capsules carry firearms as a standard part of their survival kits. The exact model of firearm carried seems to have
varied throughout the lifetime of the Soyuz program, but at least two different guns have been included in these kits. According to the
, these two firearms are as follows:
1) The Makarov pistol, which is used by both military and police forces in Russia. It fires 9 mm cartridges and has an 8 round magazine.
2) A three barrel, two-over/one-under gun developed specifically for the Soyuz program. One barrel is a rifled for shooting cartridges, one is a
smooth-bore for firing shotgun shells, and the third is used to fire flares.
Despite the first-blush reaction of many people (myself included!) about the dangers of having a gun on a spacecraft, if any such craft needs a gun,
it would be the Soyuz. Soyuz touches down over land, not water (like the Apollo capsules) or on a runway (like the Space Shuttle or the Russian
Buran). Russians have always preferred to set their capsules down over land, although a water landing is possible, and they've gotten quite good at
it through the years. Sometimes, though, things can go wrong - check out the story of Soyuz 5
Astronautix for a mission that did - and the crew can literally be out in the cold for several hours or days before being picked up. If I were stuck
on the Siberian taiga, knowing that I might have landed a neck of the woods that was home to wolves or bears, I'd want a gun, too!
Note: Edited for spelling. D'oh!
[edit on 11-8-2006 by PhloydPhan]