Do astronauts ever carry weapons?

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posted on Aug, 11 2006 @ 08:16 PM
Have astronauts at any point carried weapons within a spacecraft?

I ask because i was wondering how they would react if they were indeed to meet an alien life form. Do they have any specific orders for this eventuality? If the alien being were similar to us, and was'nt all nicey nicey, i think i'd want a bit of back up.

I know our space exploration missions are a peacefull thing, but should anything threaten our astronauts, or indeed the billions of pounds worth of spacecraft that is thier only way home, what have they got to defend themselves?

Please don't tell me they just have one of those fancy NASA pens that writes upside down that they could throw at something?

I know this must sound like a stupid question, i mean if a negligent discharge in an aeroplane can cause havoc, then i think we all know what would happen if one went off in the shuttle. I'd just never heard of any defense equipment on the shuttle or other craft thats all.


posted on Aug, 11 2006 @ 08:26 PM
Apparently cosmonauts have:

Virtually no information was available about the military Salyuts until recently, when access was opened up to a full-scale training model at the Moscow Aviation Institute. Well, guess what--Salyut 3 had a machine gun. The station had a 23 mm rapid-fire cannon mounted on the outside, along the long axis of the station "for defence against US space-based inspectors/interceptors".


posted on Aug, 11 2006 @ 08:27 PM
You're instincts are right "Guns in space is bad".

Considering the fragile state of our ships (all good conspiracies aside) I would think projectile weapons in zero G has a lot of other possible unforseen ramifications.

Forget putting a bullet hole or two through a shuttle tile if your say in the open shuttle bay, one missed shot and that bullet keeps going. Then about nine hundred years later it slams through the hull of some rich kids shuttle craft and then whamo we're at war with the entire planet of...oh lets say Chiato...because of a bullet fired nine hundred years previously.

Though they could carry guns, happend in that bruce willis movie and that was fairly realistic...kidding, kidding, please no replies about the innacuracy of Armageddon, it was a joke.


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 Kosmonavtka, 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 at 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]

posted on Aug, 12 2006 @ 01:14 AM
I've always wondered about this myself...

Hasn't anyone else done the NASA exercise of what is most important to your survival if you are stranded on the Moon? One of the items listed is a pistol.

Here is what I'm talking about:

Survival on the Moon

The year is 2040. You are a member of a space crew that was to rendezvous with the mother ship on the lighted surface of the moon. You experienced mechanical difficulties and your ship was forced to land about 200 miles from the point you were to be. During re-entry and landing, much of the equipment on your ship was damaged. Your survival depends on you reaching the mother ship. You will need to survey what is left that is useable and determine the most critical undamaged items that you will take for the 200 mile trip.

Your task is to look over the list below which contains the useable, undamaged items left on your ship, and rank them in order of their importance for your crew. Remember you need to rank each item in terms of its value in allowing you to reach the mother ship. Copy the list below or print out a copy. Place the number 1 by the most important item and keep going to number 15 which will be the least important. Be ready to explain why you have given each item the rank it received. Use your knowledge of the Moon and its environment to help you make your decisions. When you are done you can check how you did against the rankings given this same list by NASA. If you are doing this activity in your classroom, compare your rankings with other groups or individuals and hear their reasons for their rankings before checking the NASA list.

___ Box of matches

___ Food concentrate

___ 50 feet of nylon rope

___ Parachute silk

___ Portable heating unit

___ Two .45 calibre pistols

___ One case dehydrated milk

___ Two 100-pound tanks of oxygen

___ Stellar map (of moon's surface)

___ Life raft

___ Magnetic compass

___ 5 gallons of water

___ Signal flares

___ First aid kit containing injection needle

___ Solar-powered FM receiver-transmitter

posted on Aug, 12 2006 @ 02:13 PM
Well this has certainly turned out to be a fairly enlightening thread. I do enjoy learnin' stuff.

The NASA quiz is very interesting. I listed the guns as last but I didn't consider NASA's reason for the guns. Here's a link to the NASA scientist answers:

NASA listed the guns at number eleven:

11 - Two .45 calibre pistols. Possible means of propulsion.

D'oh! That never occured to me.

The russian stuff is also very interesting and considering how they landed on land as posted I would think the gun could end up being handy indeed.

But what I do get from all this is that the guns seem to be for everything except fighting aliens again all good conspiracies aside.

Very cool thread.


posted on Apr, 15 2011 @ 09:29 AM
Reviving an ancient thread, priceless.

Just learned this today:

From 1986 to 2006 the Russians carried the TP-82 into space.

It was a survival style firearm that shot flares, pistol and shotgun ammo.

The Toz TP-82 has two side by side smoothbore barrels which fire 12.5mm shot shells and flares. The lower rifled barrel fires 5.45mm ammunition.
Link with pics

Another post claims when the TP-82 was retired their astronauts started carrying regular semi-auto pistols.

The three-barreled Toz TP-82 was carried into space by Soviet and Russian cosmonauts until 2006 when the ammunition expired and it was replaced with a regular semi-automatic pistol.

So apparently right now there are some strapped cosmonauts sitting on the space station.

posted on Apr, 15 2011 @ 09:33 AM
just give me my blaster

posted on Apr, 15 2011 @ 09:41 AM
I think people here are forgetting simple physics...

A bullet fires by creating an explosion inside the cartridge, that requires two things, an explosive powder and OXYGEN, I think you may find one of those items might be missing in space...

edit on 15-4-2011 by PrinceDreamer because: spelling

posted on Apr, 15 2011 @ 09:42 AM
reply to post by PrinceDreamer

The one they carried from 86-06 is more of a survival weapon so I guess if they got lost coming back in it would be nice to have but why carry semi-auto's now?

Unless it never was for survival reasons. Did they learn something in 1986 that prompted them to arm their astronauts?

Upon further reasearch:

Not only CAN a gun be fired in Space, a gun HAS been fired in Space aboard the Russian Almaz OPS-2 Space Station. They fired a Nudelman 23MM antiaircraft gun and it worked just fine. The only people that dispute it is those who don't understand how guns work. Like Dark says, gunpowder contains all the oxygen it needs to burn: if you thought about it, you would understand that it has to and that is the basis of how all guns work.

The station successfully remotely test-fired an onboard aircraft cannon at a target satellite while the station was unmanned.

Powder has its own oxidizer. From under the ocean (not too deep and the bullet wont go very far) to outer space guns work everywhere.
edit on 15-4-2011 by thisguyrighthere because: (no reason given)

posted on Apr, 15 2011 @ 11:16 AM
the only real weapon that would work in space would be a weapon that fired a projectile using compressed air, like a paintball gun, airsoft gun or spear gun

posted on Apr, 15 2011 @ 11:35 AM
Even old M80s went off submerged in water, those were the days.

Would a gun fire in the vacuum of space? Yes, but likely only once if it didn't blow its space frozen metal apart from the blast. Make sure you have a hold of something before you shoot.

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