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  (Source: United Artists)
Russia will also ban the use of its rockets for U.S. military missions

In early April, NASA announced that it would sever the majority of its contract with the Russian government in retaliation for its interference in the Crimean peninsula.
 
At the time, a statement from NASA explained:
 
Given Russia's ongoing violation of Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity, NASA is suspending the majority of its ongoing engagements with the Russian Federation. NASA and Roscosmos will, however, continue to work together to maintain safe and continuous operation of the International Space Station. NASA is laser focused on a plan to return human spaceflight launches to American soil.
 
However, NASA made it clear that it would still depend on Russia to ferry its astronauts to the International Space Station (at a cost of $70 million per person, per launch) and that the two nations would continue to operate the ISS together. As the situation in Crimea has escalated and Western sanctions on Russia have ratcheted up, the tensions between the U.S. and Russian space programs have also escalated.
 
In late April, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin joked that given NASA’s inability to launch its own astronauts into space — due to the retirement of the Space Shuttle fleet — it should instead use a large trampoline to reach orbit.
 
Now, things are just getting nasty. Russia is tired of the increased sanctions (the most troublesome for Russia is a recent U.S. sanction that bars export licenses and revokes existing licenses for advanced technology items used for Russian military purposes) and is firing back at the U.S. in a way that could jeopardize its future civilian and military efforts in space. Rogozin today announced that:
To the first point, Rogozin asserted that Russia doesn’t need the U.S. to continue its operations on the ISS. "The Russian segment can exist independently from the American one,” said Rogozin. “The U.S. one cannot."

And to the second point, Russia will continue to make its NK-33 and RD-180 rockets available for civilian purposes, but military missions are strictly prohibited.


Russia says that it can continue it operations of the ISS without the help of the U.S. 
 
For its part, NASA claims to be unaware of any “changes” to its already modified arrangements with Russia, and issued the following statement:
 
Space cooperation has been a hallmark of US-Russia relations, including during the height of the Cold War, and most notably, in the past 13 consecutive years of continuous human presence on board the International Space Station. Ongoing operations on the ISS continue on a normal basis with a planned return of crew today and expected launch of a new crew in the next few weeks. We have not received any official notification from the Government of Russia on any changes in our space cooperation at this point.
 
In the words of the late Rodney King, “Can we all just get along?”

Sources: The Telegraph, The Washington Post, Reuters, Business Insider



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musk just wet himself
By kattanna on 5/13/2014 5:27:35 PM , Rating: 5
could not have handed musk a better news update

and im all for it




RE: musk just wet himself
By peterrushkin on 5/13/2014 5:44:24 PM , Rating: 5
same here. I really hope the guys pulls off all his ventures. We need competition from guys like him in a lot of different spaces.


RE: musk just wet himself
By Reclaimer77 on 5/13/14, Rating: 0
RE: musk just wet himself
By Stan11003 on 5/13/2014 6:14:15 PM , Rating: 3
You mean like NASA did to it self?


RE: musk just wet himself
By danjw1 on 5/13/2014 6:27:52 PM , Rating: 3
That is why they had 3 companies (now 2 since Congress cut there funds), to do LEO launches. So it isn't just SpaceX it is also Orbital Sciences. I am not sure when Orbital Sciences will be ready to do heavy lift and/or human flight. SpaceX is supposed to be doing pad abort and inflight abort testing on their Dragon Rider spacecraft this year. If the government tells asks them to speed things up, they maybe able to.

The Falcon Heavy is supposed to have its first demo flight in 2015 with a NASA and DOD flights to follow. Its first commercial mission is supposed to be in 2017.

Honestly, anyone who thinks Elon Musk is going to just fold up and walk away from SpaceX, doesn't know anything about the guy. He wants to die on Mars. He isn't just going to stop because the decides to take his marbles and go home.


RE: musk just wet himself
By Reclaimer77 on 5/13/14, Rating: -1
RE: musk just wet himself
By Reclaimer77 on 5/13/14, Rating: -1
RE: musk just wet himself
By Reclaimer77 on 5/13/14, Rating: -1
RE: musk just wet himself
By delphinus100 on 5/13/2014 8:49:35 PM , Rating: 2
So, Boeing/Sierra Nevada/ULA would not have similar issues in such a scenario?

No matter what our relations with Russia, there's always a non-zero chance of catastrophically breaking something, whoever you are...


RE: musk just wet himself
By chripuck on 5/15/2014 12:50:07 PM , Rating: 2
No, they wouldn't, because they would test under the direction of the Federal Government with pilots who knew the risk and were paid appropriately. Once it was "finished" the Government would inherit all liability in the even of a disaster e.g. the Space Shuttle explosions.

If SpaceX were to have a commercial product and begin commercial operations and have some sort of disaster with regular people? Very bad for business...


RE: musk just wet himself
By thesaxophonist on 5/13/2014 7:13:54 PM , Rating: 2
Maybe true,and I sure as hell hope so, though I doubt that any politician cares at this point. Same goes for the general public.


RE: musk just wet himself
By maven81 on 5/14/2014 9:35:58 AM , Rating: 3
quote:
But honestly it's a moot point until we get a Republican administration going. The last Democrat that gave two sh*ts about going to space was JFK.

I don't know why you keep dragging your politics into this, but at least get it right. JFK didn't give a damn about space, he only cared about scoring points. In fact there is evidence to show that when he realized the cost of the program he thought about downsizing it. It was Johnson that actually cared about space, and the bulk of the support came from him. At that point NASA was planning big, bases on the moon, large space stations etc. Then Nixon came in and shut it all down. He is responsible for the space shuttle debacle, and even that was just a small piece of a much larger program. (the space transportation system was supposed to be more then just a space truck. He just thought that's all we could afford).


RE: musk just wet himself
By Grast5150 on 5/14/2014 1:10:49 PM , Rating: 2
Reclaimer,

The only reason why SpaceX would go down is due to NASA, Air Force, and congress taking bribes and illegally locking SpaceX out of the government projects. NASA specifically writes the RFP and RFQ for specifications which only their current contractors can immediately fill. In addition set unreasonable timelines on any new comer from showing how they can meet the specifications. NASA is stinking pile of kickbacks and political favors.

SpaceX has the ability to compete. The only challenge which SpaceX is trying to overcome is government bureaucracy limiting the ability of SpaceX to compete for government projects.


RE: musk just wet himself
By jihadjoe on 5/15/2014 11:26:14 AM , Rating: 1
But said invincible entity only ever goes down because something else came along that offers the same or better service, for a better if not same price. Rarely in capitalism do we ever end up with a void for any product or service that has previously existed.

RCA is gone, but we still have television.
Pan Am is gone, but don't lack for airlines.
Woolworth's is gone be don't lack for shopping.

Commercializing space travel is the one way we can ensure we will always have space travel, so long as a customer wants it.


RE: musk just wet himself
By Mint on 5/13/2014 6:31:09 PM , Rating: 1
If Musk closes up shop rather than just selling his share, then another company would necessarily be trouncing SpaceX on price/reliability. So there's at least that alternative.

ULA (Lockheed/Boeing joint venture) isn't going anywhere either. They're a lot more expensive, but claim to have all the plans for building the Russian engines themselves.

I agree with you in principle, but it's really no different from so much other private sector procurement for important gov't services, whether in military, health care, whatever.

Where do you personally draw the line for things where the gov't should develop and maintain its own backup ability to produce products/services?


RE: musk just wet himself
By Jeffk464 on 5/13/2014 7:04:34 PM , Rating: 2
No problem, a company like Boeing could buy him out and keep running his existing hardware.


RE: musk just wet himself
By Jeffk464 on 5/13/2014 7:06:19 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
I really hope it doesn't bite us on the ass


Well continuing the shuttle program bit us on the ass twice with 14 dead.


RE: musk just wet himself
By Jeffk464 on 5/13/2014 7:10:15 PM , Rating: 2
Also when the military decided the shuttle was a money pit and decided not to use it for launches it cut half the funding for the program.


RE: musk just wet himself
By Reclaimer77 on 5/13/14, Rating: 0
RE: musk just wet himself
By retrospooty on 5/14/2014 9:20:54 AM , Rating: 2
"Those tragedies were due to poor decision making, corner-cutting, and human error. It had NOTHING to do with extending the Shuttle program."

The Shuttle program was designed to be cheaper and safer than the old rocket based launchers it replaced... It turned out to be neither, totally unsafe and expensive as hell. Mismanaged or not, it had to end. Give some credit here... usually when the US govt. has a money pit they hold on to it for dear life and keep throwing money away. At least they identified this one and stopped it. We could use alot more of that type of fiscal detective work in DC.


RE: musk just wet himself
By Reclaimer77 on 5/14/14, Rating: 0
RE: musk just wet himself
By retrospooty on 5/14/2014 10:20:07 AM , Rating: 2
"Killing the Shuttle with no viable alternatives"

If there was an issue, it was the "no viable alternatives" part. The Shuttle needed to end years earlier than it did.

As far as our older rockets? Zero people died in space flight, takoff or landing vs... Well, we know about the Shuttles. They were also not hitting the financial mark either. Supposed to be cheap and recyclable, wound up expensive as hell...

Mismanaged? OK, granted, but how many things does the govt manage right? I know your answer to that question ;)


RE: musk just wet himself
By Reclaimer77 on 5/14/14, Rating: 0
RE: musk just wet himself
By retrospooty on 5/14/2014 10:41:23 AM , Rating: 3
I find it a bit amazing that you are here defending a wasteful, dangerous government run program. LOL... I mean I see your point, its just funny coming from you.


RE: musk just wet himself
By Reclaimer77 on 5/14/2014 11:07:38 AM , Rating: 5
NASA's budget has been pennies compared to social programs. And I can't seriously view the Shuttle as "wasteful" or "dangerous".

Space exploration is a perfectly legitimate Government enterprise imo. The contribution it has made to our quality of life and society is almost incalculable. Not to mention our knowledge base.


RE: musk just wet himself
By Bubbacub on 5/14/2014 4:24:05 PM , Rating: 1
the shuttle was in many ways the pinnacle of human endeavour - it was also in many other ways a catastrophic clusterfcvk of epic proportions.

the only purpose of the shuttle was to build the ISS (another space program of extreme cost, brilliant technically but utterly pointless in the final evaluation)

net cost over the program in 2010 dollars was 200 billion - the outcomes:

1: justified spending 150 billion on the ISS which has taught us how to become reliant on largely pre-existing russian built closed loop environmental support systems and very little else

2: a bunch of people got to go to LEO to launch payloads which could have gone up with no risk to human life on an unmanned launcher for less money

3: hubble servicing missions - about the only worthwhile thing the shuttle ever did - unfortunately when you add up the cost of the shuttle and the ISS you could launch a 100 hubble space telescopes for less cash

4: fourteen casualties in performing menial tasks in LEO which didn't need human input.

5: a whole barrel load of pork made its way to congress

the shuttle is a very fond memory of mine - i remember watching launches and being astounded by the power and grace of such a wonderful machine.

it is such a shame that something so wonderful caused so much harm that it essentially blocked the development of meaningful human endeavour in space for forty years.


RE: musk just wet himself
By Paj on 5/16/2014 9:09:03 AM , Rating: 2
I completely disagree with your premise. The shuttle launched dozens of key satellites which have been milestones in human exploration and scientific knoweldge, Hubble being the most famous example.

It allowed us to develop and refine key technologies in aeronautics, robotics, materials science, computing, the list goes on.

Data from shuttles and the ISS will also be crucial in designing future craft for extended flights in space, as well as performing experiments that simply cannot be done on earth in fields as diverse as fluid dynamics, combustion, nuclear science, atmospheric science, meteorology and plant and animal biology. Having a lab in microgravity is scientifically very important.

Was it managed poorly in parts? Absolutely. Could the deaths have been avoided? Undoubtedly. But nothing worthwhile is ever easy.

All this for $200 billion? I'd say its a bargain - certainly better value than the Iraq/Afghanistan wars, which by most accounts cost over 5 times as much, resulted in millions more killed and displaced, all with no tangible benefits.


RE: musk just wet himself
By Bubbacub on 5/16/2014 2:27:46 PM , Rating: 2
My point was which of these missions could not have been achieved with a cheaper safer expendable launcher?

Other than the Hubble servicing and a couple of the early iss missions I can't think of any useful unique capability that the shuttle provided.

That 200 billion could have launched the iss in 3-4 Saturn v launches decades ago. The hundreds of billions left over would have paid for a proper Mars or moon exploration program. No extra money than what we have already spent - all the right congressmen would still have gotten their pork and we would be on Mars.

I love the shuttle as a machine, but it totally screwed up space exploration post Apollo.


RE: musk just wet himself
By BRB29 on 5/14/2014 10:45:35 AM , Rating: 2
The shuttle is actually very useful but just terribly inefficient in terms of energy used for launch. NASA's budget allocation is what really killed it. If you look at their budgets, it hasn't improved much since the 70s. Thank congress for that.


RE: musk just wet himself
By Jeffk464 on 5/16/2014 10:39:22 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
The Shuttle had two fatal incidents after hundreds of successful flights. Please show me how our old rocket launcher systems had a better track record.


I'm pretty sure the Ariane 5 has never had a failure. It would be nice for a manned system to have the same reliability record. A modern designed more conventional system should be much safer than the shuttle. I would already trust the atlas 5 over the shuttle and thats before it gets the man rated upgrades.


RE: musk just wet himself
By thesaxophonist on 5/13/2014 7:12:40 PM , Rating: 3
Nobody remembers Constellation? We HAD a plan. Then politics killed it.


RE: musk just wet himself
By delphinus100 on 5/13/2014 8:46:24 PM , Rating: 2
Serious development costs killed it.

And Orion/Ares-I would have been expensive overkill for ISS access, not to mention private commercial stations. That was just not going to happen.


RE: musk just wet himself
By Bubbacub on 5/14/2014 4:30:44 PM , Rating: 2
the politics didnt kill it - constellation was a terrible plan.

keeping the worst bits of the shuttle (the solid boosters) and ditching every other bit to create not one but two infrequently flown (and hence risky) rockets was the height of institutional incompetence.

weight gain and poor performance in the stick (ares 1) drove ever increasing demands of the J2X such that it basically became a 10 billion dollar new rocket engine with all the drawback of being stuck to an inherently low pewrformance gas generator design.

having spent 10 billion on the J2X, a few billion more on the stick and with not one cent spent on the actual heavy lift rocket or heaven forbid a payload to actually lift - NASA were getting nowhere fast.

I think SLS should be cancelled but even SLS is a hundred times better than constellation was.


RE: musk just wet himself
By Jeffk464 on 5/16/2014 10:40:55 PM , Rating: 2
It was a plan pushed through by Congress to keep all of the companies employed by the shuttle program in business.


RE: musk just wet himself
By delphinus100 on 5/13/2014 8:44:25 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
However being a private corporation, Musk could one day decide to close up shop, sell out, or just flat out go bankrupt.


Boeing? (CST-100)

Sierra Nevada? (DreamChaser)

This is exactly why you have more than one partner. (as opposed to some members of congress who would like to 'downselect' to just one of them right now, so as not to distract from their Orion/SLS pet...)

However, ULA would have to seriously start looking into using Deltas instead of Atlases to launch those two spacecraft, instead...


RE: musk just wet himself
By cruisin3style on 5/14/2014 6:54:02 AM , Rating: 2
If you're for privatization in all areas, you've decided that the cons you describe in sentence 2 are worth the risk.

So I'm not sure what you're moaning about. I'm not trying to attack you here, but I think you just became the definition of a blowhard.


RE: musk just wet himself
By GotThumbs on 5/14/2014 11:49:40 AM , Rating: 1
quote:
However being a private corporation, Musk could one day decide to close up shop, sell out, or just flat out go bankrupt.


Or whats more likely....He could sell his company to China or Russia. Basically the highest bidder and I wouldn't blame him at all. It's not his fault the Obama Admin chose to delay the Constellation project.

It seems the Obama Admin is NOT familiar with the old adage: Don't put all your eggs in one basket.

In the end, the US is working from lower ground and will end up being the loser in this game of chess IMO. Obama knows basketball, but does he understand the strategy of chess and that you have to think 5 steps ahead of your opponent? I haven't see it from him in the past.

The US continues to weaken not only globally but within our own borders, through lack of US Laws being enforced equally to all. Lady Justice's blind has been removed by this Administration IMO.

~Best wishes on surviving what's yet to come.


RE: musk just wet himself
By maven81 on 5/14/2014 1:18:50 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Or whats more likely....He could sell his company to China or Russia. Basically the highest bidder and I wouldn't blame him at all. It's not his fault the Obama Admin chose to delay the Constellation project.


That doesn't make any sense. First of all killing off Constellation is exactly what Musk needed. It paved the way for the COTS program which provided funding for Space X to do their thing. Even now I believe the government is by far their largest client. Second you are clearly not at all familiar with either Constellation or COTS. There are two companies that got contracts for cargo flights to the ISS, and there are even more working on human ferry missions. That's not exactly putting all your eggs in one basket.
On the other hand, NASAs own SLS program will probably wind up going nowhere.


RE: musk just wet himself
By Paj on 5/16/2014 8:56:13 AM , Rating: 2
Correct me if I'm wrong - but you sound like you're saying you want more government involvement in space?


RE: musk just wet himself
By retrospooty on 5/13/2014 6:33:33 PM , Rating: 5
LOL... Still, it just sounds funny.

We are furious... You have no access starting in... 6 years. I have had it with you!

This must be a new thing called the passively aggressive luke-warm war.


RE: musk just wet himself
By Digimonkey on 5/13/2014 8:33:36 PM , Rating: 5
Even better is a couple of years ago I heard they planned to decommission ISS around 2020. So we're getting kicked out of it when they decommission it? That's harsh.


RE: musk just wet himself
By Brandon Hill (blog) on 5/13/2014 8:39:28 PM , Rating: 2
NASA wants to expand the ISS service life until 2024.

http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/research...


RE: musk just wet himself
By Jeffk464 on 5/13/2014 9:51:07 PM , Rating: 1
So space X might finally get the capability to put people onto the space station a few years before its decommissioned. WTF is the point of that? Our space program is a comedy of mismanagement.


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