Russia Fights Back Against U.S. Sanctions; Will Deny NASA Access to ISS After 2020
May 13, 2014 4:55 PM
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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
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:
It will not allow the U.S. to have access to the ISS after the year 2020 (the U.S. wants to
prolong the life of the station until 2024
The U.S. will be forbidden from purchasing Russian
rocket engines to launch military satellites
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?”
The Washington Post
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RE: musk just wet himself
5/14/2014 4:24:05 PM
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
5/16/2014 9:09:03 AM
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
5/16/2014 2:27:46 PM
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.
"A politician stumbles over himself... Then they pick it out. They edit it. He runs the clip, and then he makes a funny face, and the whole audience has a Pavlovian response." -- Joe Scarborough on John Stewart over Jim Cramer
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