NASA Suspends Collaboration With Russia
By Space Coast Daily // April 3, 2014
will continue association with Space Station
It was announced yesterday that NASA is suspending its collaboration with the Russians in response to the invasion of the Ukraine.
According to a leaked NASA memo, the U.S. agency is cutting ties with Russian officials, but will continue its association with the International Space Station.
“Given Russia’s ongoing violation of Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, until further notice, the U.S. Government has determined that all NASA contacts with Russian Government representatives are suspended, unless the activity has been specifically excepted,” the memo said.
“This suspension includes NASA travel to Russia and visits by Russian Government representatives to NASA facilities, bilateral meetings, email, and teleconferences or video conferences. At the present time, only operational International Space Station activities have been excepted. In addition, multilateral meetings held outside of Russia that may include Russian participation are not precluded under the present guidance.”
Since NASA discontinued the Space Shuttle program, the United States pays Russia $70 million per head to take American astronauts into space.
Charles Bolden, NASA administrator, said that Russia relies on the U.S. to operate major systems aboard the International Space Station and the recent takeover of the Crimea By the Russians would not affect the work of astronauts.
“Right now, everything is normal in our relationship with the Russians,” Bolden said. “I’m not an historian but over the duration of the human spaceflight program, particularly over the last 15 years since International Space Station has been on orbit, it’s very important to understand that it started with a partnership between the United States and Russia. That partnership in space remains intact and normal.”
The International Space Station is a joint project run by the United States, Russia, Europe, Japan and Canada.