Thursday, May 29, 2014

Earthly Conflicts Threaten US-Russia Space Cooperation

Earthly Conflicts Threaten US-Russia Space Cooperation: Angered over U.S. sanctions against Russian officials involved in the annexation of Crimea, and unrest in Eastern Ukraine, Russian deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin said Moscow may retaliate by re-assessing the space cooperation between the two countries.

If his threat becomes reality, it could affect future space explorations aboard the International Space Station (ISS).

Russia has not formally committed to continue cooperation on the ISS until 2024, as the U.S. proposes, and now says it might pull out by 2020. But the largest and most important US-Russian space cooperative seems to be unaffected.

Astronaut Rick Mastracchio, who recently returned to earth after more than six months in orbit, says the atmosphere on the space station is as good as ever.