Apr 03 2014
America has this amazing International Space Station (ISS), which it spent tens of billions of taxpayer dollars to build and deploy in orbit over two decades. A historic human achievement.
A few years after the ISS was finally completed, the short-sighted incompetents inside the Obama administration cancelled the only program we had for getting to our space station. Leaving us to rely on Russia to ferry our astronauts up to and back from our space station. This of course has made the US completely reliant on Russia to use and exploit the ISS.
But with the cancellation of the program, this leaves NASA with no replacement for the Shuttle fleet when they are retired at the end of 2010. This means that the U.S. will now need to rely on the Russian Space Agency to get our astronauts into space. (Currently only the Russians and Chinese have the capability to send men into space.)
Fast forward to the current day and a belligerent Russia. Having annexed the Crimea from the Ukraine, the geniuses inside the Obama administration are once again displaying they ‘not-ready-for-prime-time’ on the big stage. If you have an Achilles’ Heal, you don’t lead with it when trying to employ diplomatic pressure on Russia:
In an internal NASA memorandum obtained by The Verge, NASA said that the suspension includes travel to Russia, teleconferences, and visits by Russian government officials to NASA facilities. NASA is even suspending the exchange of emails with Russian officials….
“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,” a spokesman said. Operations aboard the International Space Station, which is a wholly collaborative effort between the two nations, are exempt from this suspension.
Just last week, a trio of astronauts, including two Russians and one American, launched into space on a Russian rocket, headed for the International Space Station. Without a shuttle program of its own, NASA depends on Russians to ferry its astronauts to and from the station, and pays them $70.7 million per seat. The U.S. space agency is working with private American companies to develop rockets and break out of Russia’s transportation monopoly.
This is as dumb a move as I have ever seen. If this escalates Russia will maroon our people in space. Or it can just bring everyone back and leave our investment orbiting above our heads out of reach. Stopping emails from Russia to NASA counterparts? Really – that’s their plan?