Deteriorating US – Russian Relations Reach Space

Relations between the US and Russia have been rapidly deteriorating, and this week Russia announced their latest retaliation against US sanctions.  That retaliation uses one of Russia’s few leverage points against the US – space.

Since the US retired its fleet of Space Shuttles, it relies on Russia to send personnel to the International Space Station.  Russia has announced that it will no longer allow the ISS to operate after 2020, and also announced that it will no supply rocket engines to power the rockets that lift US military satellites.

The ISS is a great example of international cooperation.  It was far to massive an undertaking for any one nation, but was successfully built by a consortium of many countries – led by the US and Russia.

For now, NASA and their Russian counterparts are still conducting business as usual, but for how long?

An excellent article on this subject was published in Scientific American.  You can see it here:  http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/russia-to-close-space-station-in-2020/.

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