Russia has imposed sanctions on the US that directly affect the American civil space program while daring America to respond. The bear cub is childishly flexing its muscles to probe American weakness.
Deputy Prime minister Dmitry Rogozin announced Tuesday that the use of the international space station by US astronauts would be withdrawn after 2020.
In addition, Moscow has forbidden the US to use Russian engines for launching American rockets.
The UK Telegraph reported the sanctions were a response to the US cutting off technology exports to Russia over Ukraine.
At a time when Moscow is struggling to reform its accident-plagued space programme, Mr Rogozin said US plans to deny export licences for some high-technology items were a blow to Russian industry. “These sanctions are out of place and inappropriate,” Mr Rogozin said. “We have enough of our own problems.”
The Air Force’s Atlas V active expendable launch system rockets use Russian-made RD-180 engines. The Air Force looked for a substitute in anticipation of the Russian move, but found no suitable match.
As AMN reported in March, Russia’s incursion into Ukraine is creating friction over American reliance on Russia to get into space.
The Obama administration has already suspended military-to-military ties with Russia in response, among other actions. And while NASA insists the deteriorating U.S.-Russia relations won’t affect the civil space program, advocates of commercial development of American launch vehicles believe the crisis could create enough political pressure on Congress to fully fund an American way to the International Space Station.
NASA was contacted for this report but did not respond to AMN.