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  Ukraine crisis, Russia and space program politics (Page 3)

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Author Topic:   Ukraine crisis, Russia and space program politics
Robert Pearlman
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From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 04-29-2014 11:29 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by SpaceAholic:
General Valery Gerasimov (Russian Military Staff Chief of Staff) has just stated that that fresh US sanctions against Moscow could compromise US astronauts on the International Space Station (ISS).
Interfax reports that it was Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin who first raised the issue today and said:
If their aim is to deliver a blow to Russia's rocket-building sector, then by default, they would be exposing their astronauts on the ISS.

Sanctions are always a boomerang which come back and painfully hit those who launched them.

On edit: What Rogozin is referring to are increasing concerns by U.S. politicians on the use of Russian engines on U.S. rockets, as currently employed by United Launch Alliance's Atlas V and Orbital Sciences' Antares boosters.

But Rogozin many not have just his country's interests in mind; he may also be worried about his own coffers. As SpaceX's Elon Musk pointed out during a recent press conference, Rogozin is on the list of Russian officials whose financial assets fall under the U.S. sanctions.

How is it that we're sending hundreds of millions of U.S. taxpayer money at a time when Russia is in the process of invading Ukraine? It would be hard to imagine some way that Dmitry Rogozin is not benefiting personally from the dollars that are being sent there.
Rogozin today tweeted:
After analyzing the sanctions against our space industry, I suggest to the USA to bring their astronauts to the International Space Station using a trampoline.
To wit, Musk replied in kind:
Sounds like this might be a good time to unveil the new Dragon Mk 2 spaceship that SpaceX has been working on with NASA. No trampoline needed.
Musk followed up, noting the "cover will drop" on May 29. "Actual flight design hardware of crew Dragon, not a mockup."

328KF
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posted 04-29-2014 06:39 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for 328KF   Click Here to Email 328KF     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Rogozin trampoline comment was picked by NBC News during their evening broadcast tonight.

SpaceAholic
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From: Sierra Vista, Arizona
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posted 05-14-2014 12:23 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for SpaceAholic   Click Here to Email SpaceAholic     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Russia reaffirms possible fallout to space cooperation (Reuters):
Russia cast doubt on the long-term future of the International Space Station, a showcase of post-Cold War cooperation, as it retaliated on Tuesday against U.S. sanctions over Ukraine.

Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin said Moscow would reject a U.S. request to prolong the orbiting station's use beyond 2020, and bar Washington from using Russian-made rocket engines to launch military satellites.

Moscow took the action, which also included suspending operation of GPS satellite navigation system sites on its territory from June, in response to U.S. plans to deny export licences for high-technology items that could help the Russian military.

"We are very concerned about continuing to develop high-tech projects with such an unreliable partner as the United States, which politicises everything," Rogozin told a news conference.

fredtrav
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From: Birmingham AL USA
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posted 05-14-2014 12:23 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for fredtrav   Click Here to Email fredtrav     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Could we continue to use the station if we so choose without their participation?

carmelo
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From: Messina, Sicilia, Italia
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posted 05-14-2014 12:25 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for carmelo   Click Here to Email carmelo     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Some questions:
  1. With ISS gone in 2020 is still need COTS (considers also the Russian ban of rocket engine sales, that affect Atlas V, the launch vehicle for Boeing and Sierra Nevada Corporation).

  2. What next for USA? All the funds on SLS/Orion?

  3. What next for Russia? Collaboration with China and India, or a Soyuz/Mir 2.0 program integrated with the money of "space tourism"?

  4. What next for Europe? Is possible a partnership with NASA for SLS/Orion program (maybe with lander and mission modules built by ESA)?

Orthon
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From: Gilbert, Arizona 85296
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posted 05-14-2014 12:26 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Orthon   Click Here to Email Orthon     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
This is a surprise? I said a long time ago that it was folly for the United States to believe that politics would not interfere with the operation of the ISS.

Robert Pearlman
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From: Houston, TX
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posted 05-14-2014 12:45 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
2020 is a long way away. Despite what Rogozin says (or rather tweets) today (or tomorrow), I wouldn't go counting Russia out of the space station just yet.

Keep in mind, pulling out of the ISS hurts Russia too, perhaps even more than it hurts the U.S., and ceasing engine sales to the U.S. only deprives Russia of that capital.

(For its part, United Launch Alliance says they are unaware of any restrictions on RD-180 sales, but as a contingency, it has a two year supply of engines to tide it over as it switches payloads from Atlas to Delta, if necessary.)

Rogozin seems to have made his statements without briefing Roscosmos or the other relevant divisions of the government first. Time will tell if his statements were just talk.

noroxine
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posted 05-14-2014 07:03 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for noroxine   Click Here to Email noroxine     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Robert Pearlman:
Rogozin seems to have made his statements without briefing Roscosmos or the other relevant divisions of the government first. Time will tell if his statements were just talk.
Here are details.

Fra Mauro
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From: Bethpage, N.Y.
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posted 05-14-2014 07:18 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Fra Mauro   Click Here to Email Fra Mauro     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
It does pose a number of questions and scenarios, depending most especially on how our federal government responds. It could boost our manned space program, or give the next President an excuse to shut the whole thing down. However, it is 6 years away and this might be a bluff.

328KF
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posted 05-14-2014 08:11 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for 328KF   Click Here to Email 328KF     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by noroxine:
Here are details.
This transcript is very detailed with respect to Russia's intentions, not just random tweets from Rogozin. While they are somewhat contradictory at times, the forward looking plan is clear... they're done working with the U.S.

This comment was particularly frank:

These could even be international projects, but it would be us who would choose our partners and decide with whom to cooperate in near and outer space exploration.
2020 is the next decision point in which they can opt out, and a lot can happen in the next six years or so. The political landscape will be completely different by that time. But if they go to their leadership and start the ball rolling toward moving beyond ISS, the policy decisions made in the current environment will be difficult, if not impossible, to overturn.

SpaceAholic
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From: Sierra Vista, Arizona
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 05-14-2014 10:14 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for SpaceAholic   Click Here to Email SpaceAholic     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Decision point for Russian extrication from the program would be much sooner then 2020 (for both the US and Russia) as there are fiscal, political and programmatic ramifications requiring attention to prep for whatever course of action is elected.

Cozmosis22
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From: Texas * Earth
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posted 05-14-2014 10:36 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Cozmosis22     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Orthon:
This is a surprise? I said a long time ago that it was folly for the United States to believe that politics would not interfere with the operation of the ISS.

Concur, it was only a matter of time.

Robert Pearlman
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From: Houston, TX
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posted 05-14-2014 01:56 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
There's a difference between "interfering with the operation of the ISS" and political posturing.

On the same day that Rogozin made his statements, Russia and the United States worked together to bring a crew home safely from the space station — without any interference from politics.

Rogozin knows whatever he says is going to be picked up by the media. He is playing politics through the press (our politicians do the same). Do not confuse his statements with actual actions. Case in point, from NASA:

We have not received any official notification from the Government of Russia on any changes in our space cooperation at this point.
Further to that are Bolden's own comments made yesterday at NASA Armstrong Flight Research Center:
Our recommendation to the partners, and all of the partners have agreed that they're going to look at extending the life of the station to 2024 ... And I would remind everyone, the first two people to sign the proposal to do so were Mr. [Oleg] Ostapenko and me. Mr. Ostapenko [the head of] Roscosmos, the Russian space agency. You're talking about diplomatic action, and I'm talking about just operational interaction between Roscosmos and NASA. So, until we get word from somebody else, then nothing's changed for us right now.

issman1
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posted 05-14-2014 03:30 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for issman1     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Just wondering how this may affect ISS crew assignments whilst Soyuz offers sole access? A great pity to see the space station becoming a geopolitical football.

Robert Pearlman
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Registered: Nov 1999

posted 05-14-2014 03:41 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Rogozin's comments have had no effect on crew assignments or the operation of the ISS through at least 2017 (in terms of both crews and vehicles).

The station is no more a political tool today than it has been for the past 15 years. This is not the first time Russia has announced (grandiose) plans, and it likely won't be the last.

p51
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From: Olympia, WA, USA
Registered: Sep 2011

posted 05-14-2014 04:32 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for p51   Click Here to Email p51     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
No news here. Like Robert just posted, this has happened plenty of times in history.

Easy to make a threat with such a long lead time, so much can change between now and then. And if/when it does, the leader (still Putin at that point, if he has anything to say about it) can just say, "We changed directions since we said that," just like a Western leader can say, "Hey, that was the last leader who promised we'd be doing XYZ within ten years..."

SpaceAholic
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From: Sierra Vista, Arizona
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 05-14-2014 04:49 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for SpaceAholic   Click Here to Email SpaceAholic     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Putin's ambitions and associated actions have been pretty consistent - the West as well in that it has constantly mis/underestimated him. As Putin implements his strategic vision of reasserting dominance over bordering nation states in conflict with western interests, expect bi-lateral cooperation to include US/Russian space to be placed under additional stress.

SkyMan1958
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posted 05-14-2014 05:19 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for SkyMan1958   Click Here to Email SkyMan1958     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Obviously the Russians are not going to be doing very much new or interesting in space without pairing up with some international power(s). They can talk about their plans all they want, but without money the plans are dead on arrival.

In my opinion, the interesting potential partner will be China. Will they pair up with Russia in space so that they can learn all they need to know from the Russians? The Chinese certainly have had a track record of getting Soviet/Russian technical data and then kicking the Soviets/Russians to the curb. Given that we are talking about the ISS potentially going belly up in 2020 I would think the Chinese would already be well along their space "flight path", and they may not need to play the Russian card.

Also, let's not forget that the only user of the engine that the Russians aren't going to be selling to us any more is us. If they put a hold on sales of the engine, it's their own companies and workers that are going to go belly up.

SpaceAholic
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From: Sierra Vista, Arizona
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 05-14-2014 07:34 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for SpaceAholic   Click Here to Email SpaceAholic     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by SkyMan1958:
If they put a hold on sales of the engine, it's their own companies and workers that are going to go belly up.
Already baked into the cake, if for no other reason then U.S. lawmakers have now been reminded of the folly of reliance upon Russia for national security technology. Companies like SpaceX are ready to step in and fill the gap.

328KF
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posted 05-15-2014 07:44 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for 328KF   Click Here to Email 328KF     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Maybe Rogozin should have spent more time fixing the problems he was appointed to fix and less time talking. Another Proton rocket failed during launch tonight.

Robert Pearlman
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From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 05-17-2014 04:25 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Fox News interviewed astronaut Ron Garan about the current situation:


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