NASA: Russia alone can't end space station work (Update)

May 19, 2014 by Frank Jordans
Head of US National Aeronautics and Space Administration, NASA, Charles Bolden, speaks during a press conference in Berlin, Monday, May 19, 2014. The head of NASA has dismissed concerns that friction with Russia might spell the end of the International Space Station. Russia's deputy prime minister said last week that his country wouldn't cooperate with the United States on the project beyond 2020. The move followed a decision by the United States to impose sanctions on Russia over its actions in Ukraine. NASA Administrator Charles Bolden said Monday that the space station is run jointly by the U.S., Russia, Japan, Europe and Canada, and no single partner can terminate the project. (AP Photo/Michael Sohn)

Friction between the United States and Russia over Ukraine won't spell the end of the International Space Station, the head of NASA said Monday, dismissing concerns that one of the world's most prestigious scientific endeavors could fall victim to political disagreement.

The comments by NASA Administrator Charles Bolden come a week after Russia warned that it could cease cooperating with the U.S. on the project after 2020. Although Japan, Europe and Canada are also members, all currently depend on Russian Soyuz capsules to take astronauts to the space station since NASA retired its shuttle fleet.

"There is no single partner that can terminate the international space station," Bolden told reporters in Berlin, where he was attending the city's annual air show.

Bolden said that the cooperation between NASA and Roscosmos, the Russian space agency, on the International Space Station hadn't changed "one iota" in recent years. The project has withstood the increasingly frosty atmosphere between Washington and Moscow that saw the U.S. impose sanctions on Russia over its actions in Ukraine.

Still, Bolden indicated that if for one reason or other a country should drop out of the project, the others would seek to continue.

In an image from video provided by NASA, the SpaceX commercial cargo ship Dragon prepares to leave the International Space Station on Sunday, May 18, 2014. The Dragon capsule was bringing back 3,500 pounds of gear, with splashdown planned in the Pacific Ocean, about 300 miles offshore from Mexico's Baja California peninsula. It's the only supply ship capable of safely returning items. The astronauts released it using the International Space Station's big robot arm. (AP Photo/NASA)

"There is no one partner that is indispensable on the International Space Station," he said. NASA hopes that private companies such as Space X will be able to develop rockets and capsules to fly astronauts to the space station as early as 2017.

Asked whether there might be an opportunity to bring on board China, which NASA is currently banned from cooperating with on human space flight, Bolden said: "There is nothing that I see in the tea leaves that says our relationship is going to change."

Explore further: NASA cuts ties with Russia except on space station (Update)

5 /5 (6 votes)
add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

NASA says US-Russia space ties 'normal'

Mar 04, 2014

NASA chief Charles Bolden said Tuesday the US space agency's relationship with Russia remained normal despite the ongoing international crisis in Ukraine.

Three astronauts land back on Earth in Soyuz capsule

May 14, 2014

Three astronauts, including a Russian and an American, touched down safely on Earth Wednesday aboard a Soyuz capsule, the first such landing since Russia's relationship with the West slumped amid the Ukraine ...

Russia to only use ISS until 2020: official

May 13, 2014

A senior Russian official said Tuesday that Russia will only need the International Space Station (ISS) until 2020, as previous plans by Washington to use it until 2024 were thrown into doubt amid the Ukraine ...

Russian cargo ship docks with space station

Apr 10, 2014

A Russian cargo ship has successfully docked with the International Space Station Thursday, bringing the crew crucial supplies and water, Russia's space agency said.

Recommended for you

Time in space exposes materials to the test of time

1 hour ago

Much like that pickup truck rusting in your backyard thanks to time, rain and the elements, extended stays in the brutal environment of space can take its toll on spacecraft, satellites and space stations. ...

Earth's orbit around the sun

3 hours ago

Ever since the 16th century when Nicolaus Copernicus demonstrated that the Earth revolved around in the Sun, scientists have worked tirelessly to understand the relationship in mathematical terms. If this ...

How can we search for life on icy moons such as Europa?

4 hours ago

Our solar system is host to a wealth of icy worlds that may have water beneath the surface. The Cassini spacecraft recently uncovered evidence of a possible ocean under the surface of Saturn's moon, Mimas.

CubeSat instruments to demonstrate NASA firsts

5 hours ago

The Dellingr six-unit CubeSat, which is taking its developers just one year to design, build and integrate, won't be the only potentially groundbreaking capability for NASA. Its heliophysics payloads also ...

Musk is testing x-wing style fins, spaceport drone ship

7 hours ago

(Phys.org) —Elon Musk over the weekend sent out a number of tweets about what's up at SpaceX in its rocket endeavors, talking about features that triggered a steady response stream of "Awesome," "Rad," ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.