Did you even know that Russia was launching some of your military
Well, you boxed yourselves into this mess, with a long series of bad
decisions and mentally retarded foreign policies and bankrupted
yourselves over Iraq and Afghanistan (falsely believing that with war
comes a huge increase in domestic economic activity, jobs, tax revenue,
It will be a supreme slap in your face when Russia starts taking Chinese
astronauts to the ISS in your place.
Mark Whittington of the Houston Space News Examiner reports that Russia
to evict NASA from the International Space Station in 2020, as
punishment for what Russia considers to be intrusive bullying by the
United States imposing sanctions on Russia for its actions in Ukraine.
As counter sanctions Russia will also end most other space cooperation
with the U.S. including prohibiting our use of their advanced RD-180 and
NK-33 rocket engines to launch military satellites, and closing down 16
of our GPS sites in Russian territory. Russia has not said under what
conditions they would take us back up to the ISS until 2024 as was the
original plan - for example, if we were to "apologize, end our
sanctions, and tell them they could keep the Crimea,"
The Obama administration would like to extend space station
operations to at least 2024. According to the Financial Times Russia
believes that its withdraw from the space station will make this
impossible. In effect Russia will have evicted the United States from
the orbiting space lab that it provided the lions share of money and
resources to build and maintain.
Russia has been showing signs of divorcing its space program from
the United States ever since the Ukraine crisis started. Recently it
announced serious plans to build a lunar base starting in 2030. This is
seen as a poke in the eye of the United States as well, as NASA has
abandoned lunar exploration by presidential directive. ...
The Russian moves highlight American vulnerabilities in space,
thanks largely to policies initiated by President Clinton, President
George W. Bush, and President Obama, Clinton first brought Russia on as
a partner in the space station project. Bush ended the space shuttle
program to pay for Project Constellation, opening a space flight gap
between the last shuttle flight and the first flight of the shuttle
successor that had to be filled with rides on the Russian Soyuz. Obama
widened that gap by cancelling Constellation and starting to pay
subsidies to build private sector operated spacecraft.
Given NASA's meager budget Whittington report's our options are fairly
What are the laws of abandoned property in space? Are they similar to
those for the laws of the oceans such that abandoned ships may be
claimed for salvage? Wouldn't be an "extra poke in the eye' if the
Russians claimed the International Space Station as abandoned salvage
and repainted it with a bright red cycle and star?
Dang, this international diplomacy is complicated and fraught with
unintended side-effects. I haven't seen a reaction from the U.S. yet.
Who would have thought the Russians would have pulled this New Jersey
trick on us? "Hey, that's a nice space station ya got there America,
what a shame if something was to happen to it."
Maybe having the Russians rub our noses in the mud will make the
Republicans angry enough they will discover a new found love of science
and boost the budget for NASA so we can launch military satellites and
get back into space.
And, what is this whole Russian lunar colony in 2030? Shouldn't we build
a bigger one so we can say, " Say, that's a nice lunar base you got
there Russia, what a shame if something was to happen to it." Then we
can start planning for a Mars base in 2060.