American Elephants

Russia Will Ban U.S. From Using the International Space Station! by The Elephant's Child

article-2227338-15D4A236000005DC-550_634x465Russia will now ban the US from using the Space Station over our Ukraine sanctions. If the Obama administration is going to deny export licenses for some high-technology items, a blow to Russian industry, well two can play that game. They will also bar its rocket engines from launching U.S. military satellites, as it hits back at American sanctions imposed over the Ukraine crisis.

The two countries have long cooperated closely on space exploration in spite of clashes on foreign policy. The space station is manned by both Russian and American crews, but now the only way to get there is by using Russia’s Soyuz spacecraft. The U.S. now pays Russia $70 million per seat to transport American astronauts to the International Space Station.

Deputy Prime Minister Rogozin pointed out that Russia could use the station without the United States. “The Russian segment can exist independently from the American one. The U.S. one cannot.”

And they will suspend the operation of 11 GPS sites on Russian territory from June, and will seek talks with Washington on opening similar sites in the U.S.¬†for Russia’s own navigation system Glonass. So there.

We will see how this all turns out. I would suggest, however, that Vladimir Putin is more accustomed to playing hardball.


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