Friday, September 05, 2008

Politics Threatens U.S. Occupation of Space Station

The Universe Today has noted that once again politics is interfering with the space program. With the recent chilling of U.S. - Russian relations, due in part to the recent Russian invasion of Georgia, Congress is understandably reluctant to authorize buying Soyuz seats for U.S. astronauts.

The problem is that "NASA also is counting on using the Soyuz to bridge the five-year gap between the end of shuttle operations in 2010 and the debut of the Constellation program in 2015." This gap is the result of delays caused by short sighted politicians underfunding NASA.

NASA Administrator Mike Griffin notes that this leaves only three possibilities. Either there won't be any U.S. and partner country astronauts on board the ISS for a time, or NASA will be authorized additional money to extend the space shuttle's life, or Nasa will be told to keep the shuttle flying without extra money. Griffin doesn't say it, but the last possibility is the most typical of Congress.

<The Universe Today article>

(Thanks Dave, I might want to suggest everyone take a look at a previous article I wrote dealing more with the political end of what is happening here. At risk here is of course the ISS, what is in play though is a WMD non proliferation waver that Russia has enjoyed for some time now and is about to expire. <- read more ->)

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