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NASA suspends most collaborative work with Russia due to Ukraine tensions

Mat Smith, @thatmatsmith
April 3, 2014
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Blaming Russia's "ongoing violation of Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity," NASA has announced that it's suspending nearly all of its engagements with Roscosmos, the Russian space agency. Cooperation will, however, continue on the International Space Station "to maintain safe and continuous operation." The Space Agency says it's still committed to future human spaceflight launches on US soil, but without Russian assistance or extra funding, these will will have to wait until 2017. "The choice here is between fully funding the plan to bring space launches back to America or continuing to send millions of dollars to the Russians. It's that simple."

The full statement from NASA:

"Given Russia's ongoing violation of Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity, NASA is suspending the majority of its ongoing engagements with the Russian Federation. NASA and Roscosmos will, however, continue to work together to maintain safe and continuous operation of the International Space Station. NASA is laser focused on a plan to return human spaceflight launches to American soil, and end our reliance on Russia to get into space. This has been a top priority of the Obama Administration's for the past five years, and had our plan been fully funded, we would have returned American human spaceflight launches – and the jobs they support – back to the United States next year. With the reduced level of funding approved by Congress, we're now looking at launching from U.S. soil in 2017. The choice here is between fully funding the plan to bring space launches back to America or continuing to send millions of dollars to the Russians. It's that simple. The Obama Administration chooses to invest in America – and we are hopeful that Congress will do the same."

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