Russia is going to deny the US future use of the International Space Station beyond 2020 and will also ban its rocket engines from launching US military satellites.
A clear response to American sanctions imposed over Ukraine crisis.
Russia’s deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin announced a series of measures against the US in response to sanctions imposed after Russia annexed Crimea.
The two countries have cooperated closely on space exploration despite foreign policy.
The Space Station is manned by both American and Russian crew, but the only way to reach it is by using Russia’s Soyuz spacecraft.
Rogozin said US plans to deny export licenses for some high-technology items were a blow to Russian industry. “These sanctions are out of place and inappropriate, We have enough of our own problems.”
Rogozin also said, they will finish 2 current missions, “on one condition that they will not be used to launch military satellites,” he said.
RD-180 engines are used to boost Atlas 5 rockets manufactured by United Launch Alliance, a partnership of Lockheed Martin and Boeing that holds a virtual monopoly on launching U.S. military satellites.
Moscow is planning “strategic changes” in its space industry after 2020 and aims to use money and “intellectual resources” that now go to the space station for a “a project with more prospects“.
We have recently learned Russia plans to occupy the moon within the next 5 years.
He suggested Russia could use the station without the United States, saying: “The Russian segment can exist independently from the American one. The U.S. one cannot.”
The United States currently pays Russia more than $60 million per person to fly its astronauts up.
Russia will suspend the operation of 11 GPS sites on its territory, and is attempting opening similar sites in the United States for Russia’s own satellite navigation system.
Permanent closure of the GPS sites in Russia have been threatened if no agreement is reached by September.
He said the suspension of the sites would not affect everyday operations of the GPS system in Russia, where it is used by millions of Russians for navigation on their smartphones and in their cars.
Without a shuttle program, U.S. astronauts have to hitch a ride with Russia in order to get to the ISS.
NASA said it plans to return human spaceflight to American soil by 2017.