A decisive Russian mood can leave American astronauts without traveling to the International Space Station.
Since NASA retired its fleet of space shuttles in 2011, Russia became a monopolist in the field of sending crews into space. The only other country that can currently send people into space - China, is not a member of the 15-nation space station partnership.
This puts the United States in a vulnerable position.
Currently, space cooperation between the United States and Russia is isolated from the political whirlwind generated by Russia's decision to send troops to the Crimea peninsula last week, thereby causing fear of a full-fledged invasion.
"We continue to monitor the situation," - said NASA administrator Charles Bolden reporters during a conference call on Tuesday.
“Everything for us continues to be nominal,” he says.
The cost of delivering a payload to the ISS per kilogram. Price is in US dollars
Bolden also noted that the space station had gone through “numerous space crises,” starting from the moment astronauts began to live there full-time on November 2, 2000. It even includes the period of the 2008 war between Russia and Georgia. “NASA and its Russian counterpart, Roscosmos, maintain professional, beneficial and collegial working relationships and will continue to do so during the course of the ISS program and beyond,” add NASA representatives.
Using the Falcon 9 system can significantly reduce the cost of delivering cargo to the ISS
NASA is investing in private companies that can build commercial passenger spacecraft, which in turn will allow the US to gain independence from Russia in this area until 2020.
"This, of course, increases the incentive for the United States to become less dependent on an increasingly volatile and barbed Russia," says Joan Johnson-Freese, a professor of national security at the US Naval College in Rhode Island.
"The budget request from the Trump administration for NASA for the year to October 1 is $ 848 million. An additional $ 250 million for the program may come from an additional budget," said NASA Chief Financial Officer Beth Robinson.