The long-standing NASA-Russian partnership in space could be unraveling


Roskosmos head Dmitry Rogozin was photographed in October, 2018, after the launch of a soy-fg rocket.
Increase / Roskosmos head Dmitry Rogozin was photographed in October, 2018, after the launch of a soy-fg rocket.

Alexey Philippow / Tas by Gati Pictures

After an American Apollo and Soviet Soviet spacecraft docked in orbit during the height of the Cold War, in 1975, the two leading space powers gradually worked more and more together in civilian court activities. Over time, they forged well and, at least, between astronauts and engineers, even a comfortable tie. But from late on, the covenant is delightful and long-term it can be unraveled entirely.

The most immediate issue involves Dmitry Rogozin, who is to lead the Russian space corporation, Roskosmos, May 2018. Overtly political, Rogozin shares Vladimir Putin's antipathy to the West. Following the Crimean crisis in 2014, Rogozin was one of seven Russian officials sanctioned by Obama administration. In response, he touted NASA, which then relied (and still does) on Russian soybean spacecraft to reach the International Space Station.

"After analyzing the sanctions against our site industry, I recommend to USA to bring their astronauts to the International Space Station using a trampoline," Rogozin, then a deputy prime minister of Russia over defense and space, Tweeted in Russian At the time.

When Nasa Administrator Jim Brompton visited Russia and Kazakhstan last year, he received a call for Rogozin to visit the United States and lecture at Brentine's Alma Mater, Rice University in Houston. But because of Rogozin's controversial past, and some of the sanctions, There. Senators vocally against his visit. This forced Nasa to indefinitely delay the visit earlier this month.

This week saw an attempt at fence mending. Bridgestone and Rogozin held a telecom conference to discuss cooperation on the ISS program and other projects. It is not clear how well the call went, as NASA was shut down, and the agency did not report details. According to a single source familiar with White House site policy, despite some blasts from Russia, there were no immediate reproductions to the US. There. Russian place relationship because of the withdrawal of the invitation. However, these curves are sure to break some of the egos on the Russian side.

And relations are already a bit uneasy, even poor Russian incidents about the NASA astronaut's sabotage at the space station last year. This basal charge caused doubt in the minds of both NASA and Russia's leaders about the relationship.

But these are the most obvious problems. There are more serious, underlying tents. The NASA fear of a systematic decline in the quality of Russian hardware and practices, such as what could have actually occurred with the soybean leak and, moreover, a soyuz rocket failure last year. Put simply, Russia's human space program is a fading force. And, as Russia's prominence in place declines over time, it is the problem of what role it is right to expect the country to play in the US. There. Spot flight activities after the end of the ISS program at the 2020's.

A slow decline

The early Soviet successes in space are based on a number of very specific features of their aerospace industry, site author and historian Jim Narg said. During the heyday of the site race in the 1960s, aerospace workers received special privileges, such as access to certain stores, hospitals, and resorts, and the best graduates of Soviet schools were found in the site program. They also suffer from intellectual freedom during the Soviet era.

In recent years, most of the benefits are gone. No longer are Russian aerospace workers at the cutting edge of world-leading site activities – including building the same or similar rockets and spacecraft that Russia has built since the 1960s and 1970s. These big-money days are also gone, and there are not even resources to keep aging sites from getting junk with. Generally, Russian space workers are poorly compensated. Over time, quality has suffered.

"Their site industry is lost in the indefinite future-capacity to produce the station-class modules, as for the last three decades they have lost and failed at every attempt to rebuild their ability to launch and operate science-based probes to London and planets. , "Agerg said. "There is a cruel exact collision to determine where one can count the number of successful Russian deep-space missions in the hands of the 30-year-old finger."

The fact is that Russia is now a more precious orbital taxi in the soyuz rocket and spacecraft, but the relationship between the International Space Station, Russia, has a little prospect of building a station of its own in a decade. And each year, Oarg said, more of his experienced cadre of engineers and technicians retired, took their hard-won knowledge and judged them.

"There is not a good deal for them or for the rest of the world that benefits from their productive presence, in cooperation and in competition, is in place," Ogg said.

No more equals

Back in the 1990s, the United States and Russia could be counted, roughly, as equals in human fleet capabilities. NASA has its excellent space shuttle, but Russia has more experienced with Orbital modules and on-site stations after its launch. Now, Russia has lost the beach, and when NASA business cruises come online later this year and start operational soon after, Russia will no longer be required to enter NASA and the United States.

"I think we're going through a long transition in the relationship," said John Logdon, a remarkable historian. "When Russia joined the station partnership, it demanded and got, on the foundation of its human space flight experience, treatment as first among US partners, but, 25 years later, it was no longer a superpower, but one Among some other states. "

As a result, Russia & # 39; s ability to make major contributions to NASA & # 39; It is a question of the proposed gateway near the moon and other plans. Russians are not blind to this, but there is no leader as Rohbozin is likely to accept easily Them Pioneered human space Flight. So far, the Russian response is important to offer large, ambitious civilian site projects – such as their own long-term landings or large rockets – as if they were funding them. They do not, of course, and some Russian commentators have warned this site's program of "dark times."

Over the next few years, as NASA starts flying sleek, modern looking for business vehicles in space. There. Companies such as the United Launch Alliance are becoming less reliant on Russian technology (specifically the RD-180 rocket engine), the relationship may bend further – or may break. The fact is, while Russia can be seen as equal, NASA and its business partners will look at China and Chinese companies as their main rivals are in place.

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