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Moscow (Voice of Russia) Mar 25, 2014
The United States in the space area is more dependent on Russia than Russia on the United States, John Logsdon, an American scientist, a member of the NASA Advisory Council, said in an interview to France Press in Washington, when asked whether astronauts would not be carried by Russian rockets to the International Space Station in connection with the current situation over Ukraine.
The United States and Russia were mutually dependent to ensure the ISS functioning, Logsdon said. He believes the station cannot work successfully without the support of the American mission control centre based in Texas. Thus, Russia needs support of the American side, but not to the same degree as the United States needs Russia, he noted.
Logsdon believes risks that astronauts will not travel aboard Russian spacecraft to the ISS are not more than 20-25 percent. Such a step would lead to a real catastrophe, since it would be very difficult to ensure functioning of the station, he said.
NASA official spokesman Allard Beutel said that they did not expect the Russian-Ukrainian situation to affect long-time cooperation between the United States and Russia in the civil space area.
US-Russia space ties 'normal' despite crisis in Ukraine - NASA
NASA chief Charles Bolden said Tuesday the US space agency's relationship with Russia remained normal despite the ongoing international crisis in Ukraine.
Russia is a key nation at the International Space Station, and US astronauts rely on Soyuz spacecraft to get to the orbiting outpost and back, having lost direct access since the US space shuttle fleet retired in 2011.
The United States pays Russia some $70 million to ferry each American astronaut to the space station and back, a deal that is expected to last for several more years until private US enterprises build the capacity to carry space travelers again.
Asked by reporters about the US space agency's ties with Russia during a media briefing that was announced to discuss President Barack Obama's proposed fiscal year 2015 budget, NASA administrator Bolden said nothing has changed.
"Right now, everything is normal in our relationship with the Russians," Bolden said.
"We continue to monitor the situation," he said, but stressed repeatedly that the US-Russian "partnership in space remains intact and normal."
Mike Hopkins, an American astronaut aboard the ISS, is set to return to Earth at the end of the month on a Russian rocket, and those plans have not changed, Bolden said.
"Things are nominal right now and our crews are doing well," he said.
Bolden said the US-Russian rapport in space goes back years, and recalled that it was not affected by the 2008 war between Russia and Georgia over break-away territories Abkhazia and South Ossetia.
"People lose track of the fact we have occupied the ISS now for 13 consecutive years uninterrupted and that has been through multiple international crises," Bolden said.
Source: Voice of Russia
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