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NASA: Russia has not officially notified it of its exit from ISS partnership

According to the NASA official who runs its ISS operations, Russia has not officially notified the agency of its decision to end its participation in ISS as of 2024.

NASA’s Robyn Gatens, who leads the agency’s ISS operations, told Reuters she “just saw that” on Tuesday morning and that there was “nothing official yet” to confirm Roscosmos was pulling out. Gatens, speaking at a conference in Washington, D.C., told the news outlet that international agreements required Russia to notify them of any such decision.

This news might simply indicate sloppiness on the part of Russia and its new chief of Roscosmos, Yuri Borisov. More likely it indicates that Russia’s announcement is a negotiating ploy, not an final decision.

As I noted yesterday, Russia doesn’t have many options in space if it leaves ISS in ’24. It won’t have a new station ready to launch by then, and it is unlikely China will agree to make it an equal partner on its station.

Meanwhile, it will be difficult (though not impossible) for the remaining ISS partners to keep the station functioning should Russia decide to detach its modules from the station.

Thus, it appears Russia is likely trying to extort cash from the U.S. by this announcement. “Nice station you got there. Sure would be a shame if something happened to it.” Either it hopes to pressure the U.S. to pay Russia to continue the partnership, or to buy the modules outright. And even in the latter case, Russia will likely insist that it continue operating them, with the U.S. paying the bill.

If we had a competent president who thinks of American self-interest first, Russia’s game here would be laughed out of the room. This Russian decision should and could be used to stimulate American industry to replace the Russians.

Our present president however does not consider this country’s interests very important, and so I’d expect the Biden administration to push for the U.S. to buy off Russia. Whether Congress will go along is uncertain. A majority in both houses probably doesn’t care much for U.S. interests either, but that majority is less likely to agree to such a deal, especially considering its hostility to Russia because of its invasion of the Ukraine.

Conscious Choice cover

Now available in hardback and paperback as well as ebook!

 

From the press release: In this ground-breaking new history of early America, historian Robert Zimmerman not only exposes the lie behind The New York Times 1619 Project that falsely claims slavery is central to the history of the United States, he also provides profound lessons about the nature of human societies, lessons important for Americans today as well as for all future settlers on Mars and elsewhere in space.

 
Conscious Choice: The origins of slavery in America and why it matters today and for our future in outer space, is a riveting page-turning story that documents how slavery slowly became pervasive in the southern British colonies of North America, colonies founded by a people and culture that not only did not allow slavery but in every way were hostile to the practice.  
Conscious Choice does more however. In telling the tragic history of the Virginia colony and the rise of slavery there, Zimmerman lays out the proper path for creating healthy societies in places like the Moon and Mars.

 

“Zimmerman’s ground-breaking history provides every future generation the basic framework for establishing new societies on other worlds. We would be wise to heed what he says.” —Robert Zubrin, founder of founder of the Mars Society.

 

All editions are available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and all book vendors, with the ebook priced at $5.99 before discount. The ebook can also be purchased direct from my ebook publisher, ebookit, in which case you don't support the big tech companies and I get a bigger cut much sooner.

 

Autographed printed copies are also available at discount directly from me (hardback $24.95; paperback $14.95; Shipping cost for either: $5.00). Just email me at zimmerman @ nasw dot org.

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