So now that relations with Russia are taking a decided turn south, NASA's plan to depend on Russian Soyuz spacecraft to get to the space station isn't looking too sharp, warns one congressman, according to Daily Tech.
"The new challenge we have is that for approximately five years, the plan — which is a very bad plan but is the only plan that NASA and the administration and Congress have approved — is to be dependent on the Russian Soyuz vehicle to get people to and from the international space station," said Tom Feeney, (R-FL). "And so now, with the political realities with Russia invading Georgia, we have a new wrinkle thrown in."
And, says Senator Bill Nelson (D-FL), there's a law that bars the U.S. from entering contracts with nations that assist N. Korea and Iran with nuclear programs. Can you say Russia, on both counts?
Congress must now either reauthorize the waiver so a transportation agreement can be made, or will uphold the 2000 law and not work with Russia.
Says Nelson, according to the LA Times blog:
In an election year, it was going to be very difficult to get that waiver to pay hundreds of millions of dollars to an increasingly aggressive Russia, where the prime minister is acting more and more like czar. Now, I'd say it's almost impossible.