March 4, 2014, - 6:29 pm
So, now, that Barack Obama has drawn a line in the sand that his ass can’t back regarding a Russian-Ukraine issue in which the United States has absolutely no national interest (other than not backing neo-Nazis and proud grandchildren and other descendants of actual Nazis), I have a few questions. Such as . . . how are we going to get to the International Space Station? In case you don’t know, NASA relies heavily on Russia for this, as we have stuck our space exploration tail between our legs and emasculated the US space program. Our military spy satellites and other important military ops rely on Russian engines, too.
Space.com reports that our silly war of words and threats against Russia regarding Ukraine will not affect our space relations according to Obama’s fantasy-dominated NASA chief Charlie Bolden, but I don’t buy it. And in case you forgot, Bolden’s the moron who said the new mission of NASA is Muslim outreach. ‘Memba him? How can our tough talk against Russia in Ukraine not affect our reliance on the Russians in space? I doubt the Russians will leave the two U.S. astronauts, who went to the International Space Station aboard a Russian Soyuz, in outer space. But ya never know. (And then Sandra Bullock can star in “Gravity Dva [“two” in Russian]: Putin’s Revenge.” And, anyway, that’s beside the point–whether or not Russia will retaliate via the space program. We rely on the Russians to take our astronauts up there. Think they’ll continue that with Obama threatening and cajoling? Don’t bet on it.
Tensions between the United States and Russia are heightened, but that shouldn’t affect operations on the International Space Station, NASA chief Charlie Bolden said today (March 4). NASA’s Mike Hopkins, Russia’s Oleg Kotov and Sergey Ryazanskiy are scheduled to fly back to Earth aboard a Russian Soyuz spacecraft Monday (March 10). NASA officials are confident that the landing will not be affected by the current political climate. . . . Crews on the space station have weathered political situations like this one before, Bolden said.
“I think people lose track of the fact that we have occupied the International Space Station now for 13 consecutive years uninterrupted, and that has been through multiple international crises,” Bolden said during a news conference. “I don’t think it’s an insignificant fact that we’re starting to see a number of people with the idea that the International Space Station be nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. It’s not trivial. It has continued to exist and continued to function with people from a variety of cultures and beliefs, but we all are focused on the mission of the International Space Station.”
Um, this guy is dreaming. Putin doesn’t give a crap about Nobels, and that’s what makes him different (other than being a KGB agent for life who trades with Iran) from PC, appeasement-obsessed Western leaders who are stuck on Ukraine as some human rights issue that it is most certainly not.
And then there’s the question of the other things we rely on from Russia. I’m not talking Vodka, caviar, and blini. I can make my own blini, spasiba (“thanks,” in Russian). But engines that U.S. automakers and other American companies used to make for our rockets and military communications satellites are now made largely by Russian companies, and, back in August, Russia considered banning the sale of them to us. Russia will likely consider that again. Ditto for some necessary helicopter parts. Where are we gonna get those . . . now that America doesn’t make things anymore? We don’t make anything right now that’s even close to the specifications of the RD-180 rocket engines we buy from Russia.
There is talk that this, too–the lack of Russian engines for our rockets–could halt the U.S. space program AND severely cripple our military which Obama is already shrinking to pre-WWII levels. I’m sure Obama’s Comrade Bolden of NASA has the same Pollyannish view on this, and probably Obama can get some military generals to pooh-pooh this. But it’s a huge prob. Huge. Unless you think America should just get outta the space biz forever and be happy being a world follower, rather than the greatest country on earth (which we should still wanna be).
Russia’s Security Council is reportedly considering a ban on supplying the US with powerful RD-180 rocket engines for military communications satellites as Russia focuses on building its own new space launch center, Vostochny, in the Far East. A ban on the rockets supply to the US heavy booster, Atlas V, which delivers weighty military communications satellites and deep space exploration vehicles into orbit, could impact NASA’s space programs – not just military satellite launches.
An unnamed representative of Russia’s Federal Space Agency told the Izvestia newspaper that the Security Council is reconsidering the role of Russia’s space industry in the American space exploration program, particularly the 2012 contract to deliver the US heavy-duty RD-180 rocket engines.Previously, Moscow has not objected to the fact that America’s Atlas V boosters, rigged with Russian rocket engines, deliver advanced space armament systems into orbit. If a ban were to be put in place, however, engine delivery to the US would probably stop altogether, beginning in 2015.
Over the last decade, most of NASA’s Atlas V heavy rocket launches performed by the United Launch Alliance (a Boeing/Lockheed Martin joint venture) were carried out using Russian RD-180 dual-nozzle rocket engines, a legacy of the Soviet Buran space shuttle program and its unparalleled rocket booster Energia, which could put 100 tons worth of spacecraft or satellite payloads into orbit.
It is widely believed that many Atlas V launches carry a military payload. Such Lockheed Martin-designed military spacecraft include the Advanced Extremely High Frequency (AEHF) series of communications satellites launched for Air Force Space Command, the mysterious Palladium at Night communication platform designed for the US Navy’s Ultra-High Frequency (UFO) Follow-On program, and most certainly all three launches of Boeing’s X-37 unmanned demonstrator spacecraft. These are only a part of the military space missions undertaken by Atlas V rockets, boosted by RD-180 engines
A ban could also affect the US’s non-military space exploration launches, which are also highly dependant on the Atlas V rocket and RD-180 engines. The most famous and challenging among these exploration missions are NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft, now traveling to Pluto and the Kuiper Belt (launched in 2006), and the Curiosity Mars rover (launched in 2011) currently operating on the Red Planet.
Are we really willing to risk all this and imperil America for the Ukrainian neo-Nazis whose democratically-elected leader they overthrew? Remember when Obama was all upset with the Egyptian military for overthrowing the Muslim Bro’hood? Can’t Obama keep his “democracy” faux-principles straight?
And can someone please tell me what Ukrainian products America needs and cannot get along without? I mean, other than neo-Nazi hate focused especially on Jews and Eau d’B.O. (We’ve got our own B.O., and he’s in the White House, so no thanks for more.)
Just askin’. But as far as answers go, we get nichyivo [“nothing,” in Russian].
Maybe space won’t be the final frontier after all, Gene Roddenberry. At least, not for America.
Tags: Air Force Space Command, Atlas V, Charlie Bolden, Curiosity Mars Rover, International Space Station, ISS, Kuiper Belt, Mike Hopkins, NASA, Oleg Kotov, Pluto, Putin, RD-180, RD-180 engines, RD-180 rocket engines, Red Planet, rockets, Russia, Sergey Ryazanskiy, Soyuz, Space Program, Ukraine, Vladimir Putin