NASA Administrator Charles Bolden Jr. testifies during a House Science, Space and Technology Committee hearing on the FY2015 budget proposal for NASA, on Capitol Bill in Washington, D.C. on March 27, 2014. UPI/Kevin Dietsch | License Photo
As of last week, when two Russian cosmonauts and an American astronaut joined the current expedition, there are three Russians, two Americans and one Japanese astronaut aboard the space station.
Still, members of Congress were clearly concerned that Russia wielded control of a critical piece of the U.S.'s ability to operate in space. Bolden hoped to leverage their concern in urging Congress to pay for the development of the Commercial Carrier program, which would be on target to launch astronauts from U.S. soil by 2017 if fully funded.
From: O'Brien, Michael F (HQ-TA000)
Sent: Wednesday, April 02, 2014 9:33 AM
Subject: Suspension of NASA contact with Russian entities
Given Russia's ongoing violation of Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity, until further notice, the U.S. Government has determined that all NASA contacts with Russian Government representatives are suspended, unless the activity has been specifically excepted. This suspension includes NASA travel to Russia and visits by Russian Government representatives to NASA facilities, bilateral meetings, email, and teleconferences or videoconferences. At the present time, only operational International Space Station activities have been excepted. In addition, multilateral meetings held outside of Russia that may include Russian participation are not precluded under the present guidance. If desired, our office will assist in communication with Russian entities regarding this suspension of activities. Specific questions regarding the implementation of this guidance can be directed to Ms. Meredith McKay, 202.358.1240 or [email protected], in our office.
We remain in close contact with the Department of State and other U.S. Government departments and agencies. If the situation changes, further guidance will be disseminated.
Michael F. O'Brien
Associate Administrator for International and Interagency Relations
National Aeronautics and Space Administration