Russian co-operation with NASA: no opportunistic gesture politics contemplated?
In April, tongue-in-cheek, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin prophetically tweeted: ‘after analysing the sanctions against our space industry I suggest the US delivers its astronauts to the ISS with a trampoline’. (To access, cut & paste https://twitter.com/DRogozin/status/461167801835991040)
Cygnus, the space craft launched by Orbital’s unmanned Antares space station supply rocket, exploded tonight seconds after launch from a commercial launch pad on Wallops Island, Virginia. No injuries were reported.
Shares of Orbital Sciences fell 14% in after-hours trading after news of the launch failure
Al Jazeera adds more background detail: “Virginia-based Orbital Sciences is one of two companies hired by NASA to fly cargo to the International Space Station (ISS), a science lab in the lower Earth orbit, comprised of multinational teams of astronauts and cosmonauts. NASA is paying billions of dollars to private U.S. companies like Orbital”.
The Antares’ AJ-26 engine, built by GenCorp Inc division Aerojet Rocketdyne, is a refurbished version of the Soviet-era NK-33 engine developed for the heavy-lift N-1 moon rocket – not a ‘Russian rocket’ as reported by some news outlets.
NASA spokesman Rob Navias said that nothing on that flight is urgently needed by the space station crew. The Russian Space Agency will proceed with its own supply run this week, probably using its Progress spacecraft – a cargo vehicle developed by Russian Federal Space Agency which has completed 54 resupply missions to the ISS.
Russian President Vladimir Putin affirmed continued cooperation in a press conference on 25 May
US–Russian continuing cooperation in space – despite US-EU led sanctions – includes a $458-million deal for six further round-trip seats for Western astronauts on Soyuz flights until spring 2018.
Felicity Arbuthnot commends the ‘sane voices’ of Vladimir Putin, Sergei Lavrov and Vitaly Churkin, Russia’s UN Ambassador.
Posted on October 29, 2014, in Privatisation, uncategorized and tagged Antares space station supply rocket, astronauts, Cygnus space craft, Dmitry Rogozin, f Orbital Sciences, International Space Station, NASA, Russian Space Agency, Sergei Lavrov, Vitaly Churkin, Vladimir Putin. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.