Russia will reject a US request to use the International Space Station after 2020 in retaliation for trade sanctions imposed over Russia’s aggressive annexation of Crimea, its deputy prime minister announced today.
The space station is maintained by both American and Russian crews. But because NASA’s shuttle program was decommissioned in 2011, the only way to get there is on board Russian spacecraft. The US currently pays Russia $60 million per person to ferry its astronauts to the space station, and had planned to continue working on it until 2024.
"The Russian segment can exist independently from the American one. The US one cannot," Russian deputy prime minister Dmitry Rogozin said today.