Russia: January 2019 Archives

Russian space chief told to drop grandiose talk, get more done, Ars Technica

"On Wednesday, the prime minister of Russia, Dmitry Medvedev, expressed his displeasure with the situation. During a meeting in Moscow with senior Roscosmos officials, Medvedev made sharply critical remarks that were reported by several Russian news organizations, including Gazeta.RU and RIA Novosti. "This is a blunt and direct assertion: We need to quit projecting future plans, stop talking about where our missions will land in 2030, get to work, talk less, and do more," Medvedev said. "We need to be more active in commercializing our space industry and increase Russia's international market share of commercial launches. ... Now Medvedev, in a public setting, has called Rogozin out for this tactic. He also expressed concern about Russia's success in attracting commercial satellite launches amid the rise of SpaceX and other international competitors."

NASA's head confirms readiness to visit Russia, TASS

"During the conversation, Dmitry Rogozin and Jim Bridenstine stressed that Roscosmos and NASA are committed to the goal of space exploration," Roscosmos said. "They agreed to continue cooperating, both on the program of the International Space Station and Moon exploration projects, and on other missions of exploring outer space. Dmitry Rogozin invited NASA's head to visit Russia and Baikonur [spaceport] in the next few months, in order to discuss all relevant issues in person. Jim Bridenstine confirmed his readiness to make a working visit to Russia," the Russian space agency added."

Russian space agency gets NASA's letter on revoking invitation for Roscosmos chief, TASS

"According to Rogozin, the heads of the two space agencies needed to discuss further interaction. NASA press secretary Megan Powers later told TASS that Bridenstine did not plan to make trips abroad, including to Russia, in the imminent future."

Keith's note: Nothing from NASA about this ...

NASA rescinds invitation to Russian space chief amid pressure from US lawmakers, RT

"Cooperation in space is one of the very few areas where the US and Russia are still able to find common ground and have mutual interests, so the idea of the Russian space chief coming to the US does not sound completely unreasonable - but peddlers of the anti-Russian narrative in the US media and an array of hawkish lawmakers have made a strong case against allowing Rogozin in."

Cancellation of Rogozin's visit could disrupt the joint mission of US and Russia to Venus, TASS

"NASA's cancellation of the visit by the head of Roscosmos Dmitry Rogozin to the United States could lead to the disruption of a joint Russian-American scientific mission to Venus, said Lev Zeleny, Deputy Chairman of the Council of the Russian Academy of Space and scientific director of the Space Research Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences on Sunday. ... In 2017, the final report of the joint working group on the mission to Venus, published on NASA's website, reported that the launch of the Russian-American interplanetary station Venera-D could take place from late May to late June 2026."

Keith's note: These news organizations are controlled by the Russian government - so your mileage may vary. As for the Venus mission: it is a paper study. Cancellation would result in less paper.

- Waiting For Rogozin (Update), earlier post
- Earlier Russia postings

Cooperation needed in space exploration, South China Morning Post

"Quite a few countries have active space agencies, but none has been as successful as Nasa, which has, as the Star Trek saying goes, boldly gone where no man has gone before. Nasa is also freely sharing valuable data with anyone or any country that takes an interest in the mission. Such missions are laying the foundation for planetary travels. It seems only a matter of time, perhaps decades, for humans to land on Mars. Led by America, such efforts should be cooperative and show what humans could achieve when they work together. This is the kind of leadership the world can and will admire about the US."

China's lunar first unlikely to kick off a new space race, Houston Chronicle

"It's the gold standard of technological accomplishments, to be a nation to send someone or something to the moon," Cowing said. "I think there's been a general renaissance in thinking ... that space is something you should no longer be afraid of trying to do."

Culberson Optimistic Restrictions on US-China Space Cooperation Will Remain, Space Policy Online

"Rep. John Culberson (R-TX) said today that he is optimistic Congress will continue to prohibit NASA from engaging in bilateral cooperation with China unless certain conditions are met after he leaves Congress. Culberson chairs a key subcommittee and has included that restriction in each of NASA's appropriations bills since he became chairman four years ago, continuing a practice begun by his predecessor Frank Wolf. Culberson lost his reelection race, however, so will not be returning in the 116th Congress."

China's First Payload Arrives at the ISS, earlier post

"There is always a clever technical solution to overcome cumbersome political policies. People just have to want to find the solutions. Every time you do something like this, the original problem becomes less of a hindrance and is eventually replaced by new, usually unexpected, opportunities. Congratulations to everyone who made this happen. If we can calmly and professionally share a space station with the country who tried to steal our election then we can certainly share it with the country that makes our iPhones."

Keith's note: The Chinese clearly want to cooperate with the U.S. in space. There is strong sentiment within NASA and the space science community for doing so. But edicts from an earlier Congress prevent this fron happening. Given all of the rocky - often hostile - relations between the U.S. and Russia these days space is a comparatively benign and productive realm of cooperation. So if we can work with Russia in space - why can't we try and work with China in space in an equally productive fashion? With Culberson's departure and new House leadership maybe the prohibitions can be softened - or removed.

Earlier posts on China

'Wow': NASA startles with invitation to sanctioned Russian, Politico

"It absolutely sends the wrong message to lift sanctions, even temporarily, for the purpose of inviting him to speak to students at one of our nation's premier universities," said Sen. Mark Warner of Virginia, the top Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee and a leader of the committee's investigation into 2016 Russian election interference. "This is appalling," said Evelyn Farkas, former deputy assistant secretary of defense for Russia, Ukraine and Eurasia in the Obama administration. "It's utterly inappropriate given who he is and the fact that he is on our sanctions list." More than two months after Bridenstine's original invitation, however, the details remain sparse. A Dec. 7 TASS report said that Roscosmos, the Russian space agency, is planning for Rogozin to visit in "early 2019," but neither the U.S. nor Russia has announced a specific date. The Russian embassy declined to comment on the proposed visit, and NASA spokeswoman Megan Powers said only, "Planning for a potential visit by the Director-General is still underway."

Rice University has no plans to host head of Russian space program in Houston, despite reports, Houston Chronicle

"Facing mounting speculation and criticism that it would host the head of Russia's space program, a politician known for a track record of racist and homophobic statements, Rice University affirmed Wednesday that it had no plans to bring Roscosmos CEO Dmitry Rogozin onto its campus. Rice University spokesman Doug Miller said although NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine invited Rogozin to visit Houston and the university, there is no plan for Rogozin to come to Rice."

Keith's note: Rogozin's extensive and unfavorable background certainly precedes him. He's also the head of the space agency with which the U.S. built and continues to operate the largest space vehicle in history. This cooperation is not going to change any time soon. Oddly, of all the things that the U.S. and Russia do to get back at each other, the one realm of interaction where hostilities are nearly - if not totally - absent is space. Perhaps it is fitting that this one arena of cooperation serves as something to build upon. But: if Rogozin's visit is an issue with people (and it is totally understandable why this is the case) then perhaps the U.S. should be looking to end its interactions with Russia in space too - since Rogozin runs the show over there. But we're not going to do that, are we? We're joined at the hip - literally. As such we need to interact with Rogozin. Bridenstine is trying to bridge a chasm and improve and solidify the relationship. Perhaps we should at least let Bridenstine try.

- Can Sanctioned Roscosmos Chief Rogozin Visit The U.S.?, earlier post
- NASA Has Soft Power Conversations With Sanctioned Head Of Roscosmos, earlier post


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This page is an archive of entries in the Russia category from January 2019.

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