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NASA ISS United States

NASA Halts Non-ISS Work With Russia Over Ukraine Crisis 291

Posted by Soulskill
from the can't-we-all-just-get-along dept.
An anonymous reader writes "The Verge reports on an internal memo from NASA indicating that they've suspended all contracts and activities with Russia that aren't involved with operating the International Space Station. Quoting: '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.' NASA Administrator Charles Bolden argued recently that our dependence on Russia for putting astronauts into space needs to end."
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NASA Halts Non-ISS Work With Russia Over Ukraine Crisis

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 02, 2014 @03:26PM (#46642063)

    It's really too bad these have to get in the way.

  • Wait... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by eternaldoctorwho (2563923) on Wednesday April 02, 2014 @03:29PM (#46642095)

    Isn't this the sort of thing that the ISS collaboration was supposed to prevent?

  • Tit-for-Tat (Score:5, Insightful)

    by hubang (692671) on Wednesday April 02, 2014 @03:29PM (#46642099)
    Would have the Russians suspend all ISS related contracts.

    Good for the goose and all.
  • by sunderland56 (621843) on Wednesday April 02, 2014 @03:31PM (#46642107)

    This. NASA is not a political body and should not act like one.

    If an anti-science President gets elected in 2016, will the world refuse to stop working with the USA? If they did, wouldn't we be upset?

    Russia didn't refuse to work with the USA when America invaded Iraq, did they?

  • by WindBourne (631190) on Wednesday April 02, 2014 @03:35PM (#46642143) Journal
    No, Russia looked the other way. They did not care.
  • by kwiecmmm (1527631) on Wednesday April 02, 2014 @03:37PM (#46642159)

    If an anti-science President gets elected in 2016, will the world refuse to stop working with the USA? If they did, wouldn't we be upset?

    Most of the world didn't care that much about our previous president...

  • by bobbied (2522392) on Wednesday April 02, 2014 @03:46PM (#46642283)

    Russia didn't refuse to work with the USA when America invaded Iraq, did they?

    No, they didn't, but it was obvious to everybody and clear from history that the USA wasn't interested in annexing Iraq into US territory. So the comparison to what Russia has done with part of Ukraine is a false one. They split up a sovereign country, then annexed parts of it after invading it. Seems clear to me that Iraq remains it's own entity, despite the US winning decisive military actions in Iraq TWICE. Time and time again, the USA has taken territory it could have just kept for itself, but we insist on giving it back to the people we took it from. Iraq is it's own sovereign country, we didn't keep even a runway or military base there, but left when the elected government of the country told us to leave.

    Now if the USA was out capturing territory and then annexing it into the US you could make the comparison. But we don't do that, and haven't acted like an imperial power, increasing our borders though military force, for a LONG time.

  • by cyn1c77 (928549) on Wednesday April 02, 2014 @03:48PM (#46642297)

    This. NASA is not a political body and should not act like one.

    You're joking right?

    NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration) is a government organization that has to appeal to the president and Congress every year for funding and scope. Their employees are considered federal employees on the GS (general schedule) pay scale. NASA has both "national" and "administration" in the title. It doesn't get any more political than that.

    How are they NOT a political body?

  • by mar.kolya (2448710) on Wednesday April 02, 2014 @04:11PM (#46642511)

    Iraq is it's own sovereign country, we didn't keep even a runway or military base there, but left when the elected government of the country told us to leave.

    This is very much a matter of opinion. US had left when people in Iraq had elected government US wanted. Does this make Iraq a sovereign country? I think not. Iraq is pretty much controlled by US. As well as all NATO countries, especially east European ones. BTW, did anybody invited US into Iraq? Afghanistan? Vietnam? So yeah, look at yourself first and mind your own business - and your business has nothing to do with east Europe. US has much more imperial ambitions than any other country.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 02, 2014 @04:19PM (#46642603)

    USA invaded Iraq and scared and killed thousands of people. Then it controlled its territory while people of Iraq went to polls to vote. The vote was considered democratic and the results were recognized.

    Russia invaded Crimea in a peaceful way and didn't kill anybody. Then it controlled its territory while people of Crimea went to polls to vote. Despite numerous international observers and absence of any concerns from them, US doesn't want to recognize this vote.

    Looks like hypocrisy and double-standards.

  • by mar.kolya (2448710) on Wednesday April 02, 2014 @05:42PM (#46643541)

    Well. I hardly can imagine free elections with a gun pointed to ones head (figuratively speaking). Not to mention that US propaganda machine was running at full steam there. There is no way those elections were not influenced by US. They very much were. So US got what US wanted (oil, I presume) and left, fair enough.

    Now in Ukraine: there was an elected government that was overthrown by armed riots. ELECTED president fled to Russia and asked Putin for protection - this is his official position. And US comes in and helps those armed rioters who stared whole thing on the first place. Notice: those rioters were not elected. They are just convenient for US to mess with Russia.

    Disclaimer: I'm Russian myself, although I currently live on North America.

    But in my view Russian actions in Crimea are no better or worse then US actions in Iraq, Afghanistan, Vietnam or many other numerous places were US soldier had set his foot, many times uninvited. It's true that US didn't annex those territories - but that's just it didn't make much sense to officially annex them. Imagine 'state of Iraq' as a part of US - this just would not have worked. Mainly for cultural and language reasons. If people in Iraq spoke English Iraq would have been US state by now. And people in Crimea speak Russian and are actually ethnic Russians in their majority.

    Note: I do not say that Putin is good. My point is that Putin is no more evil than any US president. And that's just how world works - larger countries control smaller countries, in one way or another. And nobody is free.

    And all that hysteria how Putin is new Hitler is just good job in US propaganda. As well how 'Putin brings freedom to oppressed Crimeans' is a Russian propaganda.

  • by igny (716218) on Wednesday April 02, 2014 @05:44PM (#46643573) Homepage Journal
    Time and time again, the USA has taken territory it could have just kept for itself, but we insist on giving it back to the people we took it from.

    Well, it is obvious that you are wrong here. US could not have kept Iraq (as in "annexed" Iraq). It did not have to either considering that it usually installs puppet governments around the world. Even though it fails again and again, it is not for the lack of trying. This tactic would surely fail in Ukraine too.

    Russia, on the other hand, can and will keep Crimea.
  • by Uberbah (647458) on Wednesday April 02, 2014 @06:17PM (#46643899)

    I mean, Fox-News-claiming-Bush-kept-us-safe-from-terrorist-attacks breathtaking. As in you cannot believe that someone just said something that brazen with a straight face.

    No, they didn't, but it was obvious to everybody and clear from history that the USA wasn't interested in annexing Iraq into US territory.

    Nah, they just forced Iraq to privatize it's oil industry and sell it off to for-profit foreign interests. Because America's record post WWII has been that of a rampaging imperialistic shitbag that has all the power of a British Empire without any of the responsibilities. Rather than setting up a colonial government, which might actually do shit like build roads and schools, you just overthrow [wikipedia.org] dozens of governments, including democratically elected ones, to get those sufficiently subservient to your "national interests".

    So the comparison to what Russia has done with part of Ukraine is a false one.

    No shit. America got a million people killed in Iraq, created millions more refugees, and bombed the country into the stone age. Call us when Putin does the same or starts having 16 year old kids murdered [wikipedia.org] on the other side of the planet from Moscow.

    They split up a sovereign country, then annexed parts of it after invading it.

    The hell they did. Any reason in particular you're ignoring the illegal, western-backed coup of Ukraine's democratically elected president less than 6 months before the next elections? Aside from all that, if Russia "invaded" Crimea by moving troops to a navel base covered under an existing treaty with Ukraine, than the United States has been busy invading western europe and Japan for over 60 years.

    It takes some serious neocon balls (with a hefty dose of willful dumfuckery) to treat the self-appointed junta in Ukraine as a legitimate organization, while flatly ignoring the fact that the people of Crimea just overwhelmingly voted to join Russia. This is invariably countered with some BS about how this vote was done "at the end of a gun barrel", ignoring the fact that the the first things the junta did after sizing power was to strip Crimea of it's autonomy and start oppressing minorities. And ignoring the fact that the United States has 900 military bases throughout the world and special forces operating in more than half the world's countries.

    Seems clear to me that Iraq remains it's own entity, despite the US winning decisive military actions in Iraq TWICE.

    You mean after the Wikileaks cables showed Bush giving free reign to death squads, after the U.S. built military bases and a fortress of an embassy, and made it clear that it would re-invade on a moments notice from military bases in surrounding countries in the event of 'instability'?

    Time and time again, the USA has taken territory it could have just kept for itself, but we insist on giving it back to puppet governments it set up after forcing the privatization of industries and infrastructure.

    FTFY. Compare how many governments Russia has overthrown since the fall of the Soviet Union, and get back to us. How many countries has Russia bombed or invaded. How many people Putin is keeping in gulags, and force feeding them (which is torture), after they've been cleared for release since 2007? [huffingtonpost.com] Is Russia violating the sovereignty of nations thousands of miles away from it by bombing innocent people inside them with impunity?

    The United States lecturing modern Russia about imperialism is like Jack the Ripper lecturing Alec Baldwin on how to treat women.

    The response

  • by jafac (1449) on Wednesday April 02, 2014 @06:20PM (#46643935) Homepage

    I think that Russia sure as hell DID care.

    Russia's ally, Syria, is currently in the midst of a civil war, partly due to the power-vacuum created when the US invaded Iraq. (Syrian salafists, who were previously a pain in the ass to Assad, but "kept down" - went into Iraq to fight the US. Those experienced veterans came back after the "awakening", and are now back in Syria, fighting to overthrow Assad. If Syria falls to jihadists/salafists, it is conceivable that access to the black sea is cut off.

  • by Solandri (704621) on Wednesday April 02, 2014 @06:30PM (#46644019)
    No hypocrisy or double standards. The U.S. didn't benefit from the Iraq vote (most of the oil contracts went to non-US companies). Hence there was no conflict of interest. I think the U.S. was wrong to invade without UN approval, but the U.S. lost lives, lost equipment, lost money, lost international respect, and suffered degraded ability to react to matters more pressing to its self interests (Taliban in Afghanistan and Pakistan). The only thing they gained was eliminating a dictator from the world stage (one they helped put there in the first place, but that's another story).

    Russia did benefit from the Crimea vote - they annexed a huge amount of territory. Hence there is a huge conflict of interest, and why people are refusing to recognize the vote. If Russian had simply stood by the sidelines, and the people of Crimea had revolted on their own and held their own elections demanding secession from Ukraine, then there might be some international support for what happened. Heck, people might even have supported Russia's invasion. But the way Russian played it out, the results are indistinguishable from if they invaded and held a rigged election.

    As the saying goes, to have a crime there has to be a motive, means, and opportunity. While the U.S. had the means and opportunity in Iraq, there was no motive - else we'd still be there. While the means Russia used may have been more benign*, the fact that they also had a motive and opportunity raises a lot of suspicion.

    * The fact that no lives were lost in Crimea is I think more attributable to Ukraine deciding not to elevate the situation into a war they knew they had no chance of winning militarily. Not due to Russian benevolence. Had Ukraine fought back as Saddam Hussein did, do you really think no lives would have been lost?

FORTRAN is a good example of a language which is easier to parse using ad hoc techniques. -- D. Gries [What's good about it? Ed.]

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