4 March 2014
Due to the ongoing tensions between Russia and Ukraine, the U.S. may be forced to take some political actions against Russia, which in turn could lead Russia to deny American astronauts access to the ISS since the U.S. relies on them for launch capabilities. The most promising alternative to reaching the ISS is through the Commercial Crew Program, although the rockets under development are years away from service. Jeff Foust of the Futron Corporation said a commercial option might be available in 2015 or 2016. However, Henry Hertzfeld of the George Washington University Space Policy Institute was reportedly optimistic that Russia would not take any such actions because the ISS is an international partnership, and the U.S. and Russia could place a higher priority on that arrangement, thus avoiding political issues like the one over Ukraine. (Image Credit: NASA)
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