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NASA cuts ties to Russian government

Illustration for article titled NASA cuts ties to Russian government

After the release of an internal memo earlier today NASA publicly announced that it is "suspending the majority of its ongoing engagements with the Russian Federation." Operation of the International Space Station is excepted.


The memo obtained by The Verge bans "NASA travel to Russia and visits by Russian Government representatives to NASA facilities, bilateral meetings, email, and teleconferences or videoconferences. " You can read the whole memo here.

This comes after NASA Administrator Charles Bolden complained last week about Congress underfunding NASA and making the U.S space program increasingly reliant on Russia.


Here is NASA's official statement released this afternoon.

Given Russia's ongoing violation of Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity, NASA is suspending the majority of its ongoing engagements with the Russian Federation. NASA and Roscosmos will, however, continue to work together to maintain safe and continuous operation of the International Space Station. NASA is laser focused on a plan to return human spaceflight launches to American soil, and end our reliance on Russia to get into space. This has been a top priority of the Obama Administration's for the past five years, and had our plan been fully funded, we would have returned American human spaceflight launches – and the jobs they support – back to the United States next year. With the reduced level of funding approved by Congress, we're now looking at launching from U.S. soil in 2017. The choice here is between fully funding the plan to bring space launches back to America or continuing to send millions of dollars to the Russians. It's that simple. The Obama Administration chooses to invest in America – and we are hopeful that Congress will do the same.

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