Russia Tells United States to Transport Astronauts to the ISS with a Trampoline
Russian officials are sour about the new sanctions the United States issued upon them due to the crisis in Ukraine. In fact, Russia's Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin proposed that the U.S. use trampolines to transport astronauts to the ISS.
The United States relies on Russian rockets to transport astronauts to the International Space Station at a solid price of at least $60 million per person. One day after the U.S. announced their latest sanctions against Russia, Mr. Rogozin voiced his opinion on the matter.
"The United States introduced sanctions against our space industry... We warned them, we will reply to statements with statements, to actions with actions," he said on Twitter, according to Fox News. "I propose that the United States delivers its astronauts to the ISS with the help of a trampoline."
On Monday the Obama Administration announced sanctions that target seven Russian government officials and 17 companies linked to President Vladimir Putin's inner circle along with a moratorium on military technology exports. The initial sanctions also forbid NASA employees from traveling to Russia as well as emailing or holding teleconferences with fellow Russian counterparts.
But the sanctions did not affect the launching relationship that the U.S. has with Russia, and Rogozin shouldn't be too upset about that, especially since the U.S. will be sending Russia a check for over $450 million for its aerospace services.
Right now, Russia shuttles are the only option for U.S. travel to the ISS. Last week, SpaceX founder and CEO Elon Musk challenged the U.S. Air Force's contract with the United Launch Alliance, which conducts military satellite launches for the United States. The ULA purchases the engines for their rockets from Russia and Mr. Musk claims that U.S. taxpayers will save more than $1 billion per year if SpaceX conducted the launches (since they wouldn't be seeking goods or services from Russia).
It will be interesting to see if/how the United States responds to Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin's statements. If his statements via Twitter can cause an international stir, it will surely make history.