Remember when the United States killed off its space shuttle program in 2011 leaving American astronauts dependent on the Russians for a ride to the International Space Station? And remember when almost everyone thought that was a really bad idea? Well, it was.
Now that the U.S. has slapped Russia with sanctions over Ukraine, the Kremlin is returning fire by cutting off American access to the space station, sending many of us into flashbacks of the Cold War days. Who didn't see this coming?
Russia is to deny the US future use of the International Space Station beyond 2020 and will also bar its rocket engines from launching US military satellites as it hits back at American sanctions imposed over Ukraine crisis.
Russia’s deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin announced a series of punitive measures on Tuesday against the US in response to sanctions imposed after Russia annexed Crimea.
The two countries have long cooperated closely on space exploration despite their clashes in foreign policy.
The Space Station is manned by both American and Russian crew, but the only way to reach it is by using Russia’s Soyuz spacecraft.
UPDATE: More on what Rogozin said:
"American astronauts depend on Russian rockets to get to the ISS, but after the U.S. imposed sanctions – which deny export licenses for high-tech items that could aid Russia’s military -- Rogozin offered up a different idea.
"I propose that the United States delivers its astronauts to the ISS with the help of a trampoline," he said.
Things will end really well, I'm sure.