Russia`s withdrawal will not affect space station work: NASA chief

The head of NASA, Charles Bolden dismissed concerns that the friction between the US and Russia over crisis in Ukraine might spell the end of the International Space Station (ISS).

By Salome Phelamei | Last Updated: May 20, 2014, 21:32 PM IST

Zee Media Bureau/Salome Phelamei

Berlin, Germany: The head of NASA, Charles Bolden dismissed concerns that the friction between the US and Russia over crisis in Ukraine might spell the end of the International Space Station (ISS).

NASA`s administrator Bolden`s statements come after Russia last week warned that it wouldn’t co-operate with the US on the ISS project after 2020.

Kremlin`s warning followed the United States’ imposition of sanctions on Russia over its actions in Ukraine.
“Even if Russia withdrew, no one country “is indispensable” in keeping the station operational,” Bolden told reporters in Germany.

Bolden said that the space station is run jointly by the US, Russia, Japan, Europe and Canada, and no single partner could terminate the project.
Since NASA retired its shuttle fleet, all depend on Russian Soyuz to ferry astronauts to the space station.

However, NASA expects private companies to launch astronauts to the orbiting platform by 2017.