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Nasa says US-Russia space ties 'normal' despite Ukraine crisis

Published on Mar 5, 2014 6:07 AM
 
A family of Osprey are seen outside the Nasa Kennedy Space Center Vehicle Assembly Building in Cape Canaveral, Florida on May 13, 2010. Nasa says their relationship with Russia remained normal despite the ongoing international crisis in Ukraine. -- FILE PHOTO: REUTERS 

WASHINGTON (AFP) - Nasa chief Charles Bolden said on Tuesday the US space agency's relationship with Russia remained normal despite the ongoing international crisis in Ukraine.

Russia is a key nation at the International Space Station, and US astronauts rely on Soyuz spacecraft to get to the orbiting outpost and back, having lost direct access since the US space shuttle fleet retired in 2011.

The United States pays Russia some US$70 million to ferry each American astronaut to the space station and back, a deal that is expected to last for several more years until private US enterprises build the capacity to carry space travelers again.

Asked by reporters about the US space agency's ties with Russia during a media briefing that was announced to discuss President Barack Obama's proposed fiscal year 2015 budget, Nasa administrator Bolden said nothing has changed.

 
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