Due to US reactions to the recent unpleasantness in the Ukraine, Russia has blocked NASA‘s access to the International Space Station and most of the rest of space. Not that they’re standing on the porch with shotguns or anything yelling at anyone who sets foot on the lawn, instead Russia has closed the bay doors to NASA’s use of their Soyuz space craft.
If you’re not aware, since the space shuttles were retired NASA has been relying almost exclusively on the Russian Soyuz rockets to get their astronauts, supplies, and satellites into space. Private firms like SpaceX are making valiant strides in opening space up to anyone with the cash to hire them, so NASA can still look to them but there still aren’t the resources there that Russia has amassed over the years.
What does that mean for the American currently on board the Space Station? Probably nothing yet, but we’ll see how this plays out. Maybe this situation will help point out the need for an American Space transport system. Where’s that elevator? I thought they were building an elevator.