US may lose ‘star wars’ to Russia

Cooperation with private firms will benefit the US space industry but cannot replace cooperation with Russia. Washington risks seeing its space projects hit hard if it abandons cooperation with Moscow, Bloomberg says.

NASA has been actively promoting commercial projects to develop new-generation space rockets, supply vehicles and spaceships capable of carrying astronauts to low-Earth orbits and bringing them back.

The US may not be able, as it hopes, to maintain technological lead forever just because NASA is closely cooperating with private companies, Bloomberg warns.

SpaceX or other commercial companies will carry out space launches that will bring no obvious profit, but will not develop or service them. The latter task may require support from national space agencies and international partners.

Also, it’s unclear what will happen to Russian-US space cooperation after Russia pulls out of the ISS, something it intends to do in 2020, while the US is planning to keep the ISS until 2024.

As Russia expands and allocates more money for its space projects, it may start looking elsewhere for new partners, particularly in light of the recent events, Bloomberg notes.

Two weeks ago, Russia and China inked an agreement on space cooperation. The two may move to create a new-generation space laboratory that will be closed to US astronauts, journalist Joe Pappalardo said in his article on America’s space prospects. The article appeared in the Popular Mechanics magazine.

Full article: US may lose ‘star wars’ to Russia (Defence Talk)

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