When I first heard about Russia invading our friend Georgia sent thoughts of our space program halting to me. The shuttle should be kept running during the 5 year gap. Space X still has problems with its Falcon rocket. We can't depend on the Russians to supply us the transport to the ISS when they are aggressive to our democratic ally.
If Russia fails to hold back military action in the former Soviet republic, it could hurt U.S. chances of accessing the International Space Station once NASA retires the space shuttles in 2010, the Orlando Democrat said Tuesday.
The Russian Soyuz vehicle will be the only option available for NASA to send crew and cargo to the space station until the shuttle’s replacement becomes available for manned missions in 2015.
Nelson fears deteriorating U.S.-Russia politics may result in “Russia denying us rides or charging exorbitant amounts for them.”
NASA’s agreement to purchase rides on the Soyuz came about from a waiver Congress granted the agency from the Iran-Syria Non-Proliferation Act. The law prohibits the United States from buying space-related goods and services from Russia while that nation exports nuclear technology to Iran.
NASA's waiver from the ban expires in 2011. Nelson fears that recent developments between Russia and Georgia may make it hard for lawmakers to extend the exemption.
More links on this at NASA watch here.