Executive Intelligence Review


U.S., Russian Space Leaders Have ‘Strong Relationship,’ Says NASA Administrator Bridenstine

Sept. 25, 2018 (EIRNS)—Astronauts and cosmonauts have been making clear that whatever tension there is in their two nations’ political relationship on the ground, it has not affected their working relationship in space. But what about the leaders of the two respective space agencies? Roscosmos General Director Dmitry Rogozin has had some very strong words for U.S. actions.

NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine told SpaceNews yesterday during a Washington Business Roundtable luncheon that his interactions with Roscosmos’ Rogozin have been positive and that politics does not enter into their relationship.

“At this point we’ve had one conversation on the telephone, and it was very positive,” Bridenstine said. On the hole found in the Soyuz docked at the International Space Station, he said, “NASA is getting a lot of that information and [is] participating very heavily in the investigation.”

With regard to anti-American comments Rogozin has made in the past, Bridenstine attributed this to politics, and said

“He comes from the Russian Duma, and I, of course, come from the U.S. Congress. We had a good chat about that and our common backgrounds. Representing constituents in a legislative body is very different from leading a space agency.... Some of his language has historically been aggressive about the United States. Some of my language has been aggressive about activities of Russia.

“We’ve been able to make sure that space has been set apart from all of these terrestrial challenges that we have with our international partners, especially in this case, Russia. It’s my intent to keep that relationship strong. It’s his intent as well.”

The two space leaders have not yet met face to face. They will have that opportunity next week in Bremen, Germany, at the annual International Astronautical Congress. Later in October Bridenstine will travel to the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan to view a Soyuz launch, and the two men are scheduled to meet then.