Executive Intelligence Review


Congressional Pressure Forces NASA To Rescind Invitation To Roscosmos’ Rogozin

Jan. 6, 2018 (EIRNS)—NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine has apparently bowed to political pressure, and rescinded the invitation to Roscosmos head Dmitry Rogozin to visit NASA headquarters, the Johnson Space Center, and Rice University. In an interview with the Washington Post printed today, Bridenstine says,

“We had heard from numerous senators suggesting that this was not a good idea. And I wanted to be accommodating to the interests of the senators, and so I have rescinded the invitation.”

Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) had ranted on Jan. 2:

“Rogozin has a proven record of choosing conflict over cooperation, and this invitation weakens the U.S.’s global standing by demonstrating the ease by which Russian officials can get around trans-Atlantic sanctions.”

Similar objections were voiced by Russophobe Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA).

Over this past week, it was clear that the NASA leadership was trying to decide how to deal with the situation. Mid-week, the agency said it was working on the timing of the trip. On Friday NASA had announced it would “postpone” the Rogozin visit, and the following day, “as the criticism mounted, the agency decided it was best to withdraw the invitation entirely,” the Post gloats.

Bridenstine has frequently pointed to the importance of the U.S.-Russia space cooperation, and urged that it be recognized as a model for how nations with disagreements on various political issues can work together toward common aims. His invitation to Rogozin, he told the Post, was an effort to “keep a strong working relationship that was kept separate from geopolitics and even partisan politics in the United States, and that’s been good for both countries.”

The NASA Administrator, himself a former Congressman, has likewise expressed his view that the Congressional ban on space cooperation with China could easily be removed.