Space Still an Arena of Cooperation between Russia and US

by | Mar 21, 2022 |

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Despite Vladimir Putin’s illegal invasion of Ukraine and the resulting American sanctions against his country for the aggression, we can be glad that Russia is at least following international space law. In particular, The Outer Space Treaty, ratified in 1967 by the United Nations and agreed to by the then Soviet Union, specifies:

  • “… signatory states must provide all possible help to astronauts when needed, including emergency landing in a foreign country or at sea.”

The “help” American astronaut Mark Vande Hei, who, as of Saturday, will have been on the International Space Station for 345 days (a record for the US), needs is a flight home when his mission ends on March 30. Happily, Russia has agreed to fly him and two Russian cosmonauts aboard a Russian capsule to Kazakhstan, no problem.

“I can tell you for sure Mark is coming home… We are in communication with our Russian colleagues. There’s no fuzz on that,” said Joel Montalbano, Nasa’s International Space Station (ISS) program manager.

To discuss where we are going next in space, and the history of some of the US/Russia cooperation working together on the final frontier, our guest this week is Larry Bell, an Endowed Professor of Space Architecture at the University of Houston. Larry co-founded several commercial high-tech and space companies, including one that grew to more than 8,000 professionals. Larry was one of the very first Americans to be invited to meet with top Russian space officials following the implosion of the Soviet Union, and he had his name placed in large letters on the Russian Proton rocket that launched the first crew to the International Space Station. Larry received Russia’s two highest awards for his contributions to international space development. A few months ago, the book he co-authored with Buzz Aldrin was published, “Beyond Flagpoles and Footprints: Pioneering the Space Frontier”. In the second half of the program, Jay, Tom, and Larry discuss the misguided fixation of the Biden administration on the promotion of electric vehicles.

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Tom Harris is Executive Director of the Ottawa, Canada-based International Climate Science Coalition, and a policy advisor to The Heartland Institute. He has 40 years experience as a mechanical engineer/project manager, science and technology communications professional, technical trainer, and S&T advisor to a former Opposition Senior Environment Critic in Canada’s Parliament.

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