Main Engine Cut Off

Russian Officials Skeptical About Gateway

Jeff Foust, SpaceNews:

Loskutov suggested that if the Gateway was run as a NASA-led program, Russia might not be interested in being a partner.

“For the moment, all the decisions are made by NASA. It seems U.S. standards will be imposed,” he said. “For Roscosmos and the Russian Federation, limited participation is not that interesting.”

Loskutov’s comments are similar to those made by his boss, Roscosmos head Dmitry Rogozin, last month. Rogozin said at one meeting that “Russia simply cannot afford to take a back seat in foreign projects” like the U.S.-led Gateway, according to a report by the Russian news service Tass. A Roscosmos spokesman later clarified that Rogozin was not saying Russia would not participate in the project, at least not yet.

I mentioned this on the last episode of Off-Nominal, but it’s worth saying here, too: I’m totally fine with Russia sitting out for the Gateway. Considering the state of the Russian space industry, and specifically how Roscosmos has been handling the ISS drill hole situation, I would very much prefer them to not be involved in building any hardware that will be flying to the Moon.

If the rest of the world wasn’t beholden to them to get to the ISS, I’m pretty sure things would have broken down long ago. It’s no surprise that things seem to be straining the closer we get to Commercial Crew launches.