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Space United States Politics

Russia Bans US Use of Its Rocket Engines For Military Launches 522

Posted by Soulskill
from the escalating-the-situation-by-not-allowing-escalation dept.
schwit1 sends word that Russia will now ban U.S. military satellite launches using Russian-made rockets. According to Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin, this is retaliation for U.S. sanctions on high-tech items, put in place because of the dispute in the Ukraine. Rogozin also threatened to block U.S. plans to keep using the International Space Station beyond its 2020 mission end date. That's not all: 'Rogozin also said Russia will suspend the operation of GPS satellite navigation system sites in Russia from June and seek talks with Washington on opening similar sites in the United States for Russia's own system, Glonass. He threatened the permanent closure of the GPS sites in Russia if that is not agreed by September.'
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Russia Bans US Use of Its Rocket Engines For Military Launches

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  • SpaceX (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 13, 2014 @01:05PM (#46991025)

    This might be one of the best things to happen for SpaceX.

  • by AaronLS (1804210) on Tuesday May 13, 2014 @01:06PM (#46991027)

    Wasn't it nice when at least space programs still worked together and were kind of outside the scope of international quarrels. Astronauts working together, at least to me, were a symbol of how we were still all civilized people who had a lot of common interests and could work together peacefully.

  • by ArcadeNut (85398) on Tuesday May 13, 2014 @01:17PM (#46991181) Homepage

    We need to bring back the NASA programs and other things that are vital to national security in house rather then outsourcing to the lowest bidders...

  • by areusche (1297613) on Tuesday May 13, 2014 @01:21PM (#46991231)

    This is exactly why comparative advantage is complete BS. When you let another foreign entity control your means of whatever it may be (rocketd, iPhones, car parts, tools, etc etc) you lose that ability to utilize it when the political poo hits the fan.

    Watch the space shuttle program make a dramatic re-appearance. This is a massive national security issue that I bet no one brought up when they decided, "Gee, lets go and outsource our rockets and launches to a foreign power we've had cold relations with since the early 20th century."

    This is what happens when people look solely at the bottom line. It gets a little hard to project your power into a region when that same region makes most of your equipment (I'm looking at you China!).

  • by guacamole (24270) on Tuesday May 13, 2014 @01:25PM (#46991277)

    The sanctions and bans clearly will not work to defuse the Ukraine crisis. The Russian public has bought into Putin's nationalist rhetoric. Putin completely controls the political discourse in the mass media within Russia. This year, Kremlin increased pressure even on web based news, social networks, and blogs. Every Western sanction is met with a counter-sanction from the Russian side. The Russian economy and standards of living may suffer (some have serious doubts about the effectiveness of these sanctions), but I don't think they will make Russia back away.

    Moreover, it's not clear what is the goal of the western sanctions as their goal is often amorphously described as "deescalate the situation in Ukraine". What does this mean? Russians think that annexation of Crimea is a done deal. Not just Putin, average Russians too. They certainly won't back away from that. As for the instability in east Ukraine, it's not clear how you prove who is escalating what right now? The locals in East Ukraine are certainly as pissed off at Kiev as it gets, specially after deadly Odesa clashes and the coup in Kiev. I don't think they need a lot of encouragement from Putin at this point.

    The best way to defuse the crisis in Ukraine, is to help this country rebuild its democratic institutions and economy. While Ukraine is viewed as the victim in this dispute, its government must do more to accommodate the concerns of its Russian-speaking citizens in the East regions. For one, they should be allowed to elect their local government officials.

  • by jader3rd (2222716) on Tuesday May 13, 2014 @01:27PM (#46991321)

    This is exactly why comparative advantage is complete BS. When you let another foreign entity control your means of whatever it may be (rocketd, iPhones, car parts, tools, etc etc) you lose that ability to utilize it when the political poo hits the fan.

    I disagree. It's quite possible that this decision wasn't made lightly. I'm sure there are some Russian businesses which are being hurt by this. When countries trade with each other, and become dependent upon each other, there's a higher motivation not to go to war with each other or let political poo hit fans. While trade dependency is a strategy that kind of hurts when war breaks out, it decreases the likelihood of that war actually breaking out.

    I think that policies should be optimized for day to day living during peacetime, not war.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 13, 2014 @01:30PM (#46991349)

    you know nothing, try reading something other than your state controlled news, or better come and visit.

  • by Catbeller (118204) on Tuesday May 13, 2014 @01:31PM (#46991359) Homepage

    Kill shuttles, kill the DC-X, kill spaceplanes, kill research, find the cheapest possible source of launchers. Make a business out of manned spaceflight. So now we're hostage to Russia, because they were cheaper than building a reusable launch system. SpaceX ain't ready yet. So, we're screwed. May Elon Musk get what he wishes for, and may he be able to deliver. Next month.

  • by losfromla (1294594) on Tuesday May 13, 2014 @01:53PM (#46991561)

    Uh, like other countries like to get bullied?
    98 lb guy doesn't like getting bullied? Tough shit, schedule him for a 2:45 wedgie.
    275 lb football player doesn't like getting bullied? ok, fine, take him off the schedule.
    Same with countries, that's why they all want the nukes, it's the nukes that make all the difference.

  • I do not see how anyone can even look at the other side objectively.

    I guess you don't see how anyone can look at either view objectively then....

    Objective is different from "agree with". But you're right; it's all subjective.

    Personally, it looks to me as if
    a) Russia is fed up with being pressured by the US to use the "Made in America" solutions when Russia has its own and
    b) the situation in the Ukraine is extremely complex and the only people with everything to lose are those who actually live there.

    The US has successfully aided an overthrow of the previous government that was backed by Russia, and Russia is seeing that their seaport might be taken away, as well as their influence in that area, which is right on their border (think US and Mexico, or US and Canada). Both the US and Russia have dirty hands, and yes, there are Russian and US sympathizers living in Ukraine, with the Russian ones predominantly in the west, and the US ones predominantly in the east. Most of the citizens just want to get on with life. There are also US operatives working with the current government, and Russian operatives working inside west Ukraine to try and set up another government.

    The Russians are getting heavily into the newspeak to try and get internal and external support, and guess what? So is the US. I have yet to see one objective news article about the whole thing, as everyone seems to have turned it into a bipartisan-style issue (even outside Russia and the US).

    One thing I'm certain of: the Ukraine doesn't want to go back to being part Russia (west) and part Poland (east), even if there are some who might make some noise about who they'd prefer as their allies.

  • Re:SpaceX (Score:5, Insightful)

    by GameboyRMH (1153867) <gameboyrmh@[ ]il.com ['gma' in gap]> on Tuesday May 13, 2014 @02:18PM (#46991869) Journal

    I'm sure they're all popping champagne bottles in the office right now.

    Also a good thing if you don't want to help fund Putin's wars of conquest.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 13, 2014 @02:31PM (#46992011)

    "Market economics are the alternative to fighting for resources" - Unless you control the market and use that as your weapon.

    "The market based world order of the Pax Americana is far more peaceful than..." - You haven't studied American history seriously. Ask a Native.

    " Instead of grabbing what you want by force " - Eminent domain, divine provenance, westward expansion, imperialism, slavery, regime change... keep studying.

  • by erikkemperman (252014) on Tuesday May 13, 2014 @02:36PM (#46992069)

    Market economics are the alternative to fighting for resources. Instead of grabbing what you want by force, you just buy it. The market based world order of the Pax Americana is far more peaceful than the age of imperialism and mercantilism that preceded it.

    What is this peace you speak of? Imperialism is far from over, the current situation is hardly different from the Spanish, British, or even the Ronan empires in any interesting way. It always amounts to wielding an overwhelming asymmetry in military might to maintain a steady flow of wealth from the rest if the world to the homeland.

    The amazing thing is that so few there seem to have any idea what kind of dick they are being as a nation, or to what extent their comfort (often even a luxury that ought to be embarrassing, frankly) is underwritten by misery and poverty in lesser places.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 13, 2014 @02:58PM (#46992361)

    u r fucking kidding, right ?
    that is sarcasm, right ?
    'cause you think it is all based on the fact we PAY people for their shit ? ? ?
    yeah, the half we spend on the military is not related to extracting the rest of the world's resources at all...
    nimrod...
    its not 'speak softly and carry a big stick'...
    its 'beat the shit out of them -or threaten to do so- and take all their stuff'...
    THAT is how it works, there's NO 'free market' horseshit about it...

  • by Charliemopps (1157495) on Tuesday May 13, 2014 @03:03PM (#46992405)

    Do a quick bunch of mealy mouthed video bites proclaiming solidarity and further cooperation to, well, study the situation.

    I have no faith in our leaders here in the US or in the EU to stop Putin.

    We orchestrated a coup in a country bordering Russia. Imagine if Mexico overthrew their government, kicked out their president all while Russian advisers were in Mexico city giving them tips...

    Then Russia stirred up unrest to prevent us from installing the government of our choice. The losers here are the Ukrainian people who are suffering because they just so happen to live on the newest battlefield of the 100 year old proxy war the US and Russia have been fighting.

  • by BobMcD (601576) on Tuesday May 13, 2014 @03:03PM (#46992409)

    Except this latest spat is specifically about Crimea.

    Now, now, let's be clear. This 'spat' is about Syria.

    1) US wants Syria taken down, appeals to world to do so.
    2) Russia blocks at every turn.
    3) US attempts end-run, attracting only France in the process, then backs out
    4) US deploys PsyOp to destabilize Ukraine, and 'spontaneous' protests break out.
    5) Now Russia has more pressing shit to deal with than Syria...

  • by nitehawk214 (222219) on Tuesday May 13, 2014 @03:07PM (#46992451)

    Presumably Elon wants to build rockets, not have another company owned by Wall Street where profit is all that matters. You can put it in the bylaws all you want, but the first time the CEO makes a decision for the long term health of the company rather than short term profits, the major shareholder will get together and sue him out of existence.

  • by ShanghaiBill (739463) on Tuesday May 13, 2014 @03:07PM (#46992457)

    What is this peace you speak of?

    Both the number and severity of wars has decreased dramatically in the last few decades. There are zero nation-vs-nation wars going on. There are some civil wars and insurrections, but few of these involve standing armies attempting to hold territory, and even fewer involve a high level of violence by historical standards. Less than 10% of violent deaths in the world are caused by armed conflict, far lower than at any other time in human history.

    an overwhelming asymmetry in military might to maintain a steady flow of wealth from the rest if the world to the homeland.

    The USA exercises military coercion against none of its trading partners. War and imperialism are negative-sum, since they involve the destruction of resources, and the cost of maintaining armies. Markets are positive-sum, because they allow both people and nations to specialize in what they are good at, and trade for everything else. America certainly benefits from the current world order, but so does everyone else that doesn't intentionally shut themselves out.

    underwritten by misery and poverty in lesser places

    The countries with the most misery and poverty are those where markets are banned, or have collapsed due to chaos. It is silly to blame America for problems in North Korea or Somalia.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 13, 2014 @03:09PM (#46992469)

    Exactly. And this is why we do things without force, with negotiations, because one day those who were stamped on in Ukraine will do the stamping. If you used force for gain and you champion the results, then do not complain when it is done to you.

    See the end result of 'Sudetenland.' Hitler invaded to 'protect' the Germans living there. Today there are no Germans living there.

  • by QuantumPion (805098) on Tuesday May 13, 2014 @03:19PM (#46992579)

    Iraq was a war for oil only in the sense that Saddam invaded our ally, Kuwait, whom we agreed to protect, to annex their oil fields.

  • by erikkemperman (252014) on Tuesday May 13, 2014 @04:16PM (#46993203)

    Actually I was in disagreement with your assertion that Pax Americana was somehow not a kind of empire in how it operates in the world the last couple decades, I didn't mention all out war.

    But you're not wrong in that, since the end if the Cold War, there have been fewer "nation-vs-nation" wars, as you put it (which were not really that, even during the Cold War, but mostly proxy wars between both superpowers). "Standing armies" does not mean what it used to, before there was a single superpower.

    But notice that military spending has not diminished as one might have expected, rather it has risen since the early 90s. It is as much as the rest of the planet combined, to the extent that their budgets are accountable at all, that is. Find a world map of US military installations. The reason that actual, explicit coercion is rare is simply that lesser nations can't afford to let it come that far. That makes the coercion more efficient, yes, but not less "empire" like.

    That doesn't make the present situation peaceful in any meaningful way though, for great numbers of people. That there were no formal war declarations and massive infantry battles doesn't actually make the history of, say, Haiti, Colombia, Chile, Argentina, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Guatemala, all that much less bloody. That is what imperial enforcement looks like, not Waterloo.

  • by s.petry (762400) on Tuesday May 13, 2014 @05:05PM (#46993647)

    Fifty years ago, maybe. Today, not a chance. All of the bullshit wars going on currently are due to the removal of regulations that are required for any economic system to function in addition to the greed of a select few. The fall of Mercantilism was not due to wars, it was due to the fact that it was not regulated. This caused huge disparities in wealth and income and people started revolting and stealing. Imperialism is different because it's not a system of economics but a system of border expansion.

    Adam Smith repeatedly warns that regulation is required or _any_ economic system put into play will fail. Control by the few ends up with false scarcity, reduced wages for 'common' workers, and bribes and incentives to politicians to expand the wealth and power of that same few. Up until the 1970s we had countless regulations and taxes to keep society balanced in terms of wealth disparity. LBJ and Nixon tossed the personal income tax regulations in the shitter, and started the deregulation which was massively expanded under the following presidents. Reagan, as much as he is touted this great "conservative" destroyed countless regulations and increased the wealth of the few by claiming "trickle down" would be some great savior (He never read a history book?). The Dole Pineapple wars and another great area to study.

    Consider that 2 decades ago it was illegal for a bank to have influence outside of one State. These regulations were meant to maintain stability. Today, a couple massive banks own nearly everything in the country, and the collapse of any of these would cause the end of the US as we know it because 1/3rd of everyone's money would vanish in the blink of an eye. Imagine if 2 banks collapsed.

    For anyone trying to justify the US doing so well by waging wars (or paying for 'revolutions') in Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Ukraine, Georgia, Egypt, Syria, etc.. etc.. please tell me how much the average American's wealth has increased in the last 20 years as opposed to say GW Bush. How much have _you_ been making from these wars compared to Dick Chaney or David Rockefeller. You have probably lost wealth, because as George Carlin said long ago "It's a club, and _you_ are not in it."

  • Re:SpaceX (Score:5, Insightful)

    by FatLittleMonkey (1341387) on Tuesday May 13, 2014 @06:37PM (#46994321)

    Not necessarily. It will just score Aerojet $5b in emergency USAF funding to copy the RD-180 engines. And, hmmm, what can we cut to help pay for it... oh, this "commercial crew" isn't necessary compared to Issues Of National Security Importance, so let's just kill that. Hey it's a crisis, we've all got to make sacrifices. Plus another $3b "Guaranteed Access Payment" for Boeing for more Delta cores. Oh, and special legislation to ban lawsuits over National Security Payload contracts.

    You're suggesting they'll be sensible and actually do something to ensure launches for USAF/etc payloads. I'm saying that history says they'll use any crisis to fuck over their rivals and reward their friends, regardless of the actual cost to the country.

  • Re:Duck and cover (Score:5, Insightful)

    by rtb61 (674572) on Tuesday May 13, 2014 @09:23PM (#46995427) Homepage

    I have a plan to. Make damn fucking sure the politician I vote for is far fucking more interested in diplomacy than war. My plan seems like a far better idea for survival.

  • Re:Duck and cover (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Draugo (1674528) on Wednesday May 14, 2014 @03:47AM (#46997059)
    Duck and cover is actually very sound advice in the situation it's meant for i.e. protecting you from the blast wave caused debris and shrapnel (just like in earthquake). It won't save you if you're close enough to be vaporized by the flash or the blast wave demolishes the whole building but that's not the situation where it's supposed to matter anyway.

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