NASA's Catch-22: Russia may move astronaut training to Crimea


To further complicate matters, ever since NASA retired its fleet of space shuttles, the U.S. has been dependent on the Russian Federal Space Agency to ferry NASA astronauts to the space station.

NASA is working to launch astronauts from U.S. soil again but doesn't expect that program to be ready until 2017.

On Friday, a NASA spokesman told Computerworld: "We're focused on returning human spaceflight launches to America and continuing the extraordinary scientific research being conducted on board the International Space Station." The statement continued: "With respect to the reports out of Russia, we won't comment on speculative press reports. Russia has maintained strong support for the International Space Station, and we expect that will continue into the future."

The House Committee on Science, Space and Technology did not respond to repeated requests for comment. U.S. Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Texas), chairman of the committee, also could not be reached for comment.

In April, NASA announced that because of continuing tensions with the Russian government, it was scaling back work with Russia's space agency.

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