The United States will work with Russia to maintain cooperation in space programs and keep joint exploration efforts separate from terrestrial tensions between Washington and Moscow, NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstein told guests at the Space Business Roundtable on Monday.
"We’ve been able to make sure that space is set apart from all of these sometimes terrestrial challenges we have with our international partners, especially Russia," Bridenstein said. "So it is my intent to keep that relationship strong."
Bridenstein explained that Russian space agency Roscosmos chief Dimitry Rogozin expressed a similar viewpoint in a recent telephone conversation.
A crack in US-Russian space cooperation surfaced over the weekend when Rogozin expressed reluctance to join the US-sponsored effort to establish an orbiting lunar space station as the program is currently envisioned.
Rogozin on Saturday said that Russia may create its own manned platform to orbit the Moon as a result.Sputnik