The American incentives for engaging with Russia in space in the 1990s — political goals like the employment of idle rocket scientists to prevent missile proliferation — have mostly disappeared with the resumption of tensions. The Trump administration has already proposed that by 2025 the United States should stop supporting the International Space Station that is the principal joint project today. A final decision is up to Congress. The American role might be shifted to a commercial footing [nytimes.com] thereafter.
[...] [It] is unclear how much longer the post-Soviet era of space cooperation between the United States and Russia can last in the more hostile environment now surrounding relations. In the interview, [Dmitri O. Rogozin, the director of Russia's space agency,] said Russia wanted to carry on joint flights with the United States and its allies, despite the tensions over election interference, wars in Syria and Ukraine, and the chemical weapons poisoning of a former double agent in Britain.
[...] Analysts say Moscow has a strong incentive to maintain the joint program: a decided lack of money to pursue a lunar station on its own. Russia's budget for its space program is something less than one-10th what the United States spends on NASA. [...] Russia's preference is to press on with a space program entwined with the United States', on either the lunar program or another venture, Mr. Rogozin said. But if talks fail, Russia can turn to China or India for partnership. There might then be two stations circling the Earth or the moon, one led by the United States the other a Russian-Chinese enterprise. Mr. Rogozin even floated the idea of a "BRIC station," the acronym for the developing economies of Brazil, Russia, India and China.
Mr. Rogozin in November ordered the Russian Academy of Sciences to study the prospects for a solo Russian program to build a habitable base on the surface of the moon. Ivan M. Moiseyev, the director of the Institute of Space Policy in Moscow, said in a telephone interview that any proposal for a lone Russian lunar station was fantastical, given the budget constraints. "The technical capability exists, but the finances don't."
The U.S. and NASA could develop stronger partnerships with the European Space Agency, Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, and Indian Space Research Organisation instead.
NASA Suspends Collaboration with Russia [soylentnews.org]
Russia to Build New Space Station with NASA after ISS [soylentnews.org]
NASA and International Partners Planning Orbital Lunar Outpost [soylentnews.org]
NASA and Roscosmos Sign Joint Statement on the Development of a Lunar Space Station [soylentnews.org]
Russia Assembles Engineering Group for Lunar Activities and the Deep Space Gateway [soylentnews.org]
Russian Space Chief Vows to Find "Full Name" of Technician Who Caused ISS Leak [soylentnews.org]
NASA and Roscosmos Release Joint Statement on ISS Leak Amid Rumors [soylentnews.org]
Head of Russian Space Agency Roscosmos Wavers on Lunar Orbital Platform-Gateway [soylentnews.org]
Soyuz Rocket Carrying Crew Successfully Launches and Docks with ISS [soylentnews.org]
Related: Price War Between SpaceX and Russia [soylentnews.org]