Russia Severs Space-Science Ties With U.S. In A Curt Breakup Tweet

Yesterday, Russian deputy prime minister Dmitry Rogozin told reporters that Russia would decline America's request to work together on keeping the ISS operational through 2024, potentially dooming humanity's orbital outpost. Following his press conference, Rogozin reiterated his country's position over Twitter in more explicit terms.

Statements from NASA claim the Agency has yet to receive official notice from the Russian Government of any changes in Russian-U.S. space policy, remarking that cooperation in space has been a hallmark of the two countries' relations, "including during the height of the Cold War, and most notably, in the past 13 consecutive years of continuous human presence on board the International Space Station."

Reports from the Associated Press indicate the United States is "downplaying Russia's talk on Space Exploration."

Back in March, NASA Chief Charles Bolden assured reporters that political tensions on Earth have, historically, had little impact on international cooperation in space. "People from a variety of cultures and beliefs," he said, "are focused on the mission of the International Space Station."

But with the Crimean crisis now spread to low Earth orbit, Bolden's word carry significantly less weight. As for Russia's "focus on the mission of the ISS," Rogozin had the following to say on the matter (via NBC):

Rogozin said Moscow was planning "strategic changes" in its space industry after 2020 and aims to use money and "intellectual resources" that now go to the space station for "a project with more prospects."

He said the space station could not survive without Russian participation. "The Russian segment can exist independently from the American one," Rogozin said. "The U.S. one cannot."

More on this as it develops.