Congressman Brooks pushing for ISS longevity - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Congressman Brooks pushing for ISS longevity

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The ISS finds itself a proverbial pawn in a space chess game with high stakes. (Source: MGN Online) The ISS finds itself a proverbial pawn in a space chess game with high stakes. (Source: MGN Online)
HUNTSVILLE, AL (WAFF) -

Alabama Congressman Mo Brooks is pushing hard for more legislation to keep the International Space Station from becoming dependant on the Russians.

Wednesday, three astronauts touched down in Kazakhstan after spending six months in orbit. Brooks said NASA is in danger of being completely shut out.

The ISS finds itself a proverbial pawn in a space chess game with high stakes. It's a fight that began when the US issued sanctions against Russia after it took over the Crimea area of a democratic Ukraine.

Those sanctions meant NASA had to stop doing any business with Russia, except when it came to daily operations of the ISS – operations that include the Marshall Space Flight Center, because Marshall controls the science activities aboard the ISS.

Wednesday, Russia fought back, saying they would not extend their agreement to work with the United States on the ISS beyond the year 2020.

Brooks wrote a stinging letter (PDF) to NASA administrator Charlie Bolden demanding answers. In it, he asks for a status briefing on international negotiations related to the extension of the ISS beyond 2020.

He also asks for a list of all the critical components and services that Russia provides that are necessary for the continuation of ISS operations, and an assessment of the impacts of Russia's withdrawal on future engine deliveries on NASA.

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