Russia's New Space Sanctions Mean SpaceX Is About to Get Paid
Russia just announced plans to shut down the International Space Station in 2020, and prohibited companies in the country from selling engines to Lockheed Martin and Boeing for military launch purposes. If this is more than just posturing, there’s at least one takeaway: SpaceX is about to get paid.
It was just a month ago that NASA Administrator Charles Bolden said that Russia would never ban the United States from the ISS, and that his “contingency plan” for getting astronauts to and from the ISS was to continue working with Russia as normal until an American company is ready to fly manned flights to the ISS in roughly three years.
Well, Russian deputy prime minister Dmitry Rogozin’s announcement Tuesday that it plans to stop working with America on the ISS should quickly put an end to that notion.
The current announcement is a promise to stop working with the US six years from now, which isn't entirely urgent. But Bolden has to be worried about how American astronauts are going to get to and from the ISS if Russia next decides to pull out of its already-signed contracts to sell seats to Americans aboard Russian Soyuz spacecraft through at least 2017.
As of now, there’s no indication that Russia plans to cut the US out immediately, but the ISS is now clearly in the diplomatic playing field. And that brings us to SpaceX. The company stands to gain greatly from both bits of news announced today.