cur-mud-geon: anyone who hates hypocrisy and pretense and has the temerity to say so; anyone with the habit of pointing out unpleasant facts in an engaging and humorous manner
An American astronaut landed in Russia yesterday as he was transported back to Earth from the International Space Station. He was aboard a Russian spacecraft since we have retired the last of our shuttles.
Were we wise to end our ability to fly people and equipment and supplies to the space station, and to become totally reliant on Russia for those missions? We have just begun the testing and proving of the SpaceX program, a private company working under a federal grant to demonstrate that it can take over where the shuttles left off. There is still quite a lengthy window during which we are totally reliant on Russia.
Maybe my age, and the memories I hold from past decades, is resulting in my concern, but Russia has been among the greatest enemies our country has had in my lifetime. President Putin seems to me to have some ulterior motives during this second presidency of Russia. He is former KGB and I simply am unconvinced that those tigers can change their stripes. I believe he is dangerous. I am concerned that he is capable of decisions we’d be amazed to see him take, but that we would also be powerless to affect.
All this came back to the fore as I looked at the photo of our astronaut being carried gingerly to an aid station following the landing of the Russian capsule on land as they have always done.
What would’ve happened had Russia and the United States not been on good terms? Could Russia have used the space station and life or lives of Americans that were stationed there to thwart our desires for national security, for example? We know they do not like the idea of anti-ballistic missiles being deployed in Europe since they claim this is a threat to their sovereignty; since these are defensive missiles, that claim seems ungrounded. This is but one small example.
I don’t know when this decision was made in our hierarchy of leadership. It might’ve been a Republican or a Democrat decision, but I still question that decision. I will remain uneasy about the decision and our inability to do anything other than sit and wait until we have a fully tested and proved civilian capability to get to and from the International Space Station.