NASA Suspends Contact With Russia's Space Agency Over Ukraine

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putin space REUTERS/Aleksey Nikolskyi/RIA Novosti Russian President Vladimir Putin holds a communication session with the crew of the International Space Station (ISS) on Cosmonautics Day during his visit to the Amursk Region, April 12, 2013.

NASA has ceased working with the Russian government over the ongoing conflict in Ukraine and Crimea.

The Verge reports that NASA is suspending all contact with Russian government officials. This ban extends to teleconferences, visits by Russian government officials to NASA facilities, email exchanges with Russian officials, and travel to Russia.

NASA's communications with Russia about their support for the two American astronauts currently on the International Space Station are exempt. That includes organization and completion of a scheduled Soyuz capsule launch on April 9.

Astronaut Reid Wiseman is scheduled to head to the ISS on the Russian Soyuz capsule, which is planned to launch on May 28. He's traveling with Russian Cosmonaut Maksim Viktorovich Surayev and European Space Agency astronaut Alexander Gerst.

A NASA scientist who spoke to The Verge on the condition of anonymity slammed the move: "NASA's goals aren't political. This is one of the first major actions I have heard of from the US government and it is to stop Science and Technology collaboration. ... You're telling me there is nothing better?"

More to come...

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