U.S.-Russian relations have hit a new low. The U.S. has been issuing sanctions against Russia over its involvement in the turmoil in Ukraine and Crimea.
Russia has decided to level a few threats of its own. Specifically, Russia is threatening to shut down 11 American GPS stations in Russian territory unless the U.S. allows Russian GLONASS GPS stations in American territory. Russia has set May 31 as the deadline for the U.S. to decide.
Additionally, Russia is threatening to halt delivery of Russian-made rocket engines to NASA. This could seriously slow down U.S. space efforts, although private U.S. company SpaceX is already suing the U.S. Air Force for not considering U.S. companies to provide rocket engines.
"The US relies on Russian-made RD-180 and NK-33 engines to launch military and civilian satellites into space, with NASA saying it’s unlikely to produce a fully operational rocket engine of its own before 2020."
Russia also wants guarantees that the engines won't be used for military purposes.
“We proceed from the fact that without guarantees that our engines are used for non-military spacecraft launches only, we won’t be able to supply them to the US,” [Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin] is cited as saying by Interfax news agency.
Finally, the U.S. is trying to get Russia to extend the life of the International Space Station from 2020 to 2024, without much success.
“We currently project that we’ll require the ISS until 2020,” [Rogozin] said. “We need to understand how much profit we’re making by using the station, calculate all the expenses and depending on the results decide what to do next.”
“A completely new concept for further space exploration” is currently being developed by the relevant Russian agencies, the official explained.