NASA Official: U.S.-Russia Cooperation on ISS Going Very Well

International Space Station
International Space Station

Russia Today interviewed Mark Bowman, manager of NASA Moscow Technical Liaison Office, about U.S.-Russian cooperation on the International Space Station. A few excerpts:

RT: As to NASA and Roscosmos, have you always managed to co-operate well?

MB: Well, I would say not always. You’re probably aware that our first venture together was the Apollo-Soyuz effort in 1975, and we had kind of a low, where we did not do much of a manned space flight until the Shuttle-Mir mission started in 1993.

But since 1993 we’ve been working together and learning to work together very closely and have become more and more interrelated, more and more integrated. And since 1998-1999-2000, when we started to fly the International Space Station, it has been a non-stop 24-hours-a-day integrated team.

RT: So, is it enemy No. 1 or partner No. 1? I mean, do politics reach as high up as the ISS?

MB: We are not completely immune from politics, but we try to insulate – especially the crewmembers onboard – from the political infighting. And I would have to say that as regards to the team that we have on the International Space Station, we are partner number one, and in fact, as numerous people say, if our respective governments can take a lesson from the way we work together, the world would be a much better and much friendlier and safer place.

Read the full Q&A.