Russia has crossed the line. I'm not talking about the Ukraine foolishness going on. That is in itself a horrible mess and a reminder of humanity's hopelessness when it comes to working out our own problems. What I'm talking about is the smack talk going on concerning our space program.
Basically, in response to the US move to sanction Russia over their operations in Ukraine, a Russian official played the space card. He suggested that Russia might take their rockets and go home, leaving NASA to try to use trampolines to get to the ISS.
I mean who does Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin think he is? Just because we BUY rocket use from Russia doesn't mean we are dependent on them to get to space. It just means they are cheap. It is not as if they are giving us the usage of their rockets out of the kindness of their heart. They didn't toss NASA the keys and say, "Just fill it up with gas when you're done."
What a joke! We have private companies ready and willing to send folks to space, but finances (and bureaucracy) make it simpler for the time being to use Russia's Rockets. They are making $60 million per person that we send to space. He is basically asking us to take our business somewhere else. I hope we do, as soon as possible.
Also, THIS IS AMERICA! If we decide we want to launch astronauts using a trampoline we will find a way to do it. But trampolines are lame. If we decide to use alternatives to rockets it would be something cool like a slingshot. It would be called the Slingatron and it would rule.