Hold onto your sat nav. The Russian government has just threatened to end cooperation with America on major space projects, including maintenance of the GPS system.
The policy will also prevent NASA from accessing the International Space Station from 2020, as well as blocking the supply of components for America’s Atlas V rockets, which are currently vital for sending military and commercial satellites into space.
With regards to GPS, Deputy PM Dimitry Rogozin says that he’ll shut down Russian base stations that keep the system going, unless the US promises to house reciprocal stations to support the competing GLONASS platform.
He’s quoted as saying that Russia is wary about developing future “high-tech projects with such an unreliable partner as the United States, which politicizes everything.” Why the sudden burst of angry rhetoric?
As you can probably guess, aside from the dispute over local GPS stations, it has everything to do with America’s decision to impose sanctions on Russia, following Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine.