NASA Ends Contact with Russia

Due to Ukraine crisis

Apr 3, 2014
Outside Magazine

Spacecraft    Getty Images/iStockphoto

NASA will suspend all contact with the Russian government, according to an internal memo released Wednesday.

The brief, which accuses Russia of violating Ukraine's sovereignty, calls for a halt to most communication between the U.S. agency and its Russian counterparts. That means no more travel to Russia, teleconferences, or visits from Russian officials.

The International Space Station, however, is exempt from the suspension, as are international meetings not hosted by Russia.

"NASA's goals aren't political," a NASA scientist told the Verge. "This is one of the first major actions I have heard of from the U.S. government, and it is to stop science and technology collaboration." 

But the Cold War–esque move doesn't mean all collaboration has stopped. In fact, NASA will give away a master list of code next Thursday that anyone can download, adapt, and run for free. And this isn't just software for your computer—the projects cover everything from climate simulators to rocket guidance systems.

The agency's new catalog will include more than 1,000 projects, and it will help you find the code you need. So go ahead, build yourself a robot. Just don't send any emails to Russia while you're at it.