In October 2020 (just before the anniversary on Nov. 2), NASA's two-time space veteran Chris Cassidy will leave the orbiting complex in a Russian Soyuz with rookie Russian cosmonauts Nikolai Tikhonov and Andrei Babkin. The trio, who make up the Expedition 62/63 crew, is expected to fly up in April and remain about five months, although dates are always subject to complex scheduling. Their journey will be one of the last in the current pattern of space station operations.
When news broke of Sputnik’s trip outside our atmosphere, it sent shock waves through the American public and the U.S. government. The Defense Department immediately announced funding for the Explorer -- the vehicle that would become the first American object in space -- and Congress created NASA. But now, the United States is once again facing a potential Sputnik moment as countries like Russia, China and even India rapidly develop capabilities that threaten our use of and our access to space.
NASA anticipates having to buy yet more seats aboard Russian Soyuz spacecraft next year, according to media reports. The three-seat Soyuz has been U.S. astronauts' only way to get to and from the International Space Station (ISS) since 2011, when NASA grounded its space shuttle fleet. NASA is counting on private U.S. craft to pick up the slack and has been encouraging these vehicles' development via the agency's Commercial Crew Program.
Kaspersky Labs does not enjoy the best reputation. The company has been linked to Russian intelligence, the Department of Homeland Security has banned its use in government computers, and Best Buy will not sell its products. In 2017, news broke that the Israelis had observed Russian intelligence operatives using Kaspersky software to spy on the United States. Now, an investigation of the company’s antivirus software has uncovered a major data leak that goes back to 2015.
Last week’s mysterious nuclear accident in Russia became even more mysterious as the government admitted that a small nuclear reactor had exploded, killing seven people. Evidence is piling up that the incident is somehow related to Russia’s development of a nuclear-powered cruise missile, and President Donald Trump took to Twitter to state that the U.S. has a similar system.
Countries such as Russia and China are increasing cyberattacks and electronic warfare upon critical infrastructure, including space. This puts not only defense systems at risk, but also the networks increasingly essential for NATO operations such as disaster relief, counterterrorism and conflict prevention, a new Chatham House report finds.
The Russian navy submarine that Russian media outlets have identified as the one that caught fire during a mission on Monday, killing 14 sailors on board, may have been designed to cut undersea internet cables. The vessel caught fire near the naval base of Severomorsk on Monday, and the sailors died of smoke inhalation, Russia's defense ministry said in a statement.
Red lights start flashing in rapid succession, space-based infrared sensors detect a heat signature, somebody calls the President...and in what may seem like a matter of seconds, the U.S. launches an immediate, massive counterattack. F-35s, B-2 bombers, nuclear-armed Navy submarines, missile-armed destroyers, Ground Based Interceptors and satellites -- are all instantly thrust into action.
How should Washington deal with an authoritarian regime that is expanding its influence abroad and repressing its citizens at home? That is the question the United States faces today in dealing with Xi Jinping’s China. But it is not a new challenge. After World War II, the United States faced another authoritarian state intent on expanding its borders, intimidating its neighbors, undermining democratic institutions, exporting its authoritarian model, and stealing U.S. technology and know-how.
The Russian government is one step away from essentially cutting its population off from the global internet. The controversial “sovereign internet law” passed last week by the legislature’s upper house needs only President Vladimir Putin’s signature to require online traffic to pass through servers run by the government’s internet regulation agency by 2021, allowing the Kremlin to much better observe and control what Russian citizens are doing.