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Editorial: Some U.S. sanctions are simply spaced-out

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Vladimir Putin is a bad egg and something needs to be done to check his plans for the Ukraine.

So the White House has imposed sanctions.

Against whom is still being determined.

Even the most hawkish American knows we can’t send rockets at Russia. Problem is, some of the sanctions we’ve imposed were on the cusp of preventing Russia from sending rockets to us – ones we need.

Last week, a federal court blocked aerospace partners Boeing and Lockheed Martin from buying a piece of Russian-made rocket hardware that is critical to their commercial space operations. The companies have a partnership – United Launch Alliance – which has a $9.5 billion contract with the U.S. government for 36 rocket launches of defense payloads, such as satellites.

Russia’s Dmitry Rogozin, the deputy prime minister who heads the Russian defense industry and space program – and is named by the U.S. government in the sanctions – thought the self-destructive decision was so funny he tweeted that perhaps American astronauts could use a trampoline next time we need to send someone to the International Space Station.

Fortunately, on Thursday the ruling was overturned.

But how did the United States, which developed the technology that put a man on the moon 45 years ago, get into such straits that it now must send its astronauts to space on Russian rockets and commercial space companies must turn to Russia for rocket engine supplies?

Some would say it’s a lack of Kennedy-like vision.

Our reliance on Russians for space travel has put the U.S. on tenuous ground. The danger to our nation’s need for access to space is heightened by a foreign policy that also seems without vision.

This editorial first appeared in the Albuquerque Journal. It was written by members of the editorial board and is unsigned as it represents the opinion of the newspaper rather than the writers.

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