NASA asking for government permission to get Russian technology
NASA is plagued with many problems of their own. So much so, that they are now asking permission from the government to get access to the Russian technology to continue with their space program. Their space shuttle fleet is grounded after the debris problems they suffered during the Discovery mission to space.
With an undergoing program with the International Space Station, they have to continue sending supplies and other material to the space station and they are relying currently on Russian spacecrafts. However, they would soon lose their access to their resources after the commitment between the two countries end in a couple of weeks.
To prevent this situation, the Bush administration is seeking to eliminate a provision in the 2000 Iran Nonproliferation Act prohibiting U.S. purchases of most Russian space technology and equipment. And this includes the commercial hiring of the Russian Soyuz spacecraft for their space missions unless Russia has military (and nuclear) contacts with Iran.
Unless something is done about this prohibition, no U.S. astronaut will have access to space after the Soyuz flight scheduled to fly to the station on Sept. 30.