Bob Zimmerman is concerned.
If it’s not the intent of this to aid Russia, that’s certainly the effect.
And yes, this is concerning:
But the sources familiar with the matter said the companies must address “most” of those concerns before flying astronauts and, eventually, tourists to space. [emphasis mine]
NASA has no business dictating what standards will be met for private spaceflight participants. Someone needs to stomp on this right now.
[Update a few minutes later]
And just by coincidence, as NASA continues to want to purchase more rides from the Russians, another Fregat upper stage failed today.
The Soyuz 2-1b has apparently FAILED according to Russian media: ?https://t.co/l09jEEtPTG
— Chris B – NSF (@NASASpaceflight) February 21, 2019
Looks like while there may have been an anomaly, the mission was ultimately a success.
— Anatoly Zak (@RussianSpaceWeb) February 21, 2019
[Friday afternoon update]
Well, that piece by Reuters didn’t age well. Seems kind of dumb to have run it when the flight readiness review was scheduled for the very next day.