A University of Illinois alumnus says tensions with Russia did not interfere with his recent mission to space. NASA shut down its Space Shuttle program to focus on deep space exploration, but its astronauts can still get to orbit on Russian rockets. Last week, NASA Astronaut Mike Hopkins returned to Earth with two Russian cosmonauts after spending six months on the International Space Station. He says everything went smoothly in space, despite conflicts between the two countries on the ground.
"We really didn't see any impact on that. We have a mission to do. We have agreements in place that allow us to do that and also on the personal level you know it all was just fine. So we didn't see the kind of tensions that you might see at the political or the Federal government level that you are seeing right now."
During the last mission, Hopkins says he worked on more than 200 different experiments, ranging from how the body reacts in an environment where there is little gravity to exploring the origins of the universe.
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