Well Mr. Obama, NASA has a problem, due in large part to your administration's lack of vision, or a lack of planning for the what "IF" factor. What happens to the "ISS" and our astronauts and the Russians cosmonauts. "IF" the Progress ROCKET that the United States has access to, just decides to "BLOW UP" one lazy afternoon, what you are going to hear at first from the Russians is Bot AebMO translated to (oh shit). Yes sir, that is what you would hear from me. Leaving the ISS should not be an issue, because the Russians have a couple of Soyuz capsules docked on station as escape vehicles for emergencies from the ISS in case of an emergency.
What does the USA have? Absolutely nothing, we have to rely on our Russian friends to get us home safely. To depend on someone else to get our astronauts home is A first for for NASA. We have never depended on anyone but the United States. I am embarrassed, to say that our great nation has to depend on another country to get our men and women home. It is just not right.
However, if we are going to leave the ISS, the astronauts and cosmonauts need to leave sometime in November because of the cold Russian winters. In addition to the weather, the Soyuz space capsules have a shelf life of 210 days, and that also comes into play.
I would say we have a problem. Partially due to the retirement of our Shuttle fleets. I will also place some blame on the Obama for being too quick to make cuts in the program with absolutely no planning for the "WHAT IF'S". To me it would not be to difficult to plan for "a what if the Russian rocket blows up." That would have been one of the first what "IF'S" that should have been thought of as well.
Well the "what if" happened, the unmanned Russian Progress M-12M cargo ship was blown to "smithereens" on 24 August 2011, 325 seconds after blasting off with 2.5 tons of oxygen, food,and fuel for the six astronauts and cosmonauts on station at the ISS. Apparently it was the third stage that caused the failure. The problem IS, since it was decided to retire the Space Shuttle, we (USA) have to depend on the Russian's for delivery of supplies and for bringing our astronauts and cosmonauts back to earth. Now the Russians, for safety issues must shut down the rocket and find out what caused the explosion. The Russian Space engineers are good at what they do, and I am confident they, along with NASA, will find out what happened to the Progress rocket.