NASA United States Ukraine Russia Space Race
Nasa astronaut Stephen K. Robinson anchored to a foot restraint on the International Space Station's Canadarm2Reuters

Operations on the International Space Station between Russia and the United States will continue unaffected by Russia's involvement with Ukraine, according to Nasa chief Charlie Bolden.

The diverse International Space Station team includes three Russians, two Americans, and one Japanese cosmonaut.

"I think people lose track of the fact that we have occupied the International Space Station now for 13 consecutive years uninterrupted, and that has been through multiple international crises," Bolden said in a news conference.

"I don't think it's an insignificant fact that we're starting to see a number of people with the idea that the International Space Station be nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize," he continued.

Nasa astronaut Mike Hopkins is scheduled to fly back to earth aboard a Russian Soyuz spacecraft next week with Russian astronauts Oleg Kotov and Sergey Ryazanskiy.

"It's not trivial. It has continued to exist and continued to function with people from a variety of cultures and beliefs, but we all are focused on the mission of the International Space Station," the Nasa administrator stated.

Hopkins, Kotov and Ryazanskiy are set to land in Kazakhstan and be replaced by Nasa astronaut Steve Swanson and Russian spacemen Alexander Skvortsov and Oleg Artemyev.

"Right now, everything is normal in our [Nasa's] relationship with the Russians," Bolden added.

"I'm not an historian ... but over the duration of the human spaceflight program, particularly over the last 15 years since International Space Station has been on orbit, it's very important to understand that it started with a partnership between the United States and Russia.

"That partnership in space remains intact and normal. We are continuing to monitor the situation. Our crews continue to train in Star City [Russia]," Bolden concluded.

The space station was recently extended to continue until at least 2024 and the orbiting outpost, which has cost $100bn to construct and maintain, has had rotating crews from five different space agencies manage it since 2000.