US and Russia Work Together on the International Space Station

Commander Steve Swanson says "operations continue as they always have" despite the conflict between the two countries on Earth.
8:03 | 05/27/14

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Transcript for US and Russia Work Together on the International Space Station
This is a special room. Love -- I'm -- Cutler in New York the relationship between the US and Russia may be tense here on earth but there is. Still some cooperation between both. In space there are currently two American astronauts on where the International Space Station living and working alongside three Russian cosmonauts. -- tells more about the relationship. And everyday life. On the ISS -- -- -- expedition forty commander Steve Swanson from the International Space Station some 230 miles. Above earth the -- thanks for being with us today we really appreciate that. -- and I wanted to start off you know has anything changed up their because of what is going on on the ground. Here between Russia and the US. No -- -- change for us. Our operations are continuing just as they always have. How would you describe the relationship then between. The US astronauts and cosmonauts is is it a rivalry is is that a brotherhood in space almost. Closed up -- brotherhood and space. The name we write up in the same -- together we trained together. Would become close friends. And -- with pledges made history here but -- other ones we worked with before on the ground and so we -- if -- brotherhood -- -- basics. Lawyers. Do you talk I either among their -- other fellow astronauts or that you're cosmonauts the events that are happening here back on earth at all about the politics that's that's happening. There we -- talk a little about the politics -- almost can't help but it's in the news. We watch the news -- read a news. And so we will talk about it but we also know that that's politics and then we also have our job over here which is -- not related. 230 miles above -- everything kind of separates element of this is. This is the second -- -- third time event space station right and and first time -- as a commander how different manager role. Well as good a bit different in the first your talents were on shuttle. Missions and they were short duration and -- word to build the space station. And because trade on that task now its -- differ from me in that sense is that now I'm up here for a long duration. -- main task is science up here which is a big difference then day and also maintaining the station -- -- -- And so those those suspects or -- probably bigger than just doing the difference between being in a -- -- a commander as a commander -- though. The big difference is the course taking care the big picture between the ground and some board and make -- sure everything's run smoothly in both places. Now you -- a space walk back in April it's -- there are more more robotic arms. I going up on the next kind of a equipment runs if you will will there be fewer spacewalks then. In the future given a robotics is going to be played a -- role. The future. Well no I think -- probably -- will be. Larger robotic operate. James. That's good because. I think we're so they'll have plenty of space walks to do there's other things that we can do that it can't do -- so if we didn't Heather robotic arm -- this would have almost too many space -- to do we wouldn't get much else done. So it's a great tradeoff find out that we have gone. Let me ask you this and given the fact that is your third trip up there and -- kind of grown accustomed to life on the ISS but what do you really missing what do you craving. Back here on -- It's -- -- of course you know being with. Family and friends -- -- the first and foremost on undermined all the time. But if you take out -- I would you crave -- -- and I would say. This thing for me. Is lake been -- that -- in my grill outside. In the backyard and put an -- hamburgers juicy steak on there and -- -- hold things up that way that's what I miss him. I would I want -- and the fact we've had some beautiful weather down here recently in North America Brett. That being inside -- hasn't special social media history. From the there at the IS SI if you were the first one. Two in mr. Graham from space did you realize that -- -- going to be this milestone maker. No I didn't I had no idea that was happening so I was gonna take him by surprise about the -- event. Year from Colorado you love the great outdoors clearly -- barbecuing and grilling outside their mountain biking mountain climbing -- well. Obviously you can't do that in space it was a what do you do out there to relax for down time. Well I still work out that does help me relax. But for other down time they're looking out the window as the number one downtown you can have it is still. Is now being outside but I -- -- some beautiful seriously you got to climbed atop. But some big mountain. And then you get to look out upon -- the valleys and everything below. And -- still a great thing to see that says -- -- me to recite that a little watching TV and just hanging out with the guys. Watching TV -- what are your favorite shows enemy guys are out there you got it I'm assuming there's what maybe one or limited number of television sets -- this do you guys have to kind of agree on whatever way got a lot try. Well we -- -- model laptops. And so you can live for watching together well of course I have to be all huddle around a little laptop. -- and we do of course what some sports. Since you know that's a standard. -- a group activity do but there's also some other shows that you were from a game with rogue officer stuff like that that we -- together. -- -- Miller about the work then you guys are doing out there what are some of the spear experiments that you guys are conducting. -- as many experiments is over -- 170 so. There's different types as ones that are back outside that we -- in -- touch -- -- they get very interest in the government expect from her. Which is trying to look for -- dark energy and dark matter and antimatter which is fascinating. Bears down -- -- that HD camera that's outside. Looking down and taking pictures in people could see -- on line I think that's great. We also have hopefuls. Experiment which is trying to use lasers to communicate to the ground -- -- very high bandwidth that's great. Inside though we do many other experiments. Most of them -- right now -- I seem to be plants and working with them or on the human body. And working without ourselves and trying to figure out while we are -- in similar bodies going through for the changes from -- -- -- Are you -- -- plants a fairly common ordinary everyday plants. There right now I'm grow and Romaine lettuce. Then they're trying to get it to grow up to be a large -- that he could possibly eat this is the first -- -- so I'm actually not gonna get to eat it they'll have to send it back. Judy Graham where they have to analyze it and check out what microbes are on medics -- -- And ending injured -- different about this one that would cut it to be not edible so -- can take it is safe first and now let's start to look pretty tasty military -- that. It fascinating well we certainly appreciate your time and all the work that you residue and of their on the -- Steve Swanson. Thank you so much we certainly appreciate that. It's been ABC news digital special reporting keep up the story in real time download an ABC news apps are in -- -- for exclusive updates on the go. For now though. I'm down -- for New York.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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