Space Station: Russian director says he will stop partnership with US – 04/04/2022

Russia has threatened to end cooperation with other nations, in particular the United States, on the International Space Station (ISS) until all trade and economic sanctions against the country are removed. Relations have been strained with European countries and the United States in the face of the war against Ukraine, which has lasted more than a month.

The director of the Russian space agency Roscosmos, Dmitry Rogozin, announced the dissatisfaction of the country led by Russian Vladimir Putin on Twitter. In publications, he showed letters that he would have received from NASA (US agency), ESA (European) and CSA (Canadian). From the responses, he concluded that the sanctions, which he calls illegal, will not be removed.

“The goal is to kill the economy russianplunge our people into despair and hunger and bring our country to its knees,” he wrote. Rogozin.

He added that the roscosmoswill soon set a date to stop Russia’s participation in the Space Station, in a cooperation that has lasted 24 years.

The ISS has a Russian and an American segment, where crew members live freely. One side depends on the other: power to run and life support is provided by the US; the engines to keep the station in orbit and perform the necessary maneuvers are from Russia.

“NASA chief Senator Nelson, European Space Agency chief Josef Aschbacher and Canadian Space Agency chief Lisa Campbell responded to my appeal demanding the lifting of sanctions against several companies in Russia,” Rogozin said.

In the letter attributed to NASA, the agency states that “the US continues to support international governmental space cooperations, especially activities associated with the operation of the ISS with Russia, Canada, Europe and Japan.”

“New and existing export control measures continue to allow for cooperation, with continued and safe operations of the ISS,” he added.

The CSA also said, according to the Russian director’s publication, that it can “ensure that Canada continues to support the ISS program and is dedicated to its safe and successful operations.”

The ESA head said he will consult the agency’s member countries for evaluation.

controversies with Dmitry Rogozin are not from today

In February, the director had already reacted to the blockades imposed by US President Joe Biden, shortly after the invasion of Ukraine. He even hinted that the space station could fall to Earth without Russia’s involvement — as the country’s technology is responsible for maintaining the station’s position and orientation in space.

New Russian crew of cosmonauts embarks for the International Space Station - Pavel Kassin/Roscosmos/Disclosure via REUTERS - Pavel Kassin/Roscosmos/Disclosure via REUTERS

There are three Russian cosmonauts aboard the ISS

Image: Pavel Kassin/Roscosmos/Disclosure via REUTERS

24 years of cooperation

The ISS is the main laboratory in Earth orbit. It is the fruit of a long and successful partnership between the US and Russia, which has lasted more than two decades, since 1998. A symbol of post-Cold War diplomacy, which has never been shaken by geopolitical conflicts, such as the invasion of Crimea. Until now, though.

There are currently seven people on board: Kayla Barron, Raja Chari and Thomas Marshburn, astronauts from NASA, German Matthias Maurer from ESA, and Russian cosmonauts Sergey Korsakov, Oleg Artemyev and Denis Matveev – who arrived at the space station just two weeks, already in the midst of the war in Ukraine.

The ISS is due to be retired in January 2031, when it will be brought down under control in the Pacific Ocean, and NASA said last week that it would like to extend cooperation with Russia until then.

In an eventual Russian exit, it is believed that NASA would be able to maintain the orbital laboratory through partnerships with private companies, such as Elon Musk’s own SpaceX and the company Northrop Grumman. However, the case is still very delicate.

About Raju Singh

Raju has an exquisite taste. For him, video games are more than entertainment and he likes to discuss forms and art.

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