Russian space chief: Sanctions could threaten space station | Science
MOSCOW — The head of Russia’s space program said on Saturday the future of the International Space Station hangs in the balance after the United States, European Union and Canadian space agencies missed a deadline to respond to Russian requests for a lift. sanctions against Russian companies and equipment. .
Dmitry Rogozin, the head of Roscosmos, told reporters that the state agency is preparing a report on prospects for international cooperation at the station, which will be presented to federal authorities “after Roscosmos completes its analysis.”
Rogozin hinted on Russian state television that Western sanctions, some of which predate ongoing Russian military operations in Ukraine, could disrupt the operation of Russian spacecraft servicing the ISS with cargo flights. Russia also sends manned missions to the space station.
He stressed that Western partners need the space station and “cannot do without Russia, because no one but us can deliver fuel to the station.”
Rogozin added that “only the engines of our cargo ship are capable of correcting the orbit of the ISS, protecting it from space debris.”
Later on Saturday, he wrote on his Telegram channel that he had received responses from his Western counterparts pledging to promote “further cooperation on the ISS and its operations”.
Rogozin reiterated his view that “the restoration of normal relations between ISS partners and other joint (space) projects is possible only with the full and unconditional lifting” of sanctions, which he qualified as illegal.
Space is one of the latest areas of cooperation between Moscow and Western nations. US-Russian negotiations on resuming joint flights to the space station were underway when Russia launched its military operation in Ukraine on February 24, leading to unprecedented sanctions against Russian entities linked to the state.
So far, the United States and Russia are still cooperating in space. A NASA astronaut caught a Russian return to Earth on Wednesday after an American record 355 days on the International Space Station, returning with two cosmonauts.
Mark Vande Hei landed in a Soyuz capsule in Kazakhstan alongside Pyotr Dubrov of the Russian Space Agency, who also spent the last year in space, and Anton Shkaplerov.