Russia has announced that it will no longer be a part of the international cooperative movement to man the International Space station until sanctions enacted at the outset of the war in Ukraine are removed.
Russia will also no longer work with NASA or the European Space Agency, which is devastating news in a field that heavily relies on international cooperation.
Dmitry Rogozin, who is the head of Roscosmos, confirmed Russia’s decision in a statement on Saturday.
The move has sent other countries scrambling as Russian Soyuz flights are the usual method of getting astronauts to and from the ISS. Now NASA and the European Space Agency will have to rely on SpaceX to get their astronauts home.
Rogozin took to Twitter to explain, “The purpose of the sanctions is to kill the Russian economy, plunge our people into despair and hunger, and bring our country to its knees. It is clear that they will not be able to do this, but the intentions are clear. That is why I believe that the restoration of normal relations between partners in the International Space Station and other joint projects is possible only with the complete and unconditional lifting of illegal sanctions.”
It will be incredibly difficult to keep the ISS from falling back to earth without Russia. Something must be done before we lose one of our most valuable scientific assets.
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