Russian crews rush to the ISS in the midst of the war in Ukraine

Joining a team of two Russians, four Americans and one German, the group will include the research space station, which has been placed in Earth orbit.

Three Russian cosmonauts flew on Friday March 18 aboard a Soyuz rocket for the International Space Station (ISS), in the context of intense tensions between Russia and the West associated with the conflict in Ukraine.

This crew, led by experienced cosmonaut Oleg Artemiev, along with Denis Matveïev and Sergei Korsakov, left at 3:55 pm GMT for a three -hour flight to the ISS, where they will be greeted by a group of two Russian, four Americans. and a German, according to photos sent by NASA. Until recently, space cooperation between Russia and Western countries was one of the few areas that did not suffer much from the sanctions imposed against Moscow after the 2014 annexation of the Ukrainian peninsula of Crimea. However, some tensions have emerged, especially after Russian President Vladimir Putin appointed nationalist Dmitry Rogozin as head of Russia’s space agency Roscosmos in 2018. The latter regularly shows his support for Russia calls “a special military operation“in Ukraine.”atin! For the first time in many years, it was an all-Russian crew“, He welcomed on Twitter a few hours before the launch.

This weekend, the official said the recent Western sanctions introduced against Moscow could cause the ISS to crash. According to him, the functioning of Russian vehicles supplying the ISS will be disrupted by sanctions, thus affecting the Russian segment of the station. As a result, it can cause “the “sealing” or “landing” of the ISS weighing 500 tons“, he warned. The thrusters of Russian vehicles docked at the station are used to correct the orbit of the galaxy structure. A procedure carried out ten times a year to keep it at the right height, or to avoid debris of the galaxy in its path. Only Americans do not have this capability, Joel Montalbano, the station’s program director for NASA, confirmed Monday. “The Space Station is designed on the principle of teamwork (…) it is not a process where one group can be separated from another.»«Currently, there is no indication that our partners in Russia are willing to do things differently. So we plan to continue operations like we do now“, he said.

The medal was refused

Dmitry Rogozin also traded with bizarre billionaire Elon Musk, founder of the space company SpaceX, who challenged Vladimir Putin on Monday by offering him “man -to -man fightwith Ukraine as the bet. “Elon, come out of the bathroom so we can talk a little“Dmitry Rogozin tweeted, referring to a message from the billionaire in which he said he wrote at least 50% of his tweets in a”porcelain throne“. On board the ISS, Russian cosmonauts and American astronauts avoid talking about the conflict that has already claimed thousands of lives and caused one of the biggest refugee crises in Europe since World War II. But astronaut Mark Vande Hei took the brunt of the war of words between Russia and the West, when Roscosmos released a video jokingly saying he could stay on the ISS instead of returning to earth aboard a Soyuz rocket on March 30. Scott Kelly, another NASA astronaut whose record for consecutive days spent in space was broken by Mark Vande Hei this week, responded to the joke by rejecting the medal awarded to him by the government of Russia.

The latest hurdle to cooperation in space, the European Space Agency (ESA) announced on Thursday that it has suspended the Russian-European ExoMars mission and is looking for alternatives for launching four more missions due to the offensive. in Ukraine. Comment by Dmitry Rogozin “a very bitter incidentand insisted that Russia could carry out this mission on its own, “in their years“.

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