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Russia says sanctions could bring down ISS

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The boss of the Russian space agency Roscosmos, Dmitry Rogozin, said on Saturday that Western sanctions introduced against Russia because of the war in Ukraine could cause the fall of the International Space Station, and called for the lifting of these sanctions.

Western sanctions introduced against Russia because of the war in Ukraine could cause the fall of the International Space Station, said Saturday Dmitry Rogozin, the head of the Russian space agency Roscosmos, asking for their lifting. According to him, the operation of the Russian vessels supplying the ISS will be disrupted by the sanctions, thus affecting the Russian segment of the station, which serves, among other things, to correct the orbit of the orbital structure. As a result, it could cause the ISS weighing 500 tons to “ditch” or “land”.

The Russian segment takes care to avoid space debris

“The Russian segment ensures that the station’s orbit is corrected (on average eleven times a year), including to avoid space debris,” said Dmitry Rogozin, who regularly posts on social networks his support for the Russian army, engaged in Ukraine. Publishing a map of the world where the station could fall, the boss of Roscosmos notes that Russia is largely safe. “But the populations of other countries, especially those led by the ‘dogs of war’ (the Westerners, editor’s note) should think about the price of the sanctions against Roscosmos”, he writes, describing as “crazy” those who imposed these measures of reprisals.

On March 1, NASA said it was working on solutions to keep the station in orbit without Russian help. Crews and supplies are transported to this segment by Soyuz vessels and Progress freighters. However, Dmitri Rogozine explains that the launcher necessary for the departure of these vessels has been “under American sanctions since 2021 and under EU and Canadian sanctions since 2022”.

Space, one of the last areas of Russian-American cooperation

Roscosmos claims to have sent appeals to its American (NASA), Canadian (ASC), European (ESA) partners “demanding the lifting of illegal sanctions against our companies”. Space is one of the last areas of Russian-American cooperation. At the beginning of March, Roscosmos announced its intention to prioritize the construction of military satellites, due to Russia’s growing isolation due to the conflict in Ukraine.

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Dmitry Rogozin also announced that Moscow will no longer supply the United States with American rocket engines Atlas and Antares. “Let them soar into space on their broomsticks,” he commented. On March 30, an astronaut, Mark Vande Hei, and two cosmonauts, Anton Chkaplerov and Pïotr Doubrov, must return to earth from the ISS, aboard a Soyuz spacecraft.

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