Speed Reads

being nasty to nasa

Russia threatens to end cooperation at International Space Station unless 'illegal sanctions' are lifted

Dmitry Rogozin, the director of Russian space agency Roscosmos, tweeted early Saturday that Russian cosmonauts cannot cooperate in operating the International Space Station until sanctions against Russia are removed, Reuters reports.

"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," Rogozin wrote.

In the same Twitter thread, Rogozin posted screenshots of letters from NASA and the Canadian Space Agency assuring him that they remain committed to continue to operate the ISS as usual.

The ISS is a joint project of Roscosmos, NASA, and the space agencies of Japan, Canada, and the European Union. Russia operates one section of the station, while the remaining partners operate the other.

The ISS maintains its orbit using reboost maneuvers that require the participation of the Russian-controlled modules. Axios notes that, since the invasion began, Rogozin has threatened numerous times to allow the ISS, which cost over $150 billion and weighs almost 500 tons, to fall to earth in an "unguided de-orbit"

"The ISS doesn't fly over Russia, so all the risk is yours," Rogozin tweeted on Feb. 24, the day the invasion began.

Despite Rogozin's heated rhetoric, cooperation between Russia and the West has so far continued uninterrupted at the ISS. On Wednesday, Reuters reports, "a U.S. astronaut and two Russian cosmonauts safely landed in Kazakhstan ... after leaving the space station aboard the same capsule."