Following Russia’s announcement that it will stop selling rocket engines to American companies, NASA Administrator Bill Nelson played down recent statements by the head of Russia’s space agency that the US would have to fly to space on broomsticks.
ATLANTA, Georgia (AP) – Following Russia’s announcement that it will stop selling rocket engines to American companies, NASA Administrator Bill Nelson played down recent statements by the head of Russia’s space agency that the US would have to fly to space on broomsticks.
“That’s just Dmitry Rogozin,” says the narrator. Every now and then, he spouts off. Nelson told The Associated Press, “But at the end of the day, he’s worked with us.” “The others who work in Russia’s civilian space program are professionals.” With us, American astronauts, and American mission control, they don’t miss a beat.”
Nelson talked with The Associated Press only hours before three Russian cosmonauts launched to the International Space Station from Kazakhstan’s Baikonur Cosmodrome, the first crew flight since Russia’s February invasion of Ukraine.
Many fear Rogozin is jeopardizing decades of a peaceful off-planet relationship, particularly at the International Space Station, as a result of the battle, which has resulted in canceled spacecraft launches and broken contracts.
Rogozin had the flags of other countries covered on a Soyuz rocket awaiting liftoff with internet satellites, in addition to threatening to rip out of the space station and drop it on the United States, Europe, or elsewhere. The launch was canceled after the customer, London-based OneWeb, refused to comply with his requests that the satellites not be used for military reasons, and the British government stopped funding the project.
Because of Russia’s war in Ukraine, the European Space Agency said on Thursday that its ExoMars rover project with Roscosmos will be suspended indefinitely.
“Despite all of this, we can collaborate with our Russian colleagues and friends in space.” The professional interaction between astronauts and cosmonauts hasn’t slowed down, according to Nelson. “This is the civilian space cooperation that we have going on.”
Mark Vande Hei, a NASA astronaut who broke the United States’ single-spaceflight record of 340 days on Tuesday, is scheduled to leave the International Space Station on March 30 with two Russians aboard a Soyuz spacecraft for a landing in Kazakhstan.
The plans for Vande Hei’s return to Earth have not changed, according to NASA.