A day after the USA announced sanctions against Russia over the invasion of Ukraine, Dimitry Rogozin, the current head of ROSCOSMOS, Russia’s space agency, shared a series of angry tweets, saying the US sanctions may affect the space-technology cooperation that Russia and USA currently have.
On February 24, hours after Russia started a full-scale military operation in Ukraine, Biden had addressed a strongly-worded presser, asserting that the sanctions the USA brings will adversely affect Russia’s technological advancements and will affect their space program too.
In a series of tweets, Rogozin said, “Sanctions of ALZ-GEIMER. Biden said the new sanctions would affect the Russian space program. OK. It remains to find out the details: 1. Do you want to block our access to radiation-resistant space microelectronics? So you already did it quite officially in 2014. As you noticed, we, nevertheless, continue to make our own spacecraft. And we will do them by expanding the production of the necessary components and devices at home. 2. Do you want to ban all countries from launching their spacecraft on the most reliable Russian rockets in the world?”
He continued, “This is how you are already doing it and are planning to finally destroy the world market of space competition from January 1, 2023 by imposing sanctions on our launch vehicles. We are aware. This is also not news. We are ready to act here too. 3. Do you want to destroy our cooperation on the ISS?”
In the nest two tweets, Rogozin said the US sanctions may adversely affect the controlling and manoeuvring of the ISS (International Space Station) that is currently done by the Russians.
“This is how you already do it by limiting exchanges between our cosmonaut and astronaut training centres. Or do you want to manage the ISS yourself? Maybe President Biden is off-topic, so explain to him that the correction of the station’s orbit, its avoidance of dangerous rendezvous with space garbage, with which your talented businessmen have polluted the near-Earth orbit, is produced exclusively by the engines of the Russian Progress MS cargo ships. “
Rogozin continued, “If you block cooperation with us, who will save the ISS from an uncontrolled deorbit and fall into the United States or Europe? There is also the option of dropping a 500-ton structure to India and China. Do you want to threaten them with such a prospect? The ISS does not fly over Russia, so all the risks are yours. Are you ready for them? Gentlemen, when planning sanctions, check those who generate them for illness like Alzheimer’s.”
Rogozin further said, “Just in case. To prevent your sanctions from falling on your head. And not only in a figurative sense. Therefore, for the time being, as a partner, I suggest that you do not behave like an irresponsible gamer, disavow the statement about “Alzheimer’s sanctions”. Friendly advice.”
The International Space Station
The ISS was launched in 1998 with the cooperation of the USA, Russia, Japan, Canada and Europe. Russia’s ROSCOSMOS and NASA mostly control it, through cooperation. There has been friction between the two space agencies in the past over orders to scientists. Currently, there are 7 astronauts on board, 2 Russian, 4 from NASA and one from Europe.
Biden specifically mentions sanctions that affect Russia’s space program. https://t.co/7AkU9KDmrg— Jeff Foust (@jeff_foust) February 24, 2022
Recently, ROSCOSMOS had stated that cooperation with NASA will not be affected due to the ongoing friction between the USA and Russia over Ukraine. Just hours ago, NASA had confirmed the same, saying that the sanctions imposed by the USA on the Russian elite and banks will not put the ISS operation at risk.
“NASA continues working with all our international partners, including the State Space Corporation Roscosmos, for the ongoing safe operations of the International Space Station. The new export control measures will continue to allow U.S.-Russia civil space cooperation. No changes are planned to the agency’s support for ongoing in orbit and ground station operations”, NASA had said to Space.com.
The ISS depends on the Russians for propulsion and manoeuvre, while the ‘power’ segment is provided by the USA, as per spacenews.com.