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Rogozin Welcomes NASA Statement in Response to Threat to Send Space Station into Earth’s Atmosphere Over Populated Area

By Doug Messier
Parabolic Arc
February 25, 2022
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Vladimir Putin receives a briefing from Roscosmos General Director Dmitry Rogozin. (Credit: Office of the Russian President)

Roscosmos head Dmitry Rogozin welcomed a statement that it is ‘business as usual’ on the International Space Station (ISS) a day after he threatened to send the 500 metric ton facility crashing into the atmosphere over the United States.

Rogozin tweeted a message in Russian that is translated into English below:

As diplomats say, “our concerns have been heard.” @NASA confirmed its willingness to continue to cooperate with @roscosmos through #МКС . In the meantime, we continue to analyze the new US sanctions to detail our response.

Rogozin posted a thread attacking the U.S. government’s decision to impose sanctions on Russia over its invasion of Ukraine earlier this week. The sanctions included a ban on the export of advanced technologies that could be used by Russia’s aerospace and defense industries.

NASA’s statement said the sanctions would not affect cooperation in civil space.

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.

Rogozin’s tweets raised the possibility of allowing the space station to decay from orbit by no longer raising the facility’s orbit using Russian Progress resupply ships.

3. Do you want to destroy our cooperation on the ISS?

This is how you already do it by limiting exchanges between our cosmonaut and astronaut training centers. 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. 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?

The space station is a collaboration of the United States, Russia, Europe, Japan and Canada. Russia and the United States are the lead partners, providing much of the funding needed to keep ISS operational, all crew transportation services, and the majority of cargo flights. Japan also launches cargo missions but possesses no human launch capability.

It would likely prove difficult to maintain the international facility if Russia were to pull out of the program. The United States recently announced plans to extend station operations from 2026 to 2030. That extension has not been approved by the other partners in the program.

Roscosmos has plans to separate parts of ISS to provide modules for an all-Russian facility later in the decade. The Russian Orbital Service Station is still in the planning stages, with construction expected to begin in 2025 or later.

Russia has signed an agreement with China to develop a crewed base on the moon. That program, which is in opposition to the NASA-led Artemis lunar program, is scheduled to establish a facility on the lunar surface in the 2030’s.