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"Space station can be dropped on India...": Russian space chief rips into the US

Space station can be dropped on India...: Russian space chief rips into the US

The Soyuz MS-18 spacecraft with crew blasts off to ISS from the launchpad in Kazakhstan. (Reuters File)

Our cooperation on the International Space Station (ISS) is at risk from new sanctions announced by the United States, according to the head of the Russian space agency Roscosmos. As a result of the full-scale attack on Ukraine, US President Joe Biden announced harsh new sanctions on Thursday.

Currently, four Americans, two Russians, and a German astronaut work side-by-side in microgravity on the International Space Station.

"If you block cooperation with us, who will save the ISS from an uncontrolled deorbit and fall into the United States or Europe?" Roscosmos Director General Dmitry Rogozin's said in a Twitter post on Thursday, shortly after the US announced new sanctions.

In a series of tweets, he said, "There is also the option of dropping a 500-tonne structure to India or 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?"

After that, he offered the US a piece of "friendly advice", asking them not to behave irresponsibly

In addition to the new sanctions announced by the US, the country has also announced curbs on Russian banks and individuals close to the Kremlin. Vice President Biden has said the new sanctions would "limit" Russia's ability to advance its military and aerospace sectors.

According to NASA, the new sanctions will not hinder cooperation between the two countries in space.

NASA statement reads, "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 US-Russia civil space cooperation. No changes are planned to the agency's support for ongoing in orbit and ground station operations,"

A few hours later, Rogozin tweeted a news article about NASA's statement, saying Russia is "analysing the new US sanctions before responding in detail".

The motive for building the ISS was to improve US-Russian relations after the collapse of the Soviet Union and the end of the original US-Soviet space race.

In orbit about 250 miles (400 km) above Earth, the research platform is about the size of a football field.

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TAGS:USA russia ISS 
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