Russian space chief trades barbs with astronaut Scott Kelly
Dmitry Rogozin, the head of Russia’s Roscosmos space agency, swapped barbs on Twitter with former NASA astronaut Scott Kelly on Monday (March 7) amid the ongoing Russian invasion of Ukraine.
Kelly, who spent nearly a year aboard the International Space Station in 2015 and 2016 and returned to Earth aboard a Russian Soyuz spacecraft, has been a vocal opponent of Russia’s actions in Ukraine. On Sunday March 6, Kelly tweeted in Russian that the country’s recent concealment of international flags on a Soyuz rocket carrying commercial satellites was hurting Russia’s space program.
“Dimon, without these flags and the currency they earn, your space program will be worth nothing,” Kelly wrote on Twitter. “Maybe you can get a job at McDonald’s if McDonald’s still exists in Russia.”
Rogozin responded with an angry tweet that read, “Get off you moron! Otherwise the death of the ISS will be on your conscience!” This tweet was quickly deleted and Kelly demanded an explanation. “Dimon, why did you delete that tweet? Don’t you want everyone to see what kind of kid you are?” Kelly fired back in a tweet on Monday.
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Димон, ты почему удалил этот твит? What are you talking about? pic.twitter.com/xSScT2cSGuMarch 7, 2022
Space partnerships unravel amid Russian invasion of Ukraine
In the days following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the effects of the February 24 unprovoked attack have already reached outer space.
The planned launch of a Russian Soyuz rocket on March 4 to put 36 OneWeb internet satellites into orbit has been canceled after Russia asked the British government, which is a backer of OneWeb, to divest its stakes in the company and to guarantee that the satellites would not. be used for military purposes. OneWeb responded by withdrawing its personnel from the Russian-run Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, from where the mission was to be launched. The launch is suspended indefinitely.
The Russian federal space agency Roscosmos also halted all Russian Soyuz launches from the European spaceport in French Guiana, which are carried out by the French launch vehicle Arianespace.
The German space agency DLR has turned off a black hole search instrument on a Russian satellite and interrupted scientific cooperation with Russia. DLR officials placed the eROSITA instrument into safe mode. It is mounted on the Russian Spectrum-Roentgen-Gamma satellite.
Meanwhile, both NASA and Roscosmos said the International Space Station is continuing to operate as usual. The station is currently home to four American NASA astronauts, two Russian cosmonauts and one European astronaut. A new Russian crew of three cosmonauts will launch to the station later this month, with US astronaut Mark Vande Hei of NASA and two cosmonauts returning to Earth soon after on a Russian Soyuz spacecraft.
Here’s a roundup of the spatial impacts of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine so far.
- US President Joe Biden has said US sanctions imposed in response to Russia’s incursion would degrade Russia’s space program.
- Satellite images continue to reveal details of warfare and military activities as seen from space.
- A compilation of satellite images.
- Images captured by Planet (formerly Planet Labs).
- A 3D video created from high-resolution images taken by Maxar Technologies’ WorldView-3 satellite.
- Images of Maxar Technologies
- SpaceX CEO Elon Musk sent Starlink satellite internet gear to Ukraine as Russian attacks damaged infrastructure and connectivity.
- U.S. launch vendors are reconsidering how they source rocket components. For example: Northrop Grumman’s Antares rocket has a Ukrainian-made first stage powered by two Russian-made engines.
- Despite the ongoing dispute, NASA said it would continue to work with Russian space agency Roscosmos as a partner on the International Space Station.