The Russian invasion of Ukraine continues to extend its reach—not just around the world, but into space. For that we have Dmitry Rogozin—an intemperate man in what demands to be a temperate business—to blame. Much of the world came to know Rogozin, the head of the Russian space agency Roscosmos, back in 2014, when he was deputy prime minister, and Russia had launched its first incursion into Ukraine, seizing Crimea. Then, as now, the U.S. imposed sanctions and then, as now, the Russians cried foul. But Rogozin went a step further.
At the time, the space shuttle had been retired, and the U.S. was dependent on hitching rides aboard Russian Soyuz spacecraft to get astronauts to the International Space Station (ISS). Rogozin took to Twitter to tie the sanctions and America’s humbling dependence on the Soyuz together. “After analyzing the sanctions against our space industry, I suggest to the USA to bring their astronauts to the International Space Station using a trampoline,” he famously tweeted in April 2014.
Things have only gotten worse now that Rogozin runs Roscosmos and Russia is deep in a much bloodier and uglier war across the breadth of Ukraine.
The ISS stays aloft in part thanks to regular reboosts from the engine of a Soyuz spacecraft docked to the Russian end of the station. In March, Rogozin threatened to hold the station hostage again. “The Russian segment ensures that the station’s orbit is corrected … including to avoid space debris,” he wrote on the messaging app Telegram. Along with the message he published a map showing that the ISS passes over only a small portion of Russia in its orbits, but does pass regularly over the U.S. and Europe—where a falling station could theoretically crash. “The populations of other countries, …read more
Source:: Time – Science