Russian space agency leaders have made threats about allowing the International Space Station (ISS) to crash from orbit into the United States or Europe due to Joe Biden’s announcement of new sanctions on the nation following its invasion of Ukraine.
Biden’s sanctions announced last week include measures that target Russia’s aerospace industry and its space program. The Director-General of Russia’s Roscosmos, Dimitry Rogozin, said that he believes the US now wants to end the cooperation between the two nations on the ISS.
The ISS was launched in 1998 as a habitable low orbit satellite. It is a collaboration involving the space agencies of the United States, Russia, Japan, the European Union, and Canada. International treaties govern the control and ownership of the ISS. The space station is a microgravity research laboratory that conducts astrobiology, astronomy, meteorology, and other scientific fields.
Rogozin now claims that if the US does not cooperate with Russia, ISS may fall from orbit in North America or Europe. He pondered in a statement about “who will save” the ISS from falling from orbit.
In light of the collaborative efforts regarding the ISS and the tensions over the Ukrainian invasion, NASA has sought to reduce stress with its Russian space agency counterparts. According to a NASA representative, the agency is attempting to maintain contacts with the Russian space agency for the sake of “ongoing safe operation.” NASA also said that current systems allow for cooperation with Russia, and no changes are expected for the ISS or other joint programs.
Brandon Weichert is a space and geopolitical expert who says that the US is a “decade to 12 years” behind Russia in space development. He added that the US would “get hit very hard soon” in space warfare. He said that the strike will be debilitating, and America “may not recover in a timely fashion.”
Weichert said Washington politicians had lacked foresight in the competition in space exploration since the end of the Cold War. He said federal policymakers have “always assumed we would be dominant,” but decades later, we are being proven wrong by “Russia, China, North Korea, and even Iran.”