Dmitry Rogozin, the head of Russia’s Roscosmos space corporation that runs all of that nations aerospace industry, yesterday demanded that Europe and the U.S. lift its sanctions against Russia by end of March or he would take further action against them.
“We will wait until the end of March. The lack of response or a negative response would be a basis for our decision,” he said, without specifying what kind of decision it would be.
According to the official, the space corporation was not going to yield to the sanctions.
One immediately asks, what happens at the end of March? Why time further space-related actions then?
Well, the only area in which Russia is still cooperating with the west in space is on ISS. At the end of March, Russia will bring home American astronaut Mark Vande Hei using its Soyuz capsule. This suggests that once Vande Hei comes home, Rogozin will announce that Russia will no longer fly any western astronauts to ISS on its rockets or capsules. He might also further announce actions that will accelerate the end of the ISS partnership, including laying out Russia’s schedule for adding modules to its half of ISS and then detaching it from the station.
If so, good. Such an action will bring clarity to the station’s remaining days, forcing NASA to make sure the station can function after the Russian half is gone. It will probably quicken the development of Axiom’s modules to the station, and might encourage the private construction of other modules to pick up the slack left by the Russian exit.
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