Science & Tech

NASA Astronaut Says He Candidly Discussed Ukraine Invasion With Cosmonauts

It’s been a little bit awkward on the Worldwide Area Station as of late, contemplating the geopolitical disaster unfolding again on the bottom — and the truth that a number of Russian cosmonauts are consistently mingling with NASA astronauts inside some fairly cramped quarters.

Russian house chief Dmitry Rogozin didn’t assist the scenario, making a number of imprecise — and typically direct — threats on Twitter, suggesting that Russia may abruptly pull out of the ISS program.

However in keeping with NASA astronaut Mark Vande Hei, who returned inside a Russian Soyuz spacecraft alongside two different cosmonauts final week, everyone merely obtained on with their jobs — whereas, he stated, typically discussing the unrest.

“About my relationship with my Russian crewmates, they were, are and will continue to be very dear friends of mine,” he stated throughout a Tuesday press convention, as quoted by Agence France Presse.

“We supported each other throughout everything,” he added. “And I never had any concerns about my ability to continue working with them.”

However, after all, Ukraine did come up at a number of factors.

“There’s varying levels of discomfort for them as well about the situation,” Vande Hei advised NBC Information, “but we had a job to do.”

So far as the cosmonauts’ opinion on the matter, the NASA astronaut remained deliberately imprecise.

“I did bring [the Ukraine situation] up with both my crewmates that I landed with and all I really feel comfortable saying is there was a variety of responses,” he advised NBC.

The scenario took yet one more sudden flip when three new Russian crew members, who boarded the ISS final month carrying yellow and blue house fits — the colours of the Ukrainian flag.

However in keeping with Vande Hei, that wasn’t the intention in any respect. As a substitute, he stated, they have been making an attempt to acknowledge the colours of their alma mater, Moscow State Technical College.

“All three of them happened to be associated with the same university, and I think they were kind of blindsided by it,” he stated at yesterday’s press convention.

As for Rogozin’s inflammatory tweets, Vande Hei speculated that he “never perceived those tweets as anything to take seriously.”

“I just didn’t spend a lot of emotional energy paying attention to it,” he advised reporters. “I heard about it. I kind of laughed it off and moved on.”

Briefly, life goes on aboard the growing old orbital outpost, regardless of the geopolitical mess unfolding a whole bunch of miles under.

However, if Rogozin’s newest barrage of tweets over the weekend are something to go by, over twenty years of peaceable cooperation between Russia and its worldwide companions on board the station are nonetheless very a lot on the road.

In a single tweet, the house chief claimed Russia was making ready “concrete proposals to our country’s leadership” on the potential of reducing cooperation quick, as translated by CNN.

He had formally requested for NASA, the European Area Company, and the Canadian Area Company to raise sanctions being aimed toward Roscosmos and its companions over the invasion of Ukraine.

However as evidenced by the letters his house company acquired, the three companies don’t have any plans to raise any such sanctions, one thing Rogozin deemed as “unacceptable.”

“I believe that the restoration of normal relations between partners in the International Space Station and other joint projects is possible only with the complete and unconditional lifting of illegal sanctions,” he wrote, as translated by Google.

In the meantime, as Vande Hei readjusts to the gravitational pull of our planet’s floor — and having fun with some guacamole for the primary time in a very long time — the political stalemate continues.

What which means for the way forward for the house station is something however sure, however its demise is unlikely to be attributable to any disagreements amongst crew members.

READ MORE: Russian cosmonauts ‘blindsided’ by controversy over arriving at ISS in yellow spacesuits, NASA astronaut says [CNN]

Extra on the ISS: Man Snaps Picture of Area Station So Detailed You Can See Spacewalking Astronauts

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