Missiles, lovers, and NASA: The odd scandal tanking US-Russia relations in space

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1975, an American Apollo spacecraft and a Russian Soyuzu met in space, where crew members shook hands, cooked meals and conducted joint science experiments. It was a sign that in space, despite the tension between the two countries on Earth, things might be different.

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Those days are long gone, as a bizarre scandal involving a 2mm hole in a Russian ship on the International Space Station in 2018 and rumors of bitter ex-lovers rocked international space cooperation It highlights the tension that has been going on for years.

Russia’s space agency Roscosmos at the end of this November announces that it has completed an investigation into the 2mm violation In 2018 aboard the Soyuz MS-09 parked aboard the ISS and sent its non-public findings to law enforcement officials to weigh possible charges.

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The breach, which was repaired without injury to any crew members, was a major embarrassment to the Russians, and rumors have since circulated in Russian media ever since a disgruntled NASA astronaut drilled the hole – US Space The agency vehemently denied.

In April, the Russian state news agency TASS published an allegation from an unnamed Russian space official that NASA astronaut Serena Auón-Chancellor had drilled the hole “due to a”acute psychological distressAboard the ISS and want to return home.

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Recently, the Russian publication RIA Novosti reported rumors that a NASA explorer may have drilled the hole “due to tensions following a failed romantic relationship with another crew member”. Ars Technica told,

NASA, for its part, says none of this is true or even possible, as it knew the exact locations of all its astronauts when the leak began, and none of the American personnel were near the Russian compartment on the space station. Was.

“These attacks are false and lack credibility,” NASA Administrator Bill Nelson said. said in a statement, “I fully support Serena and stand behind all of our astronauts.”

The Russian space agency said in 2019 it discovered the origin of the breach, but did not make its findings public.

The US and Russia have been cooperating amicably in space and on the ISS for years, and officials recently renewed agreements to continue doing so. 2030. tillBut relations have deteriorated significantly over the past decade.

Things began to turn sour in 2014, when Russia annexed Crimea from Ukraine, and the US ousted Vladimir Putin from some international forums by approving various Russian officials. restrictions include Limitations on Russian Industry, obstruction in the space sector of the country.

Dmitry Rogozin, then Putin’s deputy prime minister, was among those sanctioned during the Crimean crisis, and is now the head of Roscosmos.

Soon after the breach was discovered on the ISS, he speculated that it may have been sabotage rather than a possible explanation of it being a manufacturing defect.

“What was it: a flaw, or some deliberate act? Where were these acts carried out? On Earth or already in orbit?” He said in 2018, “Still, I’m saying: We’re not ruling anything out.”

There are other issues, from Elon Musk threatening Russia’s $80 million-a-seat hold on transportation from SpaceX to the ISS. The split on how to continue lunar exploration, Russia and China and the US and with different nations form two separate blocs.

Recently, Russia sent astronauts to the ISS scrambling for their spaceship When it tested an anti-satellite missile in November, sending 1,500 pieces of debris through orbit could threaten communications and mapping satellites as well as astronauts.

“Russia has demonstrated a willful disregard for the safety, security, stability and long-term stability of the space domain for all nations,” General James Dickinson, commander of the US Space Command, said at the time. Threats to activities in outer space in the coming years, putting satellites and space missions at risk, as well as forcing more collision avoidance maneuvers. Space activities underpin our way of life and such behavior is irresponsible.”

Taken together, these developments represent the end of an era.

“We are not going to see the same level of cooperation between the United States and Russia that we saw in the 1990s… when Russia broke up, was going through economic devastation after the collapse of the Soviet bloc and Was desperate,” space policy expert Bledin Bowen told axios,

Russian space chiefs see things differently.

“This is a family where divorce is not possible within one station,” Dmitry Rogozin told CNN in September.

But even families can be separated, and there is no greater distance than those found in space.

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Credit: www.independent.co.uk /

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