Russia speaks of a possible “fall” of the International Space Station
14 March 2022
The assertion made by the head oft he Russian Space Agency of a possible “fall” of the International Space Station caused by the Western sanctions against Russia is a “very symbolic display” assured Xavier Pasco, Director of the Foundation for Strategic Research, on Saturday March 12, 2022.
However, he notes that the station’s program, „which has always been touted as the world’s biggest international co-op, finds itself in the somewhat disturbing spotlight“.
A theoretically true statement
According to the boss of the Russian Space Agency Dmitry Rogozin, the operation of the Russian vessels supplying the ISS will be disrupted by the international sanctions decided by the West since the invasion of Ukraine by Russia.
The station would thus be in danger. A theoretically true statement, explains Xavier Pasco:
“The ISS loses a few tens of meters of altitude every day, so it must be regularly raised. This is done by using the Russian Progress vessels which moor tot he Russian module of the station.“
In any event, he continues, “if we stopped this assistance, we would ultimately have a space station which would fall into the atmosphere after a few months.“
The specialist, however, invites us to take this announcement as a „posting”:
“It must be remembered that Rogozin had already indicated, as early as 2014, with the first sanctions, that the Russians would stop transporting astronauts to the Station, he had invited the Americans to use a trampoline.”
He insisted on the fact that only the Russians had, at the time, the ship to send astronauts to the Station, adds Xavier Pasco.
Since then, the Americans have regained their independence and have been able to transfer their own astronauts.
„It was all a sanctions game. Besides, Rogozin himself is targeted by these sanctions, which is a considerable annoyance factor.“
ISS is safe for now?
The Russian threats do not call into question for the moment the technical cooperation between the agencies.
„We still have people from NASA in Moscow helping with flight control“ specifies Xavier Pasco.
The space cooperation sector is also preserved today, assures the scientist, while a crew composed of Russians and Americans is currently in orbit.
However the Americans are starting to imagine Plan B scenarios for the supply of the ISS.
“But it would take a few years to design a system that would allow, if the Russians left, to keep the station in orbit“ says the director of the Foundation for Strategic Research.