NASA chief denies reports Russia is exiting International Space Station
NASA Administrator Bill Nelson said at a Senate subcommittee hearing on Monday that Russia is not leaving the International Space Station (ISS).
Concerns were raised following reports Russia would pull out of the ISS due to sanctions that have been imposed on the country since it invaded Ukraine.
“They are not pulling out. In the last day or so, there are misleading headlines,” Nelson said. “If you read the articles, it says something else of comments that were made by people in Roscosmos, the Russian space agency.”
Nelson stressed Russian cosmonauts and U.S. astronauts have a good relationship and both countries have to be involved in the ISS for the station to function.
The NASA chief’s reassurance at the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies comes days after Russian state media quoted Dmitry Rogozin, the head of Roscosmos, telling a different story.
“The decision has been taken already, we’re not obliged to talk about it publicly,” Rogozin said, according to Bloomberg. “I can say this only — in accordance with our obligations, we’ll inform our partners about the end of our work on the ISS with a year’s notice.”
In an interview last month, Nelson similarly said that the working relationship between Russian cosmonauts and U.S. astronauts on the ISS has remained “steady” amid the invasion.
“Remember, this has been going on for a very long time. Remember, we started in the midst of the Cold War with the Soviet Union,” Nelson said at the time, adding the conflict in Ukraine won’t change the relationship.
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