New Russia sanctions won’t imperil ISS operations, NASA says

New Russia sanctions won’t imperil ISS operations, NASA says
The International Space Station will continue its international partnerships despite new U.S. sanctions limiting exports to Russia, NASA stated Feb. 24, 2022.



The International Space Station will continue its international partnerships despite new U.S. sanctions limiting exports to Russia, NASA stated Feb. 24, 2022.
(Image credit: NASA)

The International Space Station program will continue business as usual, NASA assures us as the U.S. government levies new sanctions against Russia.  

Russia invaded Ukraine today (Feb. 24) in a series of military attacks. This action, which sparked international criticism, also prompted new and severe sanctions, U.S. President Joe Biden announced in a public address today. However, despite the new sanctions and continued warfare, NASA has asserted that civil cooperation between the U.S. and Russia in space, particularly with regard to the International Space Station, will continue.

“NASA continues working with all our international partners, including the State Space Corporation Roscosmos, for the ongoing safe operations of the International Space Station. The new export control measures will continue to allow U.S.-Russia civil space cooperation. No changes are planned to the agency’s support for ongoing in orbit and ground station operations,” NASA said in a statement today that agency spokesperson Joshua Finch emailed to Space.com.

Related: What does the Ukraine invasion mean for US-Russian partnership in space?

In a public, televised statement earlier today, President Biden discussed the new sanctions, stating that there will be “new limitations on what can be exported to Russia.”  

“We estimate that we’ll cut off more than half of Russia’s high-tech imports. That will strike a blow to their ability to continue to modernize their military. It’ll degrade their aerospace industry, including their space program,” he added.

Biden’s statements did not directly mention NASA, NASA’s collaboration with Russia in space or the space station. However, Dmitry Rogozin, the director of Russia’s space agency Roscosmos, posted a thread of tweets after the speech today that seemed to respond, under the assumption that these new sanctions will interfere with the two nations’ space partnerships. 

“Do you want do destroy our cooperation on the ISS?” Rogozin tweeted in Russian (translated with Twitter translate). 

“If you block cooperation with us, who will save the ISS from uncontrolled deorbiting and falling into the United States or Europe? There is also the option of dropping a 500-ton structure to India and China. Do you want to threaten them with such a prospect? The ISS does not fly over Russia, so all the risks are yours. Are you ready for them?” Rogozin added.

However, despite Rogozin’s online sentiments, NASA’s statement that followed later tonight seems to suggest that at least for now, the new sanctions will not interfere with international collaboration off Earth.

Email Chelsea Gohd at cgohd@space.com or follow her on Twitter @chelsea_gohd. Follow us on Twitter @Spacedotcom and on Facebook.

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Chelsea Gohd

Chelsea “Foxanne” Gohd joined Space.com in 2018 and is now a Senior Writer, writing about everything from climate change to planetary science and human spaceflight in both articles and on-camera in videos. With a degree in Public Health and biological sciences, Chelsea has written and worked for institutions including the American Museum of Natural History, Scientific American, Discover Magazine Blog, Astronomy Magazine and Live Science. When not writing, editing or filming something space-y, Chelsea “Foxanne” Gohd is writing music and performing as Foxanne, even launching a song to space in 2021 with Inspiration4. You can follow her on Twitter @chelsea_gohd and @foxannemusic.

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