Russians to give US astronaut a ride home
Mark Vande Hei will return on a Russian rocket "for sure".
Marck Vande Hei, a US astronaut that has been in space for 355 days, will be returning on a Russian rocket.
Amid tensions surrounding Russia and the US due to the former's special military operation in Ukraine, the astronaut is confirmed to be returning to Kazakhstan.
Joel Montalbano, NASA's International Space Station (ISS) program manager, said, "I can tell you for sure Mark is coming home... We are in communication with our Russian colleagues. There's no fuzz on that."
International space law dictates that all astronauts, despite nationality, must "provide all possible help," to other astronauts in need, which includes "emergency landing in a foreign country or at sea."
Dmitry Rogozin, the head of Russia's space agency Roscosmos, has previously warned about sanctions causing technical problems with the ISS, but Montalbano claimed it had continued to operate normally, expressing that "all these activities have continued for 20 years and nothing has changed in the last three weeks. Our control centres operate successfully, flawlessly, seamlessly."
The US is in charge of electricity and life support aboard the ISS, while Russia is in charge of things like propulsion.
The head of the Russian space agency Roscosmos Dmitry Rogozin said, Saturday, that the agency is sending appeals to its International Space Station (ISS) partners calling for the lift of illegal sanctions imposed on Russian enterprises in light of the country's special military operation in Ukraine.
Rogozin wrote on his Telegram channel, "The State Corporation for Space Activities Roscosmos is sending written appeals to the International Space Station partners – the leadership of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the Canadian Space Agency (CSA), and the European Space Agency (ESA) – requesting illegal sanctions to be lifted from our enterprises.”
He also included a map created by US astronomers that depicted potential areas of an ISS fall in the event of an uncontrolled orbital decay.
Last month, Rogozin, while blasting Western sanctions on Twitter, raised the threat of the space station collapsing.
Rubbing salt into the wound. the website of the Russian space agency Roscosmos has recently been subjected to a massive DDoS attack carried out from various IP addresses one more time, after the Anonymous hacker group's declaration of a cyberwar against Russia, the agency's press service.
On its part, NASA announced on March 1 that it was working to find a way to keep the ISS in orbit without the assistance of Russia.