On Thursday, NASA issued an announcement strongly condemning the actions of three Russian cosmonauts aboard the International Space Station, who just lately posed with flags thought of anti-Ukraine propaganda. In photos posted by Russia’s state space company Roscosmos, the cosmonauts are seen holding flags of the Luhansk People’s Republic and the Donetsk People’s Republic — two Russian-backed separatist areas in jap Ukraine.
“NASA strongly rebukes Russia using the International Space Station for political purposes to support its war against Ukraine, which is fundamentally inconsistent with the station’s primary function among the 15 international participating countries to advance science and develop technology for peaceful purposes,” NASA press secretary Jackie McGuinness emailed in an announcement.
It’s a uncommon rebuke for NASA in opposition to Russia, which is the space company’s main accomplice on the International Space Station. Despite ongoing pressure between the United States and Russia over the latter’s invasion of Ukraine, NASA and Roscosmos have continued to work collectively to keep up steady operations on board the ISS, which is constantly staffed by each American astronauts and Russian cosmonauts. The relationship has survived all through the struggle, at the same time as the top of Roscosmos has made open threats of probably pulling out of the ISS partnership, and Russia joked about doubtlessly stranding an American astronaut in space. This is the primary time that NASA has brazenly denounced the actions of Russia and its accomplice, Roscosmos, in space amid the Ukraine invasion.
Roscosmos posted the photographs on July 4th to the company’s Telegram channel. The pictures present the three cosmonauts at present on board the station. In the photographs, Oleg Artemyev, Denis Matveev, and Sergey Korsakov maintain the 2 flags of the Luhansk People’s Republic and the Donetsk People’s Republic. “Liberation Day of the Luhansk People’s Republic!” the caption of the submit reads, in response to Google Translate. “We celebrate both on Earth and in space.” The submit got here after the July third seize of the town of Lysychansk, the final main metropolis held by Ukraine in Luhansk. The Luhansk People’s Republic and the Donetsk People’s Republic are each Russian-backed separatist states in Ukraine.
Before this blatant political assertion from cosmonauts, there was hypothesis that the identical Russian crew made an announcement once they first arrived on the ISS in March. The trio arrived carrying vivid yellow jumpsuits with blue colours, which many interpreted as a present of assist for Ukraine, whose flag incorporates vivid yellow and blue. However, Roscosmos denied that the jumpsuits have been a political assertion, claiming that they represented the colours of the college all three cosmonauts attended.
Even with all the turmoil between the US and Russia, NASA officers have stood agency that the US space company and Roscosmos relationship stays robust. “Despite all of that, up in space, we can have a cooperation with our Russian friends, our colleagues. The professional relationship between astronauts and cosmonauts, it hasn’t missed a beat,” NASA administrator Bill Nelson advised the Associated Press in March. “This is the cooperation we have going on in the civilian space program.”
In truth, NASA has stated that Russia continues to be contemplating extending its partnership on the ISS, and each NASA and Roscosmos have continued to work towards an upcoming crew swap this September, when a Russian cosmonaut will experience on SpaceX’s Crew Dragon to the ISS whereas an American astronaut will fly on a Russian Soyuz capsule.