NASA said about the difficulties faced by astronauts due to sanctions against Russia

(ORDO NEWS) — The National Aeronautics and Space Administration of the United States believes that anti-Russian sanctions did not affect the work of the ISS, but created difficulties for Americans working in Russia.

Advisors to the US National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) said that although cooperation with Russia on the ISS continues and the work of the station crew as a whole did not face “serious interruptions”, sanctions against Moscow due to a special operation in Ukraine are starting to affect some types of activities.

“Work, education and training in Moscow, which take place and have always taken place within the framework of our international partnership with Russia on the International Space Station, continue without any major interruptions.

Everything looks the way it always has. The teams work together,” said former astronaut and retired Air Force Lieutenant General Susan Helms .

According to her, the astronauts have no problems with obtaining Russian visas and access to the Star City in the Moscow region, where the Cosmonaut Training Center (Yu. and transport manned spacecraft “Soyuz”.

But, Helms stressed, the Russian-American partnership has begun to be affected by the sanctions that the US, the EU and some other countries have imposed against Moscow.

“The geopolitical sanctions imposed on Russia have created an environment in which some administrative difficulties become apparent,” she said, stressing that this especially affects NASA employees.

As an example, Helms cited some fairly mundane moments: travel restrictions (in recent months, international airlines have drastically reduced or even suspended flights to Russia); inability to use bank cards (Visa, MasterCard and American Express stopped their work and operations in Russia at the beginning of March). In addition, some employees of the US space agency and their families “voluntarily” left Russia.

Nevertheless, advisers support the idea of ​​exchanging places on ships: so that astronauts fly to the ISS on Soyuz, and Roscosmos cosmonauts fly on Crew Dragon from SpaceX.

True, the decision on “cross flights” has not yet been made: as the head of the American ISS program, Joel Montalbano, said a few weeks ago, NASA is still waiting for the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs to approve the corresponding agreement.

Previously, the exchange program was planned to start in the fall of 2022; in December, Russian cosmonauts began training in the United States.

There is a possibility that after 2024 Russia will complete its participation in the International Space Station program.

In early April, Roskosmos received responses from the heads of NASA, ESA and CSA to a demand to lift sanctions against the enterprises of the state corporation in order to continue cooperation on the ISS, and they turned out to be “carbon copy” and clearly hinted at a refusal.

According to the head of the state corporation, Dmitry Rogozin, Vladimir Putin will soon be informed about the situation, and then the partners – the United States, Europe and Japan – will be informed about the decision.

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