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Russia warns International Space Station could crash if sanctions aren't lifted
12 March 2022, 12:37
Russia's space agency boss has warned the International Space Station [ISS] could crash to earth if sanctions over the Ukraine war are not lifted.
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In the latest of bizarre statements, Roscosmos chief Dmitry Rogozin published a map showing where the ISS flies over, implying Russia would be at a lower risk of any damage if it were to fall out of orbit.
His claims have been ridiculed as the US said it still has control over the station.
Roscosmos tweeted on Friday that Mr Rogozin has sent a letter to US, Canadian and European space agencies over keeping the ISS running.
On Telegram, Mr Rogozin said the Russian systems in its part of the ISS give "duplication" of the life support to the American side – including for oxygen.
"The price of international space cooperation maniacally destroyed by the West. Crazy," he said.
The Daily Mail said he added on the Telegram app: "Also, Russian means provide backup of voice and telemetry communications of the American segment of the station with ground control points."
This was followed up with a warning that countries "led by the dogs of war" should "think about the price of sanctions" against his agency.
It is not the first time Mr Rogozin has made threats over the ISS, a symbol of international cooperation.
He has suggested he could detach the Russian section of the ISS.
A former US astronaut cast doubt on his threats, reportedly telling ABC News that the US can control the orbit of the station.
"I was just enraged that he, the [cosmonauts], said that they were going to leave an American crew member behind. I never thought I would ever hear anything so outrageous," Scot Kelly said.