After Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine, space is one of the last areas where Russians and Westerners cooperate harmoniously. On Friday March 18 at 10:30 p.m. Paris time, the International Space Station (ISS) also welcomed three new Russian cosmonauts.
When the ISS hatch opened, surprise Oleg Artemyev, Denis Matveyev and Sergey Korsakov were wearing yellow jumpsuits with blue accents, the colors of the Ukrainian flag.
These colors are just not subtle. pic.twitter.com/CyA12JzTWB
— Eric Berger (@SciGuySpace) March 18, 2022
Asked about this once they arrived on board, during a call to their families, the cosmonauts confirmed that they had chosen the suits themselves. “It was our turn to choose the colors. But we had accumulated a lot of yellow fabric so we needed to use it. That’s why we wear yellow», tried to explain Oleg Artemyev.
Does Russia really have an interest in letting go of the ISS?
Simple coincidence, message of support for Ukraine or on the contrary nationalist bravado, it’s a safe bet that the end of the story remains open to interpretation. The astronauts of the International Space Station generally maintain relations between them spared from the geopolitical conflicts that are brewing 400 kilometers below.
On earth, on the other hand, the war in Ukraine has already begun to affect space cooperation. Following several failed launches, Dmitry Rogozin, the director of the Russian space agency, announced that it would stop supplying its American customers, reducing them “to fly with broomsticks”.
A threat that the United States prefers to minimize. “It’s just Dmitry Rogozin that. He wanders once in a while. But in the end he works with us.tempered Bill Nelson, the administrator of NASA.