On Monday, despite Dmitry Rogozin's pleading, the restrictions came to fruition.
In the letter, sent three weeks ago but first made public this week, Rogozin told NASA boss Jim Bridenstine that the sanctions would jeopardize joint cooperation between the two nations on the International Space Station (ISS).
On Monday, the US Department of Commerce introduced restrictions on Russian companies that it believes cooperate with the military. The list includes many space-related concerns, such as the Progress Rocket Space Center, which is the developer and manufacturer of the famous Soyuz rocket system. Until this year, the US was reliant on this very same technology to conduct launches.
“The possible use of sanctions by the United States against these Russian enterprises jeopardizes the further implementation of the International Space Station program,” Rogozin wrote, before the measures were confirmed.
Speaking to Moscow news agency RIA Novosti, the Roscosmos boss called the sanctions “stupid,” noting that the Central Research Institute of Machine Building – one of the sanctioned companies – includes the ISS mission control center.
“They are illegal, as well as all the other previously imposed sanctions against Russian individuals and legal entities,” he said.
The ISS is a multinational collaborative project involving both NASA and Roscosmos, alongside JAXA (Japan), CSA (Canada) and the European Space Agency. Since the first expedition in 2000, all 64 trips have included at least one American and Russian.
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