With the collective world banding together to condemn the actions of Russia invading Ukraine, there is even more at stake when it comes to space exploration and the International Space Station. A host of space experts are saying that if the modules that keep the station aloft are pulled from the orbital laboratory in the space station, then NASA and other agencies might have to step in to destroy it due to the station not being able to operate without them. Clearly, that is something that is not wanted by either the U.S. or Russia, but things are beginning to be quite messy because of Russia attempting to invade and take over a sovereign nation.
While Russia and the U.S. have not agreed on the sociopolitical subject matter of the world, they have long worked together for decades to further the advancement of space exploration via the International Space Station. That relationship could come to an end if the modules that keep the station aloft are taken out. While NASA and even SpaceX are attempting to come up with ways to keep the station in place without the help of Russia, it has now also been stated that Russia might also take out the modules by some way of sabotage. Dmitry Rogozin, who is the head of Russia’s space program, has been posting pro-Moscow propaganda on his Twitter page and even going so far as to confirm the idea of sabotage via threats. This is not a good look.
The International Space Station is said to crash into the ocean as soon as 2031 anyway, so it might not be worth spending the resources on at this point. The relationship between Russian and US space relations might be turning to a purely negative point, and this might cause the program to suffer tremendously and be completely done away with altogether. A spokesperson by the name of Brandon Weeden, who works for the Secure World Foundation commented about keeping the station in place. According to him, “We’d have to invest a bunch of additional money to make that happen.” He added, “The ISS was never meant to be taken apart.” Taking these modules out might cause irreparable damage. While the US is responsible for the power and life support to the station, the boosters that keep the station aloft are supplied by Russia via the Progress spacecraft that is docked at the space station. However, the US might not want to invest the massive capital it would take to keep the station running.
With Russia essentially ruining its reputation worldwide, this invasion is causing a massive rift that might not ever be repaired again. The space program for the nation might suffer heavily and cause other nations to halt wanting to work with Russia in the future. It’s a sad situation that the whole nation is suffering at the hands of the decision made by Vladamir Putin. The option to destroy International Space Station is just another of the tough decisions that are to be made because of this invasion coupled with the sanctions being placed on Russia by the rest of the world. Hopefully, the invasion can be halted quickly without even more loss being accounted for.