Space

Russia just ceased joint experiments on the International Space Station

Roscosmos, Russia’s space agency, will no longer cooperate with Germany on science experiments aboard the Russian side of the International Space Station (ISS), it said in a tweet Thursday

“The Russian space program will be adjusted against the backdrop of sanctions, the priority will be the creation of satellites in the interests of defense,” Roscosmos said in the tweet.

Russia will instead continue the experiments independently, it said in the same tweet. 

Roscosmos will also stop delivering Russian rocket engines to the US, and will stop servicing those it already delivered, per a tweet.

The move is the latest retaliation from Russia after the US, UK, EU, and others levied sanctions on Russia after the invasion of Ukraine.

The measures isolated Russian banks from financial networks, sent the ruble crashing and prompted dozens of companies to end their operation in Russia.

There is no carveout for Russian efforts in space. Last week, President Joe Biden said that the US sanctions “would degrade their [Russia’s] aerospace industry, including their space program,” per CNN.

In a series of tweets following Biden’s announcement, Roscosmos Director General Dmitry Rogozin appeared to warn that the sanctions could have severe consequences for the ISS.

In an ominous message he noted that because of its orbit, the space station could crash into the US or Europe, but not on Russia, as Insider previously reported.

Roscosmos also started putting pressure on companies with ties with Europe and the US.

It said Wednesday it would not launch a batch of OneWeb internet satellites from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan unless the UK sells its stake in OneWeb, and OneWeb guarantees the satellites will not be used for military purposes, per CNBC.

In a statement Thursday, OneWeb said it was suspending all launches from Baikonur.

The sanctions are also expected to delay the launch of a joint Russian and European mission to Mars originally planned this summer, Insider previously reported.

The ISS is currently manned by an international crew made up of two Russians, one German and four Americans, per NASA.

NASA had said Monday that operations aboard the ISS would continue as normal, per CNBC.

The European Space Agency (ESA) said Monday that it was fully implementing EU sanctions imposed on Russia and assessing the consequences on existing programs. 

The ESA refused to comment on the latest move from Roscosmos in a response to Insider’s queries on Thursday.

This article was originally published by Business Insider.

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