The International Space Station is a beautiful monument to mankind peace, bringing together a multitude of countries. However, in wartime, peace-time agreements can end, and Russia is threatening to do that with the ISS.
As the country continues its invasion of Ukraine, head of Russian space agency Roscosmos, Dmitry Rogozin, warned that the ISS may not be around much longer. Rogozin threatened that Russia could pull away, causing catastrophic issues.
Russia can crash the ISS
Via Gizmodo, Rogozin explained that the country could crash the ISS if recent sanctions aren't lifted. With American sanctions limiting technological imports of sensors, semiconductors and more, the country is desperate to continue its industrial movement.
In response to the sanctions, Rogozin asked: “Do you want to destroy our cooperation on the ISS?” The Roscosmos head asked if the United States would like to manage the space station on their own, as well as correcting its orbit and not hitting dangerous space debris.
“If you block cooperation with us, who will save the ISS from an uncontrolled deorbit and fall into the United States,” he said. “There is also the option of dropping a 500-ton structure to India and China. Do you want to threaten them with such a prospect? The ISS does not fly over Russia, so all the risks are yours. Are you ready for them?”
Without Russia’s assistance, the International Space Station would fall from orbit. Granted, this would take a long while to actually fall back to Earth, but it would crash on the planet. However, there may be a way of saving it even if Russia pulls out.
SpaceX could help
In response to the Russian threats, SpaceX owner Elon Musk explained that his space company will be able to help the ISS. If Russia does pull away from the space station, causing it to deorbit, SpaceX could provide the additional structure needed to keep the ISS stable.
On Twitter, Musk told Rogozin that SpaceX will assist NASA in saving the International Space Station. While plans were not confirmed, many believe that the privatised space company will use a Falcon 9 rocket to keep the ISS in orbit.
Of course, SpaceX and NASA already have a strong working relationship. With SpaceX helping the agency with its upcoming Moon Landing and Mars missions, the company is inseparable from NASA.