Russia has warned that sanctions on its aerospace industry could result in the International Space Station (ISS) falling into an “uncontrolled deorbit” and smashing into the United States or Europe, potentially with the force of a small nuclear bomb. Dmitry Rogozin, head of Roscosmos, issued the space station warning late Thursday, demanding of the United States: “Do you want to destroy our cooperation on the ISS?” The Russian official was responding to U.S. President Joe Biden’s announcement of sanction to “degrade [Russia’s] aerospace industry, including their space programme” in response to Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine, as reported by Euronews. “If you block cooperation with us, who will save the ISS from an uncontrolled deorbit and fall into the United States or Europe? 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?” he asked ominously, adding that the space station “does not fly over Russia, so all the risks are yours. Are you ready for them?” Rogozin went on to suggest that “when planning sanctions, check those who generate them for Alzheimer’s” — likely a thinly-veiled reference to President Biden’s alleged cognitive decline — in order to prevent such sanctions “from falling on your head. And not only in a figurative sense.” Европы? Еще есть вариант падения 500-тонной конструкции на Индию и Китай. Вы хотите им угрожать такой перспективой? Над Россией МКС не летает, поэтому все риски – ваши. А вы к ним готовы?Господа, вы когда санкции планируете, проверяйте тех, кто их генерирует, на предмет болезни — РОГОЗИН (@Rogozin) February 24, 2022 Discussing Rogozon’s astonishing remarks in an article published on Sunday morning, the National Review noted that the International Space Station travels over Western cities including London, Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, Paris, and Rome at some 17,500 miles per hour, “but could accelerate beyond that if pushed from its orbit and crashed into the Earth.” While the ISS would likely break up to a significant extent during such a deorbit, the magazine noted that “if the station crashed while even somewhat intact” it would strike the Earth with the force of “a small nuclear weapon”, citing the Perdue University impact calculator as estimating it would blow a crater “almost 4,300 feet wide and 1,530 feet deep” into an urban centre like Manhattan and trigger “a magnitude 6 earthquake” into the bargain.
The rockets which will control the station’s deorbiting process when the time comes to retire it were indeed designed by the Russians. NASA, for its part, has downplayed a potential breakdown in co-operation aboard the ISS, with a statement from the American space agency quoted by Euronews claiming that “new export control measures will continue to allow U.S.-Russia civil space cooperation” and that it “continues working with Roscosmos and our other international partners in Canada, Europe, and Japan to maintain safe and continuous ISS operations.” PICS: Heavy Fighting as Russian Forces Battle for Control of Ukraine's Second City https://t.co/WVd481zOzc — Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) February 27, 2022 .
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