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SpaceX brings home four astronauts from International Space Station amid Russian threats of non-cooperation | Science and technology news




On another successful SpaceX voyage, four astronauts returned home from the International Space Station (ISS) in the early hours of this morning, splashing into the Gulf of Mexico.

When the three Americans and a German astronaut left the world six months ago, there was no question about the ongoing collaboration between American and Russian teams guarding the orbital position.

But the sanctions imposed as a result of RussiaThe invasion of Ukraine has changed this calculation. Recent comments by Roscosmos head Dmitry Rogozin have caused concerns for the near future of the project.

Roscosmos head seems to pull the threat

Last weekend Mr. NASA notice one year before withdrawal.

The declaration of confidence seemed to be what NASA and the European Space Agency needed. Three other Americans and an Italian astronaut replaced the spacecraft leaving for another SpaceX launch last week.

NASA Administrator Bill Nelson said in late April that he expects Russia to continue to participate in ISS despite sanctions after 2024.

More on the International Space Station

Despite hostilities on Earth, the astronauts have not reported any difficulties and the mission control teams in Houston and Moscow have continued to cooperate without challenge.

The international operating agreement covering the ISS – which Russia has signed – lasts until 2024, and NASA plans to continue operating the station until 2031.

'Nemo Spaceship Cemetery' as seen on Google Earth.  Photo: Google
‘Nemo Spaceship Cemetery’ as seen on Google Earth. Photo: Google

ISS crash into ‘spaceship graveyard’

But in published plans for the future of the ISS, the space agency has suggested that the 444,615 kg structure could be removed from orbit in January 2031 and crashed into a “spaceship cemetery”.

In the perfect scenario, the orbital height of the space station would slowly decrease from the current altitude of 408 km (253 miles).

As the height of the ISS drops, it will encounter an increasingly dense atmosphere, adding more creep and pulling it even further down.

The space station will continue to travel so fast that it will start to heat up and dump debris on a path behind it.

The plan to prevent this debris from harming people or property is for the ISS to crash into an uninhabited area of ​​the southern Pacific Ocean, near Nemo Point.

Point Nemo has been called a spaceship graveyard because – as the point on Earth farthest from Earth – it is where dismantled spacecraft are usually targeted when they return to Earth.




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