The International Space Station Is The Undiscovered Country

Keith's note: Roscosmos Chief @Rogozin has been tweeting up a storm. A nasty storm. In a nutshell he is unilaterally ending Russian cooperation on ISS unless all sanctions are lifted. He does not specify what he means by "ending cooperation". He has also has posted all the letters from the iSS partners that in essense say "thanks for your note, we have nothing to add. Have a nice day". No one seems to be jumping in front of Rogozin's latest threats.

This time Rogozin is more intense and detailed in his tweeting. He is also desperate which is in synch with Putin. Rogozin is lock step in support of Putin's genocidal slaughter of Ukraine and has gone off the deep end to demonstrate that support by repeating every imaginable piece of propoganda lies.

Rogozin is a lost cause. No one is going to start disconnecting ISS modules. The U.S. has a new re-boost system on Cygnus that will be tested and SpaceX has signaled that this is something they could offer in a rather straight forward fashion. We have independent crew and cargo capabilities. Alas, in Russia, with foreign sources of hard cash all but dried up for Roscosmos - thus their cash influx to prop up their various human and science space programs, and the crippling impact of global sanctions, it is hard to imagine that Russia could continue to do things with ISS the way that they have been doing. And it is not very clear how they could help China if Russia is essentially broke.

The ISS has managed to survive two decades of political turmoil on Earth with comparatively minor impact on its operations and missions. We are now entering a new phase where that global cooperation is going to be tested. As I have often said I hope that the common sense of purpose and true cooperation that have been the hallmark of international cooperation for more than 20 years should be teaching us something about how to get along back on Earth. Who knows - despite all the complaints that ISS is just an expensive thing in search of a purpose, the ability for the iSS to maintain a higher order of human interaction - literally - above the petty human fray of politics - is its biggest possible contribution.

First Contact Day is on Tuesday, April 5 - as in April 5th 2061. The Star Trek movie "First Contact" is about humanity's climbing back to space after a global nuclear war. The other Star Trek film I mention is "The Undiscovered Country" - a Shakespearean phrase affixed to a film about the aftermath of a cold war in space - one where one side clearly beat the other but old hatreds and distrusts still color a larger search for peace. Both films have a new relevance to what we see in the news during the day and see in our dreams/nightmares at night.

Have you ever noticed the similarity between the ISS symbol, the UN symbol, and the Star Trek United Federation of Planets symbol? Since there aren't any Vulcan's waiting to come save our asses its up to us to do that. Maybe ISS is a good place to start. Just sayin'.

"... The head of NASA, Senator Nelson, the head of the European Space Agency, Josef Aschbacher, and the head of the Canadian Space Agency, Lisa Campbell, responded to my appeal to them demanding the lifting of sanctions against a number of enterprises in the Russian rocket and space industry...."

"... financial, economic and production activities of our high-tech enterprises. The purpose of the sanctions is to kill the Russian economy, plunge our people into despair and hunger, and bring our country to its knees. It is clear that they will not be able to do this, but the intentions are clear. That's why believe that the restoration of normal relations between partners in the International Space Station and other joint projects is possible only with the complete and unconditional lifting of illegal sanctions. Specific proposals of Roskosmos on the timing of the completion of cooperation within the ...""

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This page contains a single entry by Keith Cowing published on April 2, 2022 11:48 AM.

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