Back when Russia first began “acquiring” Ukraine, NASA immediately cut all ties with the Slavic republic, except for efforts related to the International Space Station (the US relies on Russian spacecraft to get to the ISS). And now, after a fresh round of US sanctions, a Russian defense official has a helpful suggestion — the US should use trampolines to get into space. As if it wasn’t already extremely awkward aboard the ISS.
Yes, folks, we’ve entered the soap opera phase of a new Cold War.
"The United States introduced sanctions against our space industry... We warned them, we will reply to statements with statements, to actions with actions," Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin, who heads Russia's defense industry, said on Twitter.
"I propose that the United States delivers its astronauts to the ISS with the help of a trampoline," he said.
After the retirement of the Space Shuttle, and with no successor in place, NASA has leaned on its erstwhile foe, Russia, to get to the ISS. At a cost of $60 million per seat, US astronauts hitch rides aboard Russian Soyuzes, a sad irony given our unofficial victory in the ‘60s-era Space Race.
But the latest round of US-imposed sanctions will hit Russia’s defense industry hard, denying their space industry high-tech electronic components — including microchips for satellites — and putting several commercial satellite launches at risk.
And Russia is seething.
While Moscow probably won’t suspend its shuttle service to the ISS, since NASA provides critical funding for Russia’s space industry, anything is possible in this new era of name-calling and a revitalized Soviet Union, *ahem*, Russia.