- Russian space chief hits out on Twitter… again
- SpaceX takes in-orbit satellite tally above 2,000
- Range applications sent off for UK’s first-ever vertical launch site
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has seen a number of governments impose sanctions on the country, which range from having assets frozen to being locked out of certain markets.
However, “Russia has reportedly enacted its own restrictions,” researchers at Jeffries wrote on Tuesday.
“Although Russia is viewed as a near-peer threat, there are areas in the space domain where the US and Russia collaborate with Russia relevant for launch vehicles and cooperation with the International Space Station.
“Russia is suspending launches of its Soyuz rocket from Europe’s French Guiana base and cutting cooperation with NASA on planetary science missions.”
Russia’s space agency Roscosmos has been cutting ties with its partners, with agency lead Dmitry Rogozin being particularly vocal on Twitter and in state-broadcasts on the West’s behaviour in response to Russia’s invasion of its neighbour state.
Rogozin has threatened the safety of the International Space Station (ISS) a number of times during the conflict so far, with the latest threat Tweeted amid an online argument with American astronaut Scott Kelly on Tuesday.
After Kelly referred to the space chief as a “child”, Rogozin replied in a since deleted Tweet: “Get off, your moron! Otherwise, the death of the International Space Station will be on your conscience.”
Roscosmos had also threatened to not launch three dozen OneWeb internet satellites via its Soyuz rocket as planned, unless its demands were met.
Russia’s demands included a guarantee that the spacecraft will not be used for military purposes and that the UK government divest its stake in OneWeb.
In response, OneWeb suspended all launches with Roscosmos.
SpaceX, which has sent Starlink terminals to Ukraine to avoid disrupted internet communications during the conflict, launched 48 more satellites on Wednesday.
Taking off from Cape Canaveral in Floria via SpaceX’s so-called “American broomstick” – the reusable Falcon 9 rocket – the satellites will take Elon Musk’s constellation up to 2,000.
“Time to let the American broomstick fly and hear the sounds of freedom,” SpaceX’s launch director said prior to issuing the go ahead for launch.
The quip refers to a comment made by Roscosmos lead Rogozin on broadcast, as he revoked the use of the Soyuz rocket for Western participants.
“Let them fly on something else, their broomsticks, I don’t know what,” he told viewers.
SaxaVord UK Spaceport
SaxaVord UK Spaceport has formally submitted its Spaceport and Range Licence applications this week to the UK’s spaceflight watchdog.
The launching company, which recently secured planning permission for the UK’s first-ever vertical launch site, now awaits the green light from the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA).
It comes ahead of a highly anticipated launch by the end of this year.
“Our operations team have been working extremely hard on multiple fronts over the last two years to ensure that all the pieces of a very complicated jigsaw were prepared so we could hit the ground running as we started the year,” SaxaVord CEO Frank Strang said.
“Our licence applications mark the next milestone in our ambition to become the first orbital launch site in the UK. Our applications will now be assessed and evaluated by the CAA, a process which will take at least six months.
“The beginning of 2022 has already been significant for our team and for Shetland, with the approval of our planning permission. I am confident that the end of the year will be equally momentous for us and the UK vertical launch industry.”