BRICS Nations Form Joint Committee on Space Cooperation

BEIJING (China Ministry of Foreign Affairs PR) — On May 25, the 1st meeting of the BRICS Joint Committee on Space Cooperation was successfully held virtually, marking the official establishment of the BRICS Joint Committee on Space Cooperation and opening the new chapter for joint observation and data sharing cooperation of BRICS Remote Sensing Satellite Constellation (RSSC).

Mr. ZHANG Kejian, Administrator of the China National Space Administration (CNSA), served as the chairman of the Joint Committee this year. Mr. Carlos Augusto Teixeira de Moura, President of the Brazilian Space Agency (AEB), Mr. Dmitry Rogozin, Director General of the State Space Corporation “Roscosmos”(ROSCOSMOS), Mr. Somanath S. , Chairman of the Indian Space Research Organization, and Mr. Hendrik Burger, Representative of the South African National Space Agency, attended the meeting.

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Rogozin Lays Out Options for Roscosmos Post ISS; Russia Agrees to Seat Swap with NASA

Video Caption: Russia will look to wind down its cooperation on the International Space Station (ISS) while stepping up cooperation with China on the creation of a lunar station in the coming years, the head of Russia’s space agency said in an interview with the China Global Television Network (CGTN) on Friday.

Editor’s Note: In brief, Russia will honor commitments to ISS through the current end date of 2024. Rogozin thinks negotiations to extend station operations — NASA wants a 2030 end date — would be difficult with current tensions over the Russian invasion of Ukraine. He said Russia plans to launch its own space station in 2027-28, on which it might work with China.

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Roscosmos Boss Dmitry Rogozin Calls for Wiping Out Ukraine

Twitter’s content moderation efforts seemed to have spiraled downward. Major Russian government officials somehow keep their accounts while advocating the genocide of a nation of 44 million people.

Rogozin has been rabid, foaming at the mouth for months. Ukraine did not, and does not now, pose an existential threat to Russia. The biggest threat is that it becomes a stable, parliamentary democracy and joins the European Union. It would be another example of a different path Russia could take other than the authoritarian one that Vladimir Putin, Rogozin and others have imposed on the country.

Twitter really needs to answer for this. It needs to decide whether letting people call for the genocide of an entire nation is something they want to allow.

Elon Musk, who signed an agreement to purchase Twitter for $44 billion, is an avowed free speech absolutist. He called Twitter’s decision to ban Donald Trump after the attack on the Capitol last year immoral. Is this something that he would allow? What is his view of the morality of this? How absolute is absolutism?

Here’s the one thing we can be very sure about. If Rogozin was calling for the deaths of the current Twitter CEO and his family, or Elon and his children, this tweet would not stay up for a minute. It would be taken down immediately, and Rogozin would be banned.

The time is coming, barring a significant change in the Russian government, when NASA has to decide whether it come continue to work with the Russians on the International Space Station. That day may come sooner than the 2024 date Rogozin has said Russia would likely pull out of the program.

Rogozin: Russia to Cooperate on ISS Until 2024

Roscosmos head Dmitry Rogozin. (Credit: A. Savin)

When he’s not threatening to nuke Bulgaria, Roscosmos CEO Dmitry Rogozin does attend to his day job of overseeing Russia’s space program. MSN reports:

In comments to Rossiya-24 on Saturday, Rogozin said, as reported by Russian state-owned news agency TASS, that Russia’s involvement with the ISS was fading into the background but the country would still cooperate until 2024, at least.

“The ISS will work exactly as long as the Russian side needs to work on it,” Rogozin said. “There are technical problems. The station has been operating beyond its lifespan for a long time. We have a government decision that we are working until 2024.”

The current operating agreement for the space agencies involved with the ISS ends in 2024, although most of the partner nations have expressed that they are hoping to continue with the project until 2030.

Earlier this year, it was reported by some media outlets that Russia was planning to quit the ISS, blaming Western sanctions, following comments Rogozin made on state television.

Rogozin said: “The decision has been taken already, we’re not obliged to talk about it publicly. I can say this only—in accordance with our obligations, we’ll inform our partners about the end of our work on the ISS with a year’s notice.”

Rogozin left some wiggle room here for extending station operations. Roscosmos is working on building it’s own space station, which is supposed to begin construction in Earth orbit beginning in 2025. However, Russia’s space projects have shown a tendency to slip, sometimes by years.

Russian officials have talked about cooperating with China on its new Tiangong space station. No details have been released aside from visits by Russian Soyuz spacecraft.

Russia is also working on an agreement with China to build a crewed base on the moon.

Roscosmos CEO Rogozin Threatens Bulgaria with Nuclear Attack

Roscosmos head Dmitry Rogozin. (Credit: A. Savin)

Sounding more unhinged by the day, Roscosmos CEO Dmitry Rogozin threatened Bulgaria with a nuclear strike as the Russian invasion of Ukraine escalated. Novinite reports:

“This is what Sarmat is good for. It will not ask for consent for the flight from the cowardly Bulgarians, the vicious Romanians and the Montenegrins who betrayed our common history. Like the other various nations like the Swedes.”

This was written on Twitter by the former Deputy Prime Minister of Russia and CEO of Roscosmos Dmitry Rogozin on the occasion of Bulgaria’s refusal to provide an air corridor for a government plane to Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.

The RS-28 Sarmat, better known as “Satan II”, is a super-heavy intercontinental ballistic missile for carrying nuclear warheads. Its range is 18,000 kilometers.

This is the first direct threat made by the Russian authorities to Bulgaria since the beginning of the Russian invasion of Ukraine on February 24.

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NASA to Provide Live Coverage of Space Station Cargo Launch, Docking

Russia’s ISS Progress 78 resupply ship approaches the International Space Station for a docking to the Poisk module on July 2, 2021, two days after lifting off from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. (Credits: NASA)

HOUSTON (NASA PR) — NASA will provide live coverage of the launch and docking of a Russian cargo spacecraft carrying about three tons of food, fuel, and supplies for the Expedition 67 crew aboard the International Space Station.

The unpiloted Russian Progress 81 is scheduled to launch at 5:32 a.m. EDT (2:32 p.m. Baikonur time) Friday, June 3, on a Soyuz rocket from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. Coverage will begin at 5:15 a.m. on NASA Television, the NASA app, and the agency’s website.

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PBS News Hour Report on the Future of the International Space Station

Video Caption: NASA is aiming to expand its astronaut launches from U.S. soil. Boeing is set for a test launch this week of its small spacecraft to the International Space Station. Russia and America have long been partners on the space station, but the invasion of Ukraine has led to new tensions and questions about the future. Miles O’Brien has our report about the rhetoric versus the reality.

Rogozin: Russia Could Deepen Cooperation with China on Satellite Surveillance, Communications

Roscosmos head Dmitry Rogozin. (Credit: A. Savin)

TASS reports that Roscosmos could deepen ties with the Chinese space program in the areas of satellite surveillance and communications constellations as the nation’s invasion of Ukraine drives a deeper wedge in its relations with the West.

“Cooperation between Glonass and Beidou [China’s satellite navigational system] can quite spread to communications and surveillance clusters,” Roscosmos Director General Dmitry Rogozin said during a forum on Tuesday.

Roscosmos has ordered airlines to replace the U.S. Global Positioning System (GPS) with Glonass in Russian airlines. Roscosmos is working with China to make the Glonass and Beidou satellite navigation systems interoperable.

Rogozin previously said that Russia will end cooperation with the United States, Europe, Japan and Canada on the International Space Station over the sanctions imposed on the country after its invasion of Ukraine in February. The Roscosmos leader said that details of Russia’s withdrawal will be announced soon. He has also said Russia is looking to cooperate on China’s Tiangong space station, which was launched last year.

Station operations have been approved until 2024. In December, NASA announced plans to work with station partners to extend operations until 2030. U.S. space officials have said it would be difficult to maintain the station without Russian involvement.

Russia’s Ukraine invasion has accelerated the nation’s drift away from cooperation with its ISS partners. Roscosmos decided not to participate in the U.S.-led Artemis program, which aims to land two astronauts at the south pole of the moon later this decade. While the other ISS partners have signed on to the program, Russia has opted to cooperate with China on the establishment of a lunar research base.

Axiom Mission 1 Undock Postponed to Sunday, Space Station Reboosts

The 11-person crew aboard the station comprises of (clockwise from bottom right) Expedition 67 Commander Tom Marshburn with Flight Engineers Oleg Artemyev, Denis Matveev, Sergey Korsakov, Raja Chari, Kayla Barron, and Matthias Maurer; and Axiom Mission 1 astronauts (center row from left) Mark Pathy, Eytan Stibbe, Larry Conner, and Michael Lopez-Alegria. (Credits: NASA)

HOUSTON (NASA PR) — At the conclusion of a weather briefing ahead of today’s planned undocking, NASA, Axiom Space, and SpaceX teams elected to wave off today’s undocking attempt due to a diurnal low wind trough which has been causing marginally high winds at the splashdown sites. The Axiom Mission 1 (Ax-1) crew is now targeting to undock from the International Space Station 8:55 p.m. EDT Sunday, April 24.

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Roscosmos Plans Cooperation on Chinese Space Station, Prepares to Dump GPS in Russian Airliners and Ship New ICBMs

Roscosmos boss Dmitry Rogozin meets with Russia’s boss of bosses, President Vladimir Putin. (Credit: Russian President’s Office)

by Douglas Messier
Managing Editor

Vowing that cooperation in space with the West will resume on Russia’s terms, Roscosmos Director General Dmitry Rogozin said the space corporation is eyeing cooperation on China’s space station and begun efforts to replace the American Global Positioning System (GPS) in airplanes with Russian GLONASS satellite navigation system that is also capable of receiving navigation signals from China’s Beidou satellite constellation.

Rogozin also said Roscosmos plans to begin shipments of silo-based hypersonic Sarmat intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) in the fall amid continued tensions with the West over Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The rocket was successfully test fired on Wednesday.

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NASA Sets Coverage for Russian Spacewalks Outside Space Station

Oleg Novitsky during a spacewalk. (Credit: Roscosmos)

HOUSTON (NASA PR) — NASA will provide coverage of spacewalks Monday, April 18, and Thursday, April 28, as Russian cosmonauts venture outside the International Space Station to activate a new robotic arm attached to the Nauka module.

Coverage for both spacewalks will begin at 10 a.m. EDT each day on NASA Television, the NASA app, and agency’s  website. Each spacewalk is scheduled to begin around 10:25 a.m.

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Roscosmos Looks to Make Space Tourist Training Even Shorter

The three new residents aboard the station (front row, from left) are Russian actress Yulia Peresild, Roscosmos cosmonaut Anton Shkaplerov, and Russian Producer Klim Shipenko. In the back, are Expedition 65 crew members Shane Kimbrough, Oleg Novitskiy, Thomas Pesquet, Megan McArthur, Pyotr Dubrov, Mark Vande Hei, and Akihiko Hoshide. (Credit: NASA TV)

TASS reports that it is theoretically possible to reduce the time it takes to train a non-professional astronaut (aka, space tourists or spaceflight participants) to fly to orbit aboard the Soyuz spacecraft to under the current four months. Paying customers used to spend months in training prior to a flight.

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Putin Celebrates Gagarin Flight Anniversary, Vows Russia will Remain a Leader in Space Amid Sanctions

Vladimir Putin receives a briefing from Roscosmos General Director Dmitry Rogozin before the COVID-19 pandemic. (Credit: Office of the Russian President)

by Douglas Messier
Managing Editor

On Tuesday, Russia celebrated the 61st anniversary of the Soviet Union’s launch of the first human into space, Yuri Gagarin, with a presidential visit to a scandal-plagued spaceport, a pledge to stay the course in the face of international sanctions over the Ukraine invasion, and an initiative to fly a citizen of one of the nation’s closest allies into space.

“Everything that we’ve seen during our visit to Vostochny, all successes in space exploration achieved in recent years prove that our country retains its leadership in space industry, is one of the leaders in this area,” President Vladimir Putin said during a visit to the Vostochny Cosmodrome in Russia’s Far East.

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ESA Ends Cooperation with Russia on 3 Lunar Missions, Deepens Cooperation with U.S. & Japan

PARIS (ESA PR) — Following the Russian aggression against Ukraine, ESA’s Director General has initiated a comprehensive review of all activities currently undertaken in cooperation with Russia and Ukraine. The objective is to determine the possible consequences of this new geopolitical context for ESA programmes and activities and to create a more resilient and robust space infrastructure for Europe.

The ESA Council on 13 April acknowledged the following findings and took the following decisions.

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Ax-1 Private Astronaut Mission Arrives at International Space Station

Space station crew welcomes the Ax-1 astronauts to the ISS. (Credit: Axiom Space)

HOUSTON (Axiom Space PR) — The historic Ax-1 crew has arrived at the International Space Station. Commander  Michael López-Alegría, Pilot Larry Connor, Mission Specialist Eytan Stibbe, and Mission Specialist Mark Pathy entered the space station shortly after the hatch opened at 10:13 a.m. EDT on Saturday, April 9.   

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