Moscow (dpa) – In response to European Union sanctions against Moscow, the Russian space agency Roscosmos has suspended cooperation on space launches in Kourou, French Guiana. In addition, according to the head of Roscosmos Dmitry Rogozin, the technical staff will be withdrawn.
According to the state agency TASS, there are currently 87 Russian employees at the South American spaceport. Their return trip is now being organized.
The West imposed tough sanctions on Moscow on Thursday after Russia invaded neighboring Ukraine. Despite the many conflicts between Russia and the West, space travel has been one of the areas in which cooperation has been operating without major disruptions in recent years. On the other hand, Russia wants to continue cooperation on the International Space Station, Rogozin recently emphasized.
Former European Space Head Jan Warner regretted declaring the cooperation ended. “So far I had hoped that, despite all the difficulties, space travel would be kept out of the conflict,” Woerner told dpa. “Space travel has been a stable affair over the past few years, far from political discussions.” Warner said Earth – the “pale blue dot” – deserves humanity to tackle major challenges such as climate change, hunger and poverty through their space research. He chaired the European Space Agency (ESA) from 2015 to February 2021.
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