“We’ve been working together, we’ve been working together for more than 20 years and we will continue to do so,” Joel Montalbano, NASA Administrator in charge of the International Space Station, said at a press conference.
“We know what’s going on, but we can continue our work,” the NASA executive said. “Nothing has changed in the past three weeks, and we don’t see any disabilities.” The International Space Station is based on cooperation. “It is not a process that one group can go on without the other. Everyone must work together in order to achieve success.”
The return of US astronaut Mark Vande Hee, scheduled for the end of March, along with astronauts Anton Shkaplerov and Pyotr Dobrov in Russia’s Soyuz space capsule, will also take place, as planned, according to Montalbano. “I can definitely tell you that Mark will be coming home aboard a Soyuz. We are in contact with our Russian colleagues on this matter, and you don’t have to worry.”
The Russian space agency Roscosmos had previously confirmed that the flight would go ahead as planned. “Roskosmos has never given its partners any reason to doubt our credibility,” the agency said. The safe operation of the International Space Station is a top priority. German astronaut Matthias Maurer is also staying aboard the International Space Station.
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