by Jeff Foust — June 8, 2020
Dmitry Rogozin (modern), head of Roscosmos, meeting with NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine in 2018. Rogozin offered congratulations to NASA for the winning Demo-2 commercial crew open. Credit: NASA/Bill Ingalls
WASHINGTON — The winning open of the first crewed orbital flight from the USA in nearly nine years has met with a blended response from Russia, with formal congratulations from Russian leadership nonetheless skepticism from others.
Whereas the final success of the Demo-2 mission of SpaceX’s Crew Dragon won’t be identified till after the spacecraft safely returns to Earth later this summer season, its open Would perhaps also just 30 and docking with the International Dwelling Space lower than 24 hours later signifies NASA is on the verge of ending reliance on Russia’s Soyuz for transporting astronauts to and from the keep.
That reliance stimulated the kind of Crew Dragon and Boeing’s CST-100 Starliner to present NASA its acquire approach to getting astronauts to and from the keep, ending payments to Roscosmos for Soyuz seats whose prices private gradually grown over time to extra than $90 million this day.
At a put up-open press conference Would perhaps also just 30, NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine stated he had now not heard from his Russian counterpart, Dmitry Rogozin, head of the Russian deliver space company Roscosmos. He stated, despite the truth that, that he had viewed other feedback by Rogozin that private been “overwhelmingly congratulatory in opposition to NASA and SpaceX.”
These feedback private now not always been overwhelmingly congratulatory. In 2014, Rogozin, then Russia’s deputy high minister, suggested retaliating in opposition to American sanctions imposed on Russia after its annexation of Crimea by limiting acquire entry to to Soyuz seats. “After inspecting the sanctions in opposition to our space industry, I imply to the USA to bring their astronauts to the International Dwelling Space using a trampoline,” he tweeted.
Six years later, Elon Musk recalled that line. “The trampoline is working!” he stated at that put up-open briefing.
Rogozin, in a pair of English-language tweets Would perhaps also just 31, offered congratulations. “I wish @NASA crew to successfully function up reconstructing its nationwide space transportation system to the ISS,” he wrote. “Please carry my real greetings to @elonmusk (I loved his joke) and @SpaceX crew. Searching forward to additional cooperation!”
No longer all americans in Russia’s space program is as congratulatory as Rogozin’s public feedback. The introduction of commercial crew autos will imply the tip of a source of earnings for Roscosmos that, at its high, introduced the agency several hundred million bucks a year.
Astronauts from the U.S. and other ISS companions will proceed to skim on Soyuz missions, nonetheless by a bartering association that can, in flip, uncover Russian cosmonauts skim on commercial crew autos. That “blended crew” association is intended to be obvious that that that there’ll seemingly be at the least one Russian cosmonaut and one astronaut from the U.S., Canada, Europe or Japan on the keep in tournament one class of autos was now not available.
A outmoded Russian cosmonaut, despite the truth that, believes it’s too rapidly to commence flying Russians on commercial crew autos. In an interview with the Russian network NSN printed June 7, Pavel Vinogradov stated that NASA was “running sooner than the steam engine” by offering to skim Russian cosmonauts on commercial autos that had but to be fully tested and licensed.
Vingradov, who flew on three missions to the Russian space keep Mir and to the ISS, most just right this moment in 2013, moreover claimed that Soyuz is more cost-effective than Crew Dragon, nonetheless did not deliver by how noteworthy. “And when it is miles alleged that the entirety in Dragon is low cost and legit, to construct it mildly, now not so,” he stated.
Vinogradov’s reluctance is echoed by other Russian officials. Feeble NASA astronaut Tom Stafford, who chairs the agency’s International Dwelling Space Advisory Committee, stated at a March 30 meeting that Russian officials he met with final December private been reluctant to skim their cosmonauts on preliminary flights of commercial crew autos, normally identified as U.S. Crew Autos, or USCV.
“The Russian side great that, previous to agreeing to the blended crew opinion, there wants to attain success USCV launches,” he stated. “Roscosmos will acquire in thoughts participation after winning launches, nonetheless is now not going to participate within the first open of the automobile.”
NASA and Musk, despite the truth that, could per chance well presumably just acquire the final laugh. Musk responded to Rogozin’s congratulatory tweet with a response in Russian. “Thanks, sir, ha-ha. We search for forward to mutually purposeful and prosperous lengthy-term cooperation.”
About a days after the trade, Rogozin’s Twitter myth was rebranded as an official Roscosmos myth, and quite a lot of his earlier inflammatory tweets had been deleted.