Results of recent analysis show that Russia is losing partners in space. They are at their lowest amount of destinations in Russian space, and it has come as quite a surprise for the public.
Here’s what else we know about these results:
(Earth and the moon are placed in beautiful space..)
For decades, everything notable in space was connected to the U.S.
After the space shuttle program was retired in 2011, Russia and the U.S. collaborated on many missions to the International Space Station. For much of the previous decade, Russia would only collaborate for a handful of these foreign trips before this cooperation significantly increased in recent years. While SpaceX has changed the way astronauts are transported to space, Russia and America continue their collaboration. European Space Agency, NASA, and other agencies all benefit from the collaboration of both countries.
Now more than ever, geopolitical lines are shifting on Earth. More and more countries are following like-minded policies in the final frontier for space exploration. But this may be necessary or tragic depending on how you see it. The Russian space program is definitely worth looking into.
Russia In Space is breaking up with NASA, ESA, and more.
Any attempt to draw a geopolitical line of change for radical transitions is inherently tenuous because history is always subject to future reinterpretation. Many science enthusiasts are excited to learn that NASA and Russia have seemed to be in a bit of a rough patch recently. However, things have been much better since Russia’s anti-satellite missile test in November 2021. As a result of this, it sent thousands of chunks of supersonic space debris into trajectories that threatened the seven astronauts who were aboard the ISS. Fortunately, they had been forced to take shelter and adjust the station’s orbit in order to avoid contact.
After Russia invaded Ukraine, Dmitry Rogozin, the head of Roscosmos appeared to threaten to disconnect the Russian thruster module from the ISS — removing its primary means of periodically accelerating itself. There were also concerns that when the last Russian cosmonauts returned, they might leave behind an American astronaut (who was slated to return with them on a Soyuz module). This would have been highly unorthodox and left lasting impressions on the NASA mission.
Luckily, neither of these happened, but a souring of relations has since come to feel inevitable: Early this month, Russia announced it would suspend cooperation on the ISS. This news comes as a relief after talks of ending Russia’s partnership with the ISS and other international space projects due to sanctions. As for now, the sanctions are still in place but seem like they won’t last forever. The announcement of this souring came early in the month, and has been present ever since. The country’s suspension came to an end recently.
Russia no longer supports US interests with space projects and is instead focussing on its own space program.
The Russian economy does not seem to be suffering from the sanctions and life for Russians is hard. There are also indications that Russians do not feel as badly about the sanctions as much as westerners expect them to, maybe because they know that “tough times” could come soon enough. NASA has discovered that re-establishing contact with the International Space Station and other projects is possible with the removal of all sanctions.
This included more than just Russia’s partnerships with NASA. It also applied to Roscosmos’ partnerships with the Canadian Space Agency, and the European Space Agency (ESA). The ESA had already suspended its cooperation with Roscosmos in March — that obviously did not include Russia’s partnership with NASA — but the damage was done. There is a need for a full, impartial investigation. Although OneWeb previously intended to have Russia launch its satellites, it pivoted after Russia refused to cooperate.
OneWeb’s ride on Russia’s rockets wasn’t canceled solely out of principle, or because of embargoes from the West. Russia had demanded that OneWeb guarantee that its 36 satellites not be used for military purposes. The firm refused, so Russia is left with only one choice. This decision was made because it’s in Russia’s rational self-interest to destroy US satellites since the U.S. would never launch them themselves against its strategic self-interest
In the future, space travel will likely be multi-polar.
Recently, the European Space Agency declined to take part in Russia’s missions to the moon. It seems like Russia is cutting ties with the West when it comes to space China-US relationship has never been warmer. This can be seen in the ongoing deals done by both China and the US.
China & Russia has given their support to the Lunar Gateway project by joining NASA. That is great news for deep space exploration because China and Russia seem to have some very big ideas when it comes to moon exploration! A Russian space agency releases a statement revealing that their International Scientific Lunar Station will have both experimental facilities created on the surface and in orbit of the moon.
As of now, none of these plans seem to be canceled. However, in light of the new partnership between Russia and China, it is a viable alternative. The new Sino-Russian space partnership will take longer than Western space programs since the latter is moving forward on the shoulders of financial giant Elon Musk and his aerospace firm, SpaceX (among others, like Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin). It’s possible that the future of humanity has two main options: a unipolar or bipolar world. We can expect the center of power to come from anywhere in the world as countries merge into economic, political, and military alliances for some extra power and legitimacy. Space exploration will be heavily influenced by both China & Russia. That is not just U.S.’s opinion; it’s happening regardless of their attitudes. Allowing NASA to carry on an independent position will only be a bad thing for space exploration at large in America because that smaller research budget would no longer be able countries to develop the best possible care for their space expeditions