NASA emergency: Russia shares horrifying map of where ISS crash zone: ‘Price of sanctions’

Russia's ISS threat discussed by Terry Virts

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The head of Rosocosmos, Russia’s space agency, has warned that the station, which is also home to NASA astronauts, could be sent tumbling back to Earth after sanctions were placed on his country. NASA has scheduled the ISS to be decommissioned in 2031, but experts fear that its end may come sooner if the Kremlin decides to cut ties.

The first two components of the ISS come from the Russian modules “Zarya” and “Zvezda”, which use their engines to raise the orbit of the ISS from time to time when the upper layers of the atmosphere begin slowing down the station.

If Vladimir Putin decided to decouple these two modules, some experts have warned that the ISS would only survive for a short period of time before it enters Earth’s atmosphere.

Dmitry Rogozin, the head of Roscosmos stoked these fears on Twitter, sharing a horrifying map of where Russia could let the ISS crash.

Describing the sanctions imposed by the West on Russia over the invasion of Ukraine as “illegal”, he said that the restrictions could disrupt the operations of Russian vessels servicing the ISS.

In Telegram posts, Mr Rogozin listed the Russian segments’ utilities, warning that it “provides duplication of the life support systems of the American segment”.

These utilities include obtaining oxygen, removing carbon dioxide, and removing harmful impurities from the atmosphere.

He added: “Also, Russian means provide backup of voice and telemetry communications of the American segment of the station with ground control points.”

In one post he shared a map, saying it was “created by American astronomers arguing with me” but “just shows that Russia would be least endangered by the destruction of the ISS”.

The map shows that the ISS could crash nearly anywhere on Earth, with only Russia, part of Northern Europe and Northern Canada being relatively safe.

Mr Rogozin warned that western countries, “including those led by the dogs of war” should reconsider “the price of the sanctions they initiated against Roscosmos”.

He added: “The price of international space cooperation maniacally destroyed by the West. Crazy.”

Mr Rogozin has previously threatened to crash the ISS before, even warning that US and Europe would be in peril.

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Raging against the sanctions imposed by the US, he said: “Do you want to destroy our cooperation on the ISS?

“This is how you already do it by limiting exchanges between our cosmonaut and astronaut training centres.

“If you block cooperation with us, who will save the ISS from an uncontrolled deorbit and fall into the US or Europe?

“There is also the option of dropping the 500-tonne structure to India and China.

“Do you want to threaten them with such a prospect?

“The ISS does not fly over Russia, so all the risks are yours. Are you ready for them?”

But former US astronaut Scott Kelly previously rubbished these claims.

He told ABC News: “I never thought I would hear anything so outrageous.

“I think it is just a crazy threat. It is not really based on reality.

“We do have the ability to control the orbit of the space station independent of the Russian space agency, so I don’t really see that happening.”

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