There have been a lot of people protesting the war in Russia, and in a time where such protest can get you locked up–facing a lot of punishment–that’s a brave thing to do. They’ve been protesting since the first day of the invasion.
But perhaps it’s even more dangerous an effort to protest when you have a very high-profile position. It’s hard to think of people with a “higher” position than cosmonauts being sent into space, to the International Space Station.
Three Russian cosmonauts arrived at the Station on Saturday, as the first Russian group sent into space since the Russian war against Ukraine began. But when video and pictures of their arrival were shown, they were wearing yellow flight suits with blue on them — the colors of Ukraine.
Russian cosmonauts Oleg Artemyev, Denis Matveev, and Sergey Korsakov have entered the International Space Station to begin their six-and-a-half month expedition.
Their arrival temporarily raises the station’s crew complement to 10.https://t.co/GAptC5htE9 pic.twitter.com/wBJpOQAaf5
— Spaceflight Now (@SpaceflightNow) March 18, 2022
Great to see such a warm welcome of the new crew on the ISS! #SoyuzMS21 Love their suits!💛💙 pic.twitter.com/BB9ss1Ittn
— Katya Pavlushchenko (@katlinegrey) March 18, 2022
Oleg Artemyev, Denis Matveev and Sergey Korsakov blasted off from Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan for a six-month stay aboard the orbiting laboratory yesterday, joining the crew of two Russians, four Americans and one German.
In an extraordinary move, the three new arrivals emerged from their Soyuz capsule after docking with the space station wearing bright yellow jumpsuits with blue stripes, instead of the standard-issue blue uniform. [….]
The colour scheme and its dramatic divergence from usual dress codes drew gasps from Nasa officials and members of Nasa’s astronaut corps. “Wow. Just wow,” said Terry Virts, a former US commander of the ISS.
They were asked about the suits. Artemyev said that the crew gets to pick its style of flight suit, “It became our turn to pick a color. But in fact, we had accumulated a lot of yellow material so we needed to use it,” he joked. “So that’s why we had to wear yellow.”
They were wearing blue suits on the way up and changed into these outfits basically for the arrival cameras. Is it a protest or for another reason? If there was another reason, it’s being interpreted as a protest of the Russian action. So, add that to one more thing that Vladimir Putin isn’t going to like when he hears about it. We reported earlier about the Defense Ministry Twitter account getting mocked for posting a video of a Russian helicopter having to make a forced landing after getting shot.
The two Russians who were on the International Space Station and one of the Americans, Mark Vande Hei, are scheduled to come back at the end of the month on March 30. Dimitry Rogozin has suggested that they might leave Vande Hei behind, but NASA said that they have been guaranteed his safety and even if the Russians did so, they would have alternative plans to get him home.
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