Mr. Elon Musk, it looks like America and one of her astronauts aboard the International Space Station might need you. You know, the place where your space capsules have gone to a number of times, and have allowed the United States to not depend on the Russians for a lift up and back home.
Yeah, that place.
In what can only be described as living proof that a mess on Earth can leak into space, it seems that the Putin World Tour of ticking off everyone on the ground (except China, Iran, North Korea, and Belarus) has made its way into the heavens.
Approximately 254 miles up, anyway.
While all this mayhem goes on the Big Blue Marble we call Earth, there are astronauts from Russia and the United States looking on at the big, floating rock below, and probably scratching their heads at the madness. They work and live in close quarters, which is probably not a problem most of the time, but nowadays, it might be a tad bit weird.
When a crew transfer happens in the next month, it might get a bit more awkward, after Dmitry Rogozin, who is the head of the Russian Space Agency, made a bit of a veiled threat about not bringing back an American scheduled to leave on the Russian capsule.
From the New York Post
An American astronaut aboard the International Space Station is set to return to Earth with two Russian cosmonauts next month — but his trip home has been marred by uncertainty after a Vladimir Putin ally reportedly threatened to leave him behind.
The scheduled return to Earth for US astronaut Mark Vande Hei was thrown into question after Dmitry Rogozin, the head of Russia’s Space Agency, made the threats in a Feb. 26 video that he posted to social media, ABC News reported.
Vande Hei’s warning came after President Biden announced sanctions on Russia in response to Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine.
Biden said the sanctions would “degrade” Russia’s aerospace industry and space program, according to the report.
How does one say, “Let’s Go, Dmitry” in Russian?
The whole idea of the I.S.S. was to have governments cooperate with operating a space station, which would (hopefully) force or teach the folks down here to behave. That concept has seemed to work for over two decades, even when Russia invaded Georgia and Crimea. When George W. Bush made the boneheaded decision to end the Space Shuttle program, which left America depending on Russia for rides to and from the I.S.S., that put us behind in our space exploration.
Thankfully, the private sector, led by Elon Musk and his company Space X in conjunction with NASA, recently allowed the United States to forgo depending in Russia for rides, and now can send manned rockets from the United States’ soil again.
In all honesty, I have no idea if Dmitry Rogozin is being serious about leaving any American on the station while defending his boss Putin’s boneheaded decision to invade Ukraine. That he would even joke about such a thing, when tensions are at an all-time high over this illegal action, shows that, once again, the Russians do public relations about as well as Kamala Harris taking a European tour reassures our allies.
As I wrote about Mr. Musk a week ago in my post, Elon Musk Puts Country Before Profit in New Tweet That Will Upset Democrats, we may once again need to rely on his common sense and rockets. Thankfully, he had the vision and the drive to pursue his dream of making space travel possible for the private sector, and it is available now.
So, if the Russian temper tantrum continues, we will not have anyone stranded over 200 miles above the Earth, wondering why they are being used as political pawns for the Russian drive for more oil and money.
Thank God for Elon Musk and Space X.
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