Elon Musk has stated that SpaceX will rescue the International Space Station (ISS) from “uncontrolled deorbit” after the head of Russia’s space agency warned that it may fall into the United States or Europe.
Dmitry Rogozin, the head of Roscosmos, stated that Russian expertise was maintaining the ISS in orbit and warned that sanctions on Russia for its invasion of Ukraine might result in a disaster.
“If you block cooperation with us, who will save the ISS from an uncontrolled deorbit and fall into the United States and Europe?” the space chief tweeted on Friday.
“There is also the option of dropping a 500-ton 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?”
SpaceX CEO Elon Musk responded by tweeting that his company would save the International Space Station from collapsing.
The International Space Station (ISS) has operated in orbit for almost 21 years, inhabited by a multinational crew from 15 different nations.
Following Russia’s military action against Ukraine last week, NASA stated that it will “continue as before… [despite] disagreements between our countries.”
The International Space Station will be decommissioned in 2030, with current plans calling for a controlled deorbit over the Pacific.
Mr Musk hinted that if Russia’s role in the orbiting laboratory stops before then, the Russian Segment may be replaced with a SpaceX Dragon capable of reboost and altitude control.
Mr Musk announced over the weekend that SpaceX was also aiding Ukraine by providing high-speed internet via its Starlink satellite network in response to a request from Ukraine’s vice prime minister.