The head of Russia’ space agency, Roscosmos State Space Corporation, Dmitry Rogozin, said his visit to NASA in the United States was cancelled as the 2nd American civil war is underway. The official was scheduled and approved to visit the American space HQ in February but the visit was put on hold due to Congressional interference.
“I think that America is actually engulfed by its second civil war now,” Rogozin said in an interview with Rossiya-24 TV channel, commenting on the reasons behind his visit’s cancellation, reported Russian state news agency TASS.
According to Rogozin, NASA has fallen victim to a domestic struggle in the country and the entire situation with the sanctions lists is “an outrage.” “This is complete international lawlessness and I absolutely don’t care about those motives which guided people in the Obama administration or the current Senate,” the Roscosmos chief stressed.
Roscosmos and NASA have had a decades long relationship in cooperation with the International Space Station; the U.S. still buys Russian rocket engines due to a lack of manufacturing capability of its own.
In October, NASA Director Jim Bridenstine told TASS that he would like Rogozin to come to speak at the Rice University (in Houston, Texas – TASS) during his visit to the US. The Donald Trump Administration made a decision to pause sanctions against the Roscosmos chief in order to let him visit the United States at NASA’s invitation, he noted. Rogozin has been under US sanctions since 2014 in connection with the situation in Ukraine, added TASS.
Russia has lost a large percentage of its satellite launch business due to steep competition from Elon Musk and SpaceX.