Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin took to Twitter this week to show his feelings about the United States most recent sanctions. On Tuesday, Rogozin tweeted:
Проанализировав санкции против нашего космопрома, предлагаю США доставлять своих астронавтов на МКС с помощью батута http://t.co/8zGQhr9GVi— Dmitry Rogozin (@Rogozin) April 29, 2014
The translation: "After analyzing the sanctions against our space industry, I suggest that the USA bring their astronauts to the International Space Station using a trampoline."
Rogozin's reaction is a dig at the most recent sanctions leveled by the U.S. in response to the Ukraine crisis. The White House issued a statement that they will "deny export license applications for any high-technology items that could contribute to Russia’s military capabilities. Those Departments also will revoke any existing export licenses that meet these conditions." This directly impacts the Russian tech sector, specifically satellites and the defense industry.
NASA was banned from contacting the Russian government in early April, but they still have access to the Space Station as it is owned by fifteen countries. However, the United States relies completely on Russian rockets to get their astronauts to the ISS, or at least it did until Monday.
Khrunichev, a state owned spacecraft company, has contracts to launch five commercial satellites this year for foreign clients. Alexander Bobrenyov, Khrunichev Center's spokesman, told Reuters that, "We are ready to carry out all the commercial launches we have planned for this year and we hope that will be the case. We have all the necessary permits to that end." Depending on the reach of U.S. sanctions, these permits could be revoked.
Space has long been the preferred battlefield for Russia and the United States, dating back to the Cold War. The "space race" was "won" decades ago, the countries work together a great deal in order to make progress in the cosmos. Some American Air Force rockets even use Russian made engines, a fact that noted rocket enthusiast Elon Musk said could be a violation of the new sanctions. Perhaps the U.S. can ask Musk to build that trampoline for them.