Moscow (Sputnik) May 16, 2022 Susan Helms, a former NASA astronaut and a member of the NASA...
Susan Helms, a former NASA astronaut and a member of the NASA Aerospace Safety Advisory Panel, has said that the International Space Station's partnership with Russia is experiencing some "Administrative difficulties" due to Western sanctions imposed on the country over its military operation in Ukraine.
"The geopolitical sanctions that have been levied on Russia that we've seen happen in the last few months have created an environment where there are some administrative difficulties that are becoming apparent," the SpaceNews portal quoted Helms as saying on Friday.
She called the suspension of airpline flights to Russia and the impossibility to use foreign bank cards in the country the examples of such difficulties, adding that some NASA personnel and their families had to "Voluntary depart" from Russia.
Microsoft's suspension of support for products in Russia is another example of how sanctions are having a "Peripheral impact" on Moscow's contribution to the operations of the ISS, the astronaut said.
"NASA and Russia are continuing to work cooperatively to determine root cause, risk margins and mitigations," Helms said, adding that "The work, training and preparations in Moscow that is happening and has always happened for our international partnership with Russia on the International Space Station is continuing without any serious interruptions."
Russia launched a military operation in Ukraine on February 24 after the breakaway Donetsk and Lugansk people's republics appealed for help in fending off Ukrainian forces.
The United States and other allies of Ukraine have since been imposing sanctions on Russia.
In mid-April, the European Space Agency ended its cooperation with Russian space agency Roscosmos on three missions to the Moon and the collaboration on Mars mission dubbed ExoMars.
After a 24-hour delay to be sure of weather conditions in the Atlantic Ocean, NASA's Crew-3 returned to Earth on Friday with a splashdown in the Gulf of Mexico just off the coast of Florida.
NASA's Raja Chari, Kayla Barron and Tom Marshburn and Germany's Matthias Maurer splashed down in their Dragon Endurance capsule at 12:43 a.m. EDT. "We're glad to be back," Chari told the SpaceX team at mission control.