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American astronaut Mark Vande Hei could be stuck in the space station because of tensions in Russia

An American astronaut aboard the International Space Station is due to return to Earth next month with two Russian cosmonauts – but his journey home has been marred by uncertainty after an ally of Vladimir Putin reportedly threatened to abandon him.

US astronaut Mark Vande Hei’s planned return to Earth was called into question after Dmitry Rogozin, the head of Russia’s space agency, made the threats in a February 26 video he posted to social media. ABC News reports.

Vande Hei’s warning came after President Joe Biden announced sanctions against Russia in response to Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine.

Biden said the sanctions would “deteriorate” Russia’s aerospace industry and space program, according to the report.

Vande Hei is scheduled to land in Kazakhstan with his two Russian colleagues aboard a Russian spacecraft in about three weeks.

Dmitry Rogozin, head of Russia's space agency Roskosmos, threatened to leave Vande Hei behind.
Dmitry Rogozin, head of Russia’s space agency Roskosmos, threatened to leave Vande Hei behind.
KIRILL KUDRYAVTSEV/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

NASA has not commented on Rogozin’s threats. But after Biden’s comments, the space agency said “no changes are planned” between US and Russian cooperation on the International Space Station.

The US and Russia each operate separate sections of the station. American astronauts relied on Russian spacecraft for their missions, especially before the advent of SpaceX.

Mark Vande Hei looks down at Earth from inside the seven-window dome, the International Space Station's window to the world.  Vande Hei is scheduled to land in Kazakhstan on board a Russian spacecraft in three weeks.
Mark Vande Hei looks down at Earth from inside the seven-window dome, the International Space Station’s window to the world. Vande Hei is scheduled to land in Kazakhstan on board a Russian spacecraft in three weeks.
NASA/ZUMA Press Wire Service/ZUMAPRESS.com

https://nypost.com/2022/03/11/american-astronaut-mark-vande-hei-may-get-stranded-in-space-station-over-russia-tensions/ American astronaut Mark Vande Hei could be stuck in the space station because of tensions in Russia

JACLYN DIAZ

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