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Elon Musk says SpaceX will protect space station after Russia threatens to let it crash

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Elon Musk says SpaceX will protect space station after Russia threatens to let it crash

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Elon Musk said his company SpaceX can protect the International Space Station (ISS) if Russia Roscosmos reneged on its commitments and chose to let it crash back to earth. While the US is responsible for the power and computational system aboard the ISS, Russia is responsible for keeping the ISS stable in its orbit.

Elon Musk says SpaceX will protect space station after Russia threatens to let it crash
Elon Musk, the world’s richest man and the CEO-founder of SpaceX, has said that his company can protect the International Space Station after Roscosmos, the Russian space agency, threatened to let it crash back to Earth.
Russian Space Chief Dmitry Rogozin, in a series of tweets, threatened the US over the sanctions imposed on Russia after President Vladimir Putin launched a full-scale invasion of Ukraine, under the pretext of “denazifying” a country with a Jewish President.
Rogozin said that sanctions would mean the cessation of cooperation on the International Space Station, which relies on Russian modules to guide it and keep it in a stable geocentric orbit about 400 km above the surface of the planet.
“If you block cooperation with us, who will save the ISS from an uncontrolled deorbit and fall into the United States and Europe?” Rogozin tweeted in Russian.
The answer to that question was delivered by Musk in his usual cheeky style.
“SpaceX,” Musk tweeted.
Musk in a reply to another user clarified that he meant that SpaceX would protect the ISS from deorbit in case the Roscosmos pull their modules from the international research lab.
The 420-tonne ISS is made up of various modules that have been constructed with the help of 10 European countries (represented by ESA), the US (NASA), Japan (JAXA), Canada (CSA) and Russia (Roscosmos). The ISS represents the biggest multinational “cooperative programme in science and technology to date,” as per the ESA.
The space research facility orbits the Earth at a speed of 28,000 kmph, completing a rotation every 90 minute. Its orbit takes it over Europe, US, India and China, while according to Rogozin it doesn’t pass over Russia.
The ISS is not completely in zero-gravity, but at the edges of Earth’s gravitational pull. It is for that reason that Russia periodically has to send cargo ship thrusters to keep the ISS from deorbiting itself.
Now, in case Russia stops sending its thrusters, SpaceX Dragon cargo spacecraft can dock to the ISS and ensure that the ISS remains stable.
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