Scott Kelly, shown here in the cupola of the International Space Station, completed a yearlong space mission in March 2016.
Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine led to a twitter feud between a former NASA astronaut Scott Kelly with a senior Russian space official. Kelly plans to halt this Twitter fight.
In a CNN report that came out on Tuesday (March 5) Kelly stated that he and other former agency astronauts should stop such feuds as it could result in damaging the International Space Station (ISS) partnership.
The feud took place on March 2 and since then Kelly has been a vocal opponent of the Russian invasion. His tweets have been targeted upon Russian federal space agency Roscosmos and its chief, Dmitry Rogozin. Who responded with insults as well and blocked Kelly on Twitter.
Kelly told CNN that he intends to stop his fight with Rogozin. “I didn’t have to, but I respect NASA, NASA’s position and the (official) that sent it,” Kelly said, adding that he plans to continue tweeting in fluent Russian about his opposition to the war.
Kelly explained why he took up the twar with Rogozin.
In the early 1990s, our countries’ space agencies were willing to work together to ease Cold War tensions, and so the United States and Russia agreed to embark on a shared space station,” Kelly wrote in the op-ed.
“To me,” he added, “it has always been one of the great achievements of our nations that we came together to build and operate an orbiting station as a peaceful cooperation, and I was privileged to serve there.”
However, as Kelly stated in his op-ed, recent statements by Rogozin and Roscosmos have jeopardised the collaboration.
Rogozin “threatened to let the space station de-orbit and crash into the United States” last month, Kelly wrote. “Russia is responsible for the rocket reboosts that keep the station at its proper altitude, though NASA spacecraft could take over this responsibility if necessary.”
“More alarmingly, Rogozin posted a bizarre video last week depicting Russian cosmonauts disconnecting the Russian module and flying away from the space station after waving goodbye to American astronaut Mark Vande Hei.”
Vande Hei is scheduled to come home March 30 with two cosmonauts aboard a Russian Soyuz spacecraft, Kelly noted. So, “the video seems to threaten to leave him behind, an unthinkable violation of the trust built between our two countries in space over decades,” he wrote. “I was appalled, so I called [Rogozin] out strongly on Twitter in a rapidly escalating back-and-forth until he ultimately blocked me.”
Kelly ended the op-ed request for peace.
“Putin must end his unlawful and immoral assault on the Ukrainian people, and Americans and Russians must work together to maintain our commitment to our shared humanity and the International Space Station. There is too much to be lost if we don’t,” he wrote.