US astronaut rides Russian spacecraft to earth

March 15, 2022
Increasing tensions between Russia and the U.S. could impact decades of work in space.

We need an example set that two countries that historically have not been on the most friendly of terms, can still work somewhere peacefully. And that somewhere is the International Space Station. That’s why we need to fight to keep it.

Retired NASA astronaut Scott Kelly on the emerging tensions between Russia and the U.S. regarding operations at the International Space Station.
  • U.S. astronaut Mark Vande Hei is scheduled to return to earth on a Russian capsule on March 30. While NASA has confirmed that the trip is still on track, the war in Ukraine has begun to impact work in space – including broken contracts and canceled launches.
  • As of today, Vande Hei has broken the U.S. single spaceflight record of 340 days. The world record of continuous days spent in space, 438, belongs to Russia.
  • NASA hopes to keep the International Space Station running until 2030. The Canadian, European, and Japanese space agencies are in agreement. However, Russia has not committed beyond 2024 or so, which was the original end date.

Why It Matters: The U.S. and Russia are the two main operators of the International Space Station. Rising tensions have the potential to alter future space missions.

US Astronaut to ride Russian spacecraft home during tensions

by Jenna Lee,