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Raumfahrt - ISS-ALLtag: Roscosmos chief hopes not granting US visa to cosmonaut Chub a mistake that can be fixed

24.01.2022

Rogozin added that "those cold winds that are now blowing from Washington and Brussels" in the direction of Russia might have begun to be projected onto the space field as well

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The United States’ refusal to issue a visa to Russian cosmonaut Nikolay Chub is a misunderstanding that the US can still repair, Director General of Russia’s space corporation Roscosmos Dmitry Rogozin said on Saturday.

"I hope that we have encountered a misunderstanding, so we will give our American counterparts a chance to fix this misunderstanding. However, it left a bad taste in our mouths," he said aired by the Echo of Moscow radio station.

Rogozin added that "those cold winds that are now blowing from Washington and Brussels" in the direction of Russia might have begun to be projected onto the space field as well.

Earlier in the day, Roscosmos announced that the safety of Russian cosmonaut Nikolay Chub during his mission on the International Space Station (ISS), scheduled for 2023, was called into question after the United States had denied him a visa. The state corporation explained that Chub needs the US entry visa for his first five-day training session on the replica of the US orbital segment. The visa refusal brings up the question of at least changing Chub’s training schedule, Roscosmos added.

Earlier, a source familiar with the situation told TASS that without any explanations, the United States had refused to issue a visa to Nikolay Chub, who was supposed to arrive in the US to undergo training at the NASA Johnson Space Center. The Roscosmos CEO later confirmed this information specifying that he had asked NASA to clarify their position on the matter.

Training

Training of foreign astronauts at Russia’s Yury Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center and of Russian cosmonauts at the Johnson Space Center is a routine practice, giving space crews knowledge of the US and Russian orbital segments of the International Space Station. Such training sessions are held regardless of what kind of spacecraft will be used to deliver cosmonauts and astronauts to the orbit.

Nikolay Chub is a member of the backup crew of ISS Expedition 68, which is to fly to the orbital outpost aboard the Soyuz MS-22 spacecraft in September 2022. He is also a member of Expedition 69’s main crew, to be delivered to the ISS by a Soyuz MS-23 spacecraft in the spring of 2023.

Quelle: TASS

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Update: 28.01.2022

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Russian cosmonaut Nikolay Chub receives American visa to train in US — Roscosmos

The cosmonaut is to participate in a training session at the Johnson Space Center, which is what all cosmonauts do before a flight to the ISS

The United States has issued a visa to Russian cosmonaut Nikolay Chub so that he can train at NASA’s Johnson Space Center, Russia’s Roscosmos state space corporation said in a statement.

"The US has issued an entry visa to Roscosmos cosmonaut Nikolay Chub. The cosmonaut plans to travel to the US to participate in a training session at the Johnson Space Center, which is what all cosmonauts do before a flight to the ISS," the statement reads.

Roscosmos said on January 22 that the United States’ refusal to issue a visa to Chub raised a question over his safety during his 2023 mission to the International Space Station (ISS). According to the Russian space corporation, the cosmonaut needed a US visa for a five-week session to learn about the US segment of the space station.

Foreign astronauts usually get training sessions at Russia’s Yury Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center located in Zvyozdny Gorodok (or Star City) outside Moscow, while Russian cosmonauts train at the Johnson Space Center in Houston, obtaining knowledge about the Russian and US segments of the ISS respectively. Training sessions are held regardless of what spacecraft is planned to be used to deliver cosmonauts and astronauts to orbit.

Chub is a member of the backup crew for the ISS Expedition 68, scheduled to travel to the orbital outpost aboard the Soyuz MS-22 spacecraft in September. He is also part of the main crew of the Expedition 69 that will be delivered to the ISS by a Soyuz MS-23 spacecraft in the spring of 2023.

Quelle: TASS

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Russian cosmonaut secures U.S. visa after initial denial

chub

 

WASHINGTON — A Russian cosmonaut has received a visa to come to the United States for routine space station training after initially having his application rejected, an incident that’s raised questions about how increased tensions over Ukraine might affect space.

Roscosmos officials, including its head, Dmitry Rogozin, complained Jan. 22 that the United States had refused to issue a visa to cosmonaut Nikolai Chub so he could go to NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston for training on International Space Station systems. Such training is routine for all visitors for to the station.

“We never had the idea of denying a visa to any U.S. astronaut who was on his way to Star City to train for space flight,” Rogozin wrote on social media, referring to the Russian cosmonaut training center outside Moscow. “What the US authorities have done with our cosmonaut’s entry visa is a dangerous precedent for cooperation on the International Space Station.”

In an interview with a Moscow radio station, Rogozin linked the visa issue with growing tensions between Russia and the West as Russia moves military units to near the Ukrainian border. Rogozin said “those cold winds that are now blowing from Washington and Brussels” might now be affecting space relations.

U.S. officials declined to comment on the visa issue. A State Department spokesperson said Jan. 24 that federal law kept visa records confidential, so the department could not discuss a specific case. The spokesperson added there have been “serious staffing constraints” at the U.S. Embassy in Moscow but that it “continues to prioritize visas for official travelers.”

There was no obvious reason why Chub would be denied a visa. Selected as a cosmonaut candidate in 2012 after working in industry, he has yet to fly in space. He is assigned as part of the backup crew for the Soyuz MS-22 mission to the ISS launching in the fall of 2022 and the prime crew for the Soyuz MS-23 mission to the station in the spring of 2023.

The visa problem appears to be solved. Roscosmos announced Jan. 26 that the U.S. granted Chub a visa for training at the Johnson Space Center but did not mention the earlier denial of the visa. “We have visas, no problems,” Rogozin wrote. “We continue to work with NASA.”

It’s unclear if there will continue to be no problems if Russia invades Ukraine, as many American and European officials, including President Joe Biden, expect in the coming weeks. ISS operations were largely unaffected by Russia’s incursion into Ukraine and annexation of Crimea in 2014 despite threats by Rogozin, then the deputy prime minister, to cut off NASA’s access to Soyuz spacecraft that were the only means then to transport crews to and from the station.

At a Jan. 18 meeting of the NASA Advisory Council’s Human Exploration and Operations Committee, Robyn Gatens, ISS director at NASA headquarters, said the U.S. and Russian governments were making progress on an agreement to exchange seats between Soyuz and commercial crew missions. That agreement was currently being reviewed by Russia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

“We are in the meantime working towards this crew swap agreement this coming fall,” she said. That would allow Roscosmos cosmonaut Anna Kikina to go on the Crew-5 Crew Dragon mission in the fall and a NASA astronaut, likely to be Frank Rubio, on Soyuz MS-22.

“The United States values the important bilateral cooperation on the International Space Station,” the State Department said Jan. 24 when contacted about the visa issue.

Quelle: SN

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