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'We work together' - US-Russian space station work business as usual

Plans for the return to Earth of an American astronaut in a Russian Soyuz spacecraft are still moving ahead
FILED - 02 December 2021, ---: A picture from NASA astronaut Thomas Marshburn's camera shows the International Space Station (ISS) and the Earth below. The chief of the Russian space agency Roscosmos suggested the International Space Station (ISS) could crash, as he railed against Western sanctions imposed on Russia in the wake of the invasion of Ukraine. Photo: NASA/dpa - ATTENTION: editorial use only and only if the credit mentioned above is referenced in full
A picture from NASA astronaut Thomas Marshburn shows the International Space Station (ISS) and the Earth below. Photo: NASA/dpa.

US space exploration agency NASA says it remains committed to cooperating with Russia on operating the International Space Station (ISS), despite Russia's recent invasion of Ukraine and the sanctions the US has heaped on Moscow in response.

"We work together. We have worked together over 20 years and we will continue doing that," Joel Montalbano, NASA's ISS programme manager, said during a Monday press conference.

"We are aware of what's going on, but we are able to continue to do our jobs. Nothing has changed in the last three weeks."

He said the whole point of the ISS project was cooperation.

"It's not a process where one group can continue without the other. We all have to work together to be successful."

US astronaut in Russian spacecraft

Plans for the return to Earth of US astronaut Mark Vande Hei and Russian cosmonauts Anton Shkaplerov and Pyotr Dubrov in a Russian Soyuz capsule at the end of the month are still moving ahead," said Montalbano.

"I can tell you for sure, Mark is coming home on that Soyuz," he said. "We are in communication with our Russian colleagues ... [They] have confirmed that they are bringing the whole crew home."

Roscosmos, the Russian space agency, had already confirmed the return and noted that it had never given any reason for anyone to doubt its reliability.

It further noted that keeping the ISS operating properly was the top priority.

'We work together' - US-Russian space station work business as usual
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