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.
In a Telegram message on Saturday, Roscosmos chief Dmitry Rogozin questioned where on Earth the ISS would crash if it fell out of orbit.
The ISS partners have been asked to withdraw the “unlawful” punitive measures against Russian companies, Rogozin said.
Roscosmos is responsible for maintaining the ISS and flights to it.
A Soyuz space capsule is scheduled to return to Earth from the human outpost on March 30, carrying US astronaut Mark Vande Hei and cosmonauts Anton Shkaplerov and Pyotr Dubrov. German astronaut Matthias Maurer is to remain on board the ISS.
Several companies in Russia that are important for space travel are affected by the tightened sanctions.
The ISS is ageing but so far, there are no plans as to when the ISS will finally be taken out of service.
Recently, Roscosmos announced it was suspending deliveries of rocket engines to the United States in response to US sanctions.