A political message in space?  Astronauts aboard the International Space Station wear the colors of Ukraine

A political message in space?
Astronauts on the International Space Station wear the colors of Ukraine

The three new Russian cosmonauts on the International Space Station wear yellow suits with blue spots upon their arrival. According to their own statements, they had almost no other choice. But the decision is up to the astronauts themselves.

coincidence? it’s improbably. Three Russian cosmonauts arrived at the International Space Station (ISS) – they are dressed in yellow suits with blue spots, that is, the colors of the Ukrainian flag. According to media reports, cosmonaut Oleg Artemyev said that they chose the suits themselves. “In fact, we collected a lot of yellow materials that we had to use,” he is quoted by the New York Post as saying. “That’s why we had to wear yellow.”

So it is not entirely clear if there is actually a political message behind it. It is unlikely that the astronauts missed the comparison. The Russian crew took off from Russia’s Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan about three hours before docking – wearing white and blue suits.

Live images from NASA show Artemyev, Denis Matveyev and Sergey Korsakov receiving applause as they docked their Soyuz MS-21 spacecraft to the International Space Station. Shortly after that, they circled the International Space Station and were greeted by their colleagues – Russians Anton Shkaplerov and Piotr Dubrow, Americans Mark Vande Hey, Thomas Marshburne, Raja Chari and Kayla Barron, and Germany’s Matthias Maurer. The latter, who was celebrating his fifty-second birthday, had previously announced that he would invite the entire crew for a meal after the docking.

The name of the spaceship is also symbolic

The sanctions imposed on Moscow over the attack on Ukraine have significantly affected space cooperation between the United States and Russia – although both sides maintain that they want to continue operating the International Space Station for the time being. However, Roskosmos left the future open recently after the contract expired in 2024.

The Soyuz missiles launched on Friday are named after Soviet missile designer Sergei Korolev, born in Zhytomyr in 1907. The city is now in Ukraine.

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