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A painting of Russian ISS cosmonauts in colors similar to the flag of Ukraine

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Three Russian cosmonauts blasted off to the International Space Station early Friday. A few hours later, their Soyuz spacecraft docked at the space station, and when they climbed to the orbital position, they were in flight suits of amazing colors – yellow and blue, similar to the colors of the Ukrainian flag.

The Russian cosmonauts didn’t say anything that would suggest their clothes were a political statement. However, it seemed hard to believe that it was just a coincidence. The clothes that astronauts wear in orbit on a daily basis tend to be muted. But recent crews from Russia donned vibrant flight suits of various colors as they arrived, including Yulia Peresild, an actress who arrived at the station in November in bold red coat.

Flight suits are usually prepared and packed months in advance, but alternatives could have been added among the last items to be loaded onto the spacecraft, Eric Berger, a space correspondent for the Ars Technica website, said.

Jonathan McDowell, a scientist at the Harvard Center for Astrophysics who closely follows space missions, suggested that the colors might actually be those of Bauman State Technical University in Moscow, which was attended by the three cosmonauts – Oleg Artemyev, Denis Matveev and Sergey Korsakov. University official Speak as a guest on Russian live From launch on Friday.

However, Mr. Berger noted that the colors of the flight suit more closely match the colors of the Ukrainian flag.

The Russian space program and some of its partners and clients have caused collateral damage to the war in Ukraine and the sanctions that followed. European Space Agency On Thursday suspended a mission to Mars It was to be launched on a Russian missile. earlier this month, OneWeb, a British satellite company owned in part by the British government, has canceled launches of its Internet satellites that were to travel using Russian Soyuz missiles.

Dmitry Rogozin, the head of Russia’s space agency, Roscosmos, responded with a series of provocative messages on Twitter, including retweeting a satirical video suggesting Russia is leaving behind Mark Vandy He, a NASA astronaut set to return to Earth in the Russian Soyuz sometime later. later this month. Mr. Rogozin publicly feuded with Scott Kellyretired astronaut holds the record for consecutive days in space by an American until recently passed by Mr. Vande Hee.

In public statements, NASA officials ignored Rogozin’s comments and insisted operations continue as normal with their Russian counterparts. They said there was no change in the plans for Mr. Vande Hee’s return.

A pair of SpaceX’s Crew Dragon spacecraft crew will fly to the station next month – one a private crew of tourists with Axiom, the other a mix of NASA and ESA astronauts.

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