Roscosmos-NASA Partnership on ISS at Risk Due to U.S. Sanctions on Semiconductor Supply

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  • 07:06 AM, June 16, 2021
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Roscosmos-NASA Partnership on ISS at Risk Due to U.S. Sanctions on Semiconductor Supply

Russian space agency Roscosmos said that the United States will be responsible for its withdrawal from the International Space Station (ISS) agreement owing to the sanctions imposed on it that is affecting semiconductor supply.

Roscosmos Director General Dmitry Rogozin told Russian state media on Tuesday that American sanctions limited the supply of microelectronics to Russia, affecting its production of spacecraft and satellite launches. “Semiconductors come under direct sanctions. We have more than enough rockets but nothing to launch them with. We have spacecraft that are nearly assembled, but they lack one specific microchip set that we have no way of purchasing because of the sanctions,” the top official stated.

Several Russian space enterprises including Samara RCC Progress and Central Scientific Research Institute of Mechanical Engineering (TsNIIMash) are included in the U.S. sanctions lists that require American companies to obtain special licenses to export, re-export or transfer products to the Russian companies.

“If the sanctions against Progress and TsNIIMash remain and are not disavowed in the near future, the issue of Russia's withdrawal from the ISS will be the responsibility of the American partners,” he said, adding that sanctions against Progress RCC and TsNIIMash were illegal.

“Either we work together, in which case the sanctions are lifted immediately, or we will not work together and we will deploy our own station,” Rogozin threatened.  Russia is about to launch a new docking module to the ISS this summer that could serve as the hub of an independent complex.

The space agency is losing a new contract to provide British company One Web with second generation communication satellites due to the sanctions, the official claims.

In April, Maksim Ovchinnikov, first deputy general director of the state corporation for economics and finance, said in an interview with Interfax that one of Roscosmos's partners had abandoned a satellite launch contract due to the sanctions.

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