Russia’s crew onboard the International Space Station (ISS) will stop using the European ERA manipulator arm in response to the European Space Agency’s (ESA) refusal from cooperation on the ExoMars project, CEO of Russia’s state space corporation Roscosmos, Dmitry Rogozin, said on Tuesday, July 12.
“In my turn, I instruct our ISS crew to stop using the European Robotic Arm (ERA). Let [ESA Director General Josef] Aschbacher along with his boss [EU foreign policy chief Josep] Borrell fly to space and do at least something useful in their entire lives,” he wrote on his Telegram channel.
Earlier on Tuesday, the ESA Director General, Josef Aschbacher, wrote on his Twitter account that the ESA Council had decided to suspend cooperation with Roscosmos on the ExoMars programme.
“And did this chief of the European Space Agency think that his decision thwarted the labor of thousands of scientists and engineers in Europe and Russia? Is he ready to take responsibility for sabotaging the joint Mars mission? No, [I mean] not in front of irresponsible bureaucrats in the European Commission like him. Is he ready to take responsibility before humankind?” Rogozin wrote.
He also stressed that Roscosmos will do its best to return Russia’s Kazachok Mars landing module for the ExoMars mission from Italy.