What is the impact of Russia's invasion of Ukraine on space development?


NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center

Russia's invasion of Ukraine, which began on February 24, 2022, is a problem that has arisen on the ground, but its aftermath is expected to spread to space. Ars Technica, an IT news site, explains the impact of the invasion of Ukraine on space development around the world.

The Russian invasion of Ukraine will have myriad impacts on spaceflight | Ars Technica

◆ International Space Station
Ars Technica describes the 'most prominent space problem' as the problem of the International Space Station (ISS), which is operated jointly by 15 countries . Among the 15 countries that operate the International Space Station, the United States, which is in charge of operating the gyroscope used for attitude control and the photovoltaic power generation panel that supplies most of the electric power, and the thruster and fuel for maintaining altitude. The two Russian countries were indispensable for the operation of the ISS.

However, the situation changed after the invasion of Ukraine, and the United States began to impose economic sanctions on Russia. President Biden said, 'We will cut off more than 50% of Russia's high-tech imports with our allies, damaging the ability of the Russian army to continue modernization,' and 'decline the aerospace industry, including space exploration.'

US, Europe and Japan, unity under high-tech regulations, 'import halved' due to sanctions against Russia: Jiji.com

In response, Governor Dmitry Rogozin, the head of the Russian space agency, warned 'Who will prevent the fall of the ISS?' It is possible, 'but depending on future developments, there is a possibility that the US Congress will move to exclude Russia from the operation of the ISS.

In fact, Republican Rep. Dan Clay Shaw said, 'It's time to knock out Russians from the operation of the ISS and bring in Ukrainians,' said a private space company run by Elon Musk as Russia's successor. He said he would consider SpaceX ...

Although the context is different, Mr. Elon Musk himself has shown a motivated attitude, such as responding to Rogozin's remark 'Who will prevent the fall of the ISS' with the SpaceX logo image.

Regarding this, Ars Technica said, 'Unless Russia and the United States engage directly, it is most likely that cooperation on the ISS will continue until 2030, but in any case, political tensions in the last 12 months. Given that, the relationship will be disrupted after that. '

◆ Rocket engine
Russia and Ukraine boast a high share of rocket engines, and even the US defense star had a launch vehicle Atlas V equipped with a Russian rocket engine RD-180 before the introduction of SpaceX's launch rocket Falcon 9 . Most of them were used.


United Launch Alliance, which manufactures Atlas V, has been ordered by Congress to cancel new deliveries of RD-180 due to the 2014 Crimean crisis , leading to a situation where 'war affects rocket development'. rice field. And such a situation is becoming a reality even in this invasion of Ukraine.

As of February 28, 2022, it is treated as 'unconfirmed information', but the Yuzhnoye Design Office and Yuzhmash in Ukraine, which manufactured the first stage of the Antares rocket that was also used to supply the ISS, were completely destroyed. There is a possibility. Northrop Grumman of the United States, who is assembling the Antares rocket, will be required for the upcoming missions of August 2022 and April 2023 for the launch mission of Cygnus Supply Ship Operation Unit 17 on February 27, 2022. Although it has announced that it has the components, NASA has indicated its intention to increase the frequency of Cygnus supply ship launch missions, and if the information of the Yuzhnoye Design Office and the Yuzhnoye Wreck is correct, the engine of the Antares rocket. You will be forced to procure a new one.

In addition, the European Space Agency's low-orbit artificial satellite launch vehicle Vega and its improved version Vega C also use the rocket engine RD-843 manufactured by Yuzhmash, so the impact is not limited to the United States. It is a prospect.

◆ Positioning system 'Galileo'
GPS is a typical example of the ' Global Positioning Satellite System (GNSS)' that measures position, navigates, and distributes time using signals emitted from artificial satellites, but GPS is a system operated by the US Department of Defense. GPS occupies a position that can be said to be synonymous with the navigation system, but in order to break away from GPS, ' Galileo ' was built mainly by a European private company.

Galileo , which started operation in 2016, has more than 20 satellites in orbit as of February 2022, and two new satellites are scheduled to be launched from French Guiana on April 6, 2022. However, it is said that the satellite used for this April 6 mission will be launched by the Soyuz rocket , and in view of the influence that the situation of 'launching an artificial satellite from a NATO member country with a Russian rocket' has an impact on the reputation, the launch will be done. There is a possibility that it will be canceled, and even if it is launched this time, it is expected that 'using the Soyuz rocket as an artificial satellite for Galileo' will not last long.

◆ Mars Exploration Plan 'ExoMars'
The Martian exploration program that Europe has been promoting for over 20 years is ' ExoMars '. ExoMars is a plan led by the European Space Agency and NASA, but NASA withdrew in 2012 due to budgetary reasons. With the cooperation of the Russian Federation Space Agency sitting in the back of NASA, the Mars rover 'Rosalind Franklin' was sent out in September 2022, and the ' Schiaparelli ' that failed to land was humiliated, and the first Mars exploration in Europe was carried out. It was a prospect.


Needless to say, the invasion of Ukraine is expected to affect ExoMars, and if ExoMars were to use a non-Russian launch vehicle, it would cost hundreds of millions of euros (tens of billions of yen) in addition to the two-year delay. Is said to come out.

◆ Satellite communication 'OneWeb'
' OneWeb ' is a satellite communication company in which the SoftBank Group invested 1.9 billion dollars (about 220 billion yen) and once held more than 50% of the shares. OneWeb filed for corporate reorganization under the Federal Bankruptcy Act in March 2020 due to a failed fundraising, but was bought by the Indian conglomerate Bharti Global and a consortium led by the British government to continue its business. I am.

OneWeb has already sent about two-thirds of the 648 artificial satellites needed to cover the entire world into space, but the situation is that one-third will be launched from now on. And this one-third will be launched by the Soyuz rocket.

◆ Supply chain
Aluminum alloy is mainly used as a material for spacecraft, but Russia is the second largest producer of aluminum in the world . The Biden administration has announced strict sanctions against Russia, which does not include Russian companies supplying aluminum as of February 2022, but due to future tightening of sanctions, this type of industry There is a good chance that it will be targeted. Ars Technica explains that this type of industry has already been so heavily affected by the global epidemic of the new coronavirus that it could be ruined if it were subject to sanctions.

In addition, Ars Technica has stated that 'the political situation has changed dynamically due to the invasion of Ukraine, so the impact on space development may change suddenly depending on the future situation.'

in Science, Posted by log1k_iy