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New Russia Sanctions 'Could Affect' U.S. Astronauts On ISS

NASA astronaut Steve Swanson, Roscosmos cosmonauts Aleksandr Skvortsov and Oleg Artemyev prepare ahead of their mission to the ISS at the Baikonur cosmodrome last month.
Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin says that new U.S. sanctions against Moscow could compromise U.S. astronauts on the International Space Station (ISS).

Rogozin, speaking from Crimea, was quoted by the Interfax news agency as saying, "If their aim is to deliver a blow to Russia's rocket-building sector, then by default, they would be exposing their astronauts on the ISS."

The ISS is a permanently staffed research laboratory that flies more than 420 kilometers above Earth.

Six people are currently working on board the ISS: U.S. astronauts Rick Mastracchio and Steven Swanson, Japanese astronaut Koichi Wakata, and Russian cosmonauts Mikhail Tyurin, Aleksandr Skvortsov, and Oleg Artemyev.

Russia Soyuz spacecraft are currently the only vehicles capable of ferrying astronaut and cosmonaut crews to and from the ISS.

Based on reporting by AFP and Interfax