Cosmonaut Solidarity 

By James Bacon: Despite some very harsh comments from Dmitry Rogozin, the director general of Roscosmos, threatening that “If you block cooperation with us, who will save the ISS from an uncontrolled deorbit and fall into the United States or Europe?” spacefarers seem to have a different perspective and understanding of the importance of international cooperation, respect and solidarity. This appears to have been demonstrated today when three cosmonauts arrived at the International Space Station.  

Cosmonauts Oleg Artemyev, Sergey Korsakov, and Denis Matveyev arrived at the ISS after blasting off from Baikonur in Kazakhstan in a Soyuz MS-21. A quick 3-hour journey, they joined fellow cosmonauts and astronauts at 4:48 p.m.  

Although video footage and photos shows them in their usual white space suits, as they embarked, and official preflight photos in blue suits they changed into Yellow suits with Blue flashes by the time hatches opened.  

When asked Oleg said “It became our turn to pick a colour. But, in fact, we had accumulated a lot of yellow material so we needed to use it, so that’s why we had to wear yellow.

They join Expedition 66 Cosmonaut Commander Anton Shkaplerov and cosmonaut Pyotr Dubrov of Roscosmos, as well as NASA astronauts Mark Vande Hei, Raja Chari, Tom Marshburn, and Kayla Barron, and ESA (European Space Agency) German astronaut Matthias Maurer.

An incredibly brave and brazen demonstration of solidarity and unity. 

Returning to Rogozin’s utterances, NASA’s Bill Nelson said “That’s just Dmitry Rogozin. He spouts off every now and then. But at the end of the day, he’s worked with us. The other people that work in the Russian civilian space program, they’re professional. They don’t miss a beat with us, American astronauts and American mission control. Despite all of that, up in space, we can have a cooperation with our Russian friends, our colleagues.”

Ukraine has had a number of Cosmonauts and Astronauts in Space during soviet and independent times. 

Ukrainian Cosmonaut Pavel Popovich, a Soviet cosmonaut who flew in space in 1962 and 1974. Stamp issued 2012. (MNH.Sc.890)

4 thoughts on “Cosmonaut Solidarity 

  1. FWIW, a Russian space official has pooh-poohed the idea of a reference to Ukraine, stating that yellow and blue are the colours of the University all three cosmonauts attended, and that “sometimes yellow is just yellow.”

    Whether or not it’s the actual reason for the Cosmonauts’ choice, it is indeed the case that the Bauman Moscow State Technical University (see e.g. the Wikipedia article of that exact title) colours are yellow and blue. Plausible deniability? Coincidence? In the, and their, current circumstances I doubt that the three are going to openly admit to showing support for Ukraine any time soon.

  2. Not solidarity. They all are Bauman Institute graduates which has these colors. The costumes were ordered long before the war.

  3. And they couldn’t possibly have looked at their suits, looked at the news, and decided not to wear those colors for the cameras, in the current climate. So, obviously silly to think they meant anything by it but school solidarity, right?

    I was ready to believe that, until I realized they were in solid blue, shortly before they boarded the ISS. They changed, to be in the yellow and blue. I’m sure they originally chose that for other reasons, but wearing those suits to be on camera when boarding the ISS is something they knew would be taken in context of the current news. Both “school colors” and the explanation they actually gave–“We had accumulated a lot of yellow and has to use it”–sound like plausible deniability.

Comments are closed.