Will Space Remain Uninvolved in the War? What Will Become of the Space Industry as the new “Cold War” Rages on

By  //  April 6, 2022

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After the implementation of additional sanctions against Russia from the EU and the USA for the military invasion of Ukraine, international space cooperation has come into question. How likely is it that space will remain a point of mutual development during the new “Cold War”, just like it used to be 50 years ago?

It’s widely-accepted that the space race between the USSR and the USA ended in 1975, when the cooperative Soviet-American program “Soyuz-Apollo” was realized, and the space shuttles of two ideological adversaries were conjoined. Since then the era of space cooperation had begun, and was inherited by Russia and several other countries after the fall of the USSR.

A little remaining part of the Russian military-industrial, space, and defensive complex has not entered any of the five restrictive EU and USA lists. Part of the whitelist are major aerospace corporations NPO Lavochkin (led by Vladimir Kolmykov), Roscosmos (led by Dmitry Rogozin), and Information Satellite Systems Reshetnev (led by Nikolay Testoedov). 

Neither sanctioned were Concern Radio-Electronic Technologies (led by Nikolai Kolesov) and Izhevsk Mechanical Plant (led by Nikolai Markov); both belong to a giant defensive conglomerate Rostec led by Sergey Chemezov.

Also, in the white list is still ZiD Degtyaryov Plant, a large anti-aircraft and anti-tank guns manufacturer (led by Alexander Tmenov and established by a non-public company Globalvoentrading LTD — literally: Global Weaponry Trading, led by Igor Kesaev).

This leaves the door open specifically in the sphere of space cooperation. It seems, the governments of conflicting countries understand that space could become the only restoration point of the relationships between the countries in the future, just like it had been during the last Cold War.

Meanwhile, with the military invasion of Ukraine underway, Brussels and Washington are prepared to expand the sanction blacklist against Russian companies. Whether or not the space door will be shut depends on the actions of Russia. But as long as the conflict hasn’t come to space, there is still hope for peace.