Three Russian cosmonauts arrived at the International Space Station in the yellow and blue Ukrainian flag.
Leg Artemyev, Denis Matveev and Sergey Korsakov lifted off from Russia’s Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan at 20:55 on Friday.
In a bold move, the three newcomers emerged from their Soyuz capsule after docking with the space station, wearing bright yellow overalls with blue stripes instead of the standard blue uniform.
It was unclear what message the trio wanted to send by wearing the outfits.
When the cosmonauts were able to talk to the family on Earth, Artemyev was asked about the suits. He said that each crew chooses their own.
“It was our turn to choose a color. But actually we had accumulated a lot of yellow material, so we had to use it. So that’s why we had to wear yellow,” he said.
Since the beginning of the war, many people have used the Ukrainian flag and its colors to show their solidarity with the country.
The war has resulted in canceled spacecraft launches and broken contracts.
Roscosmos boss Dmitry Rogozin has warned the US would have to use “broomsticks” to go into space after Russia announced it would stop supplying rocket engines to its companies.
However, many fear Rogozin is jeopardizing a decades-long peaceful off-planet partnership, particularly on the space station.
NASA Administrator Bill Nelson downplayed Rogozin’s comments, telling The Associated Press, “That’s just Dmitry Rogozin. Now and then he squirts. But at the end of the day he worked with us.”
“The other people who work in Russia’s civilian space program are professionals,” Nelson told the AP on Friday. “They are not neglected by us, the American astronauts and American mission control. Despite all that, we can work together up in space with our Russian friends, our colleagues.”
NASA astronaut Mark Vande Hei – who broke the US single spaceflight record of 340 days on Tuesday – is scheduled to leave the space station with two Russians aboard a Soyuz capsule for a landing in Kazakhstan on March 30.
In April, three more NASA and one Italian astronaut are scheduled to leave for the space station.
© evening standard
https://www.independent.ie/world-news/we-had-a-lot-of-yellow-material-we-needed-to-use-up-russian-cosmonauts-board-international-space-station-wearing-ukraine-colours-41465312.html “We had a lot of yellow material that we had to use up” – Russian cosmonauts board the International Space Station in Ukrainian colors