US Astronaut Scott Kelly and Head of Russia’s Space Program Have Been in a Heated 2-Day Twitter Argument

by Shelby Scott

Nearly two weeks have passed since Russia launched its unprovoked attack on Ukraine. In that time, international tensions have risen and as a result, feuds have spilled over to social media. Most recently, former United States astronaut Scott Kelly targeted Russia and its space program’s director, Dmitry Rogozin, on Twitter. There, the two have locked into a heated argument regarding Russian involvement in space exploration.

At a Glance

  • Former U.S. Astronaut Scott Kelly served as Commander on the International Space Station on three separate missions.
  • Rogozin shared a clip of international flags being stripped from a Russian rocket.
  • NASA nor its Russian equivalent, Roscosmos, have reported changes regarding operations relating to the International Space Station.

Scott Kelly Scathes Russia’s Space Chief

International tensions rise as Russia refuses to abort its invasion of Ukraine. Meanwhile, Scott Kelly, who’s served on the ISS multiple times, took to Twitter to blast Roscosmos’s director, Dmitry Rogozin. This was after the latter shared footage of international flags being removed from a Russian rocket.

The video was posted to Twitter on Sunday, followed by Kelly’s criticism, which suggested Russia’s space program “won’t be worth a damn” without the support of its international partners. Newsweek reported the flags’ removal bore proof of deteriorating international relations.

Rogozin shared heated responses, apparently deleted from Twitter, to Kelly’s claim, dismissing the former astronaut.

“Get off, you moron!” read one of the Russian director’s comments. “Otherwise, the death of the ISS will be on your conscience.”

Proof of the since-deleted post comes from a screenshot that Kelly took. While Rogozin threatened the future of the ISS, NASA nor Russia’s space agency have reported changes of operation. That said, NASA has claimed that even without Russia’s support, the American space agency would be able to maintain the iconic spacecraft solo.

After deleting the comment, Scott Kelly came back at Rogozin. Although his comment purely seemed intended to get a reaction: “Don’t want everyone to see what kind of child you are?”

At this, the Russian space agency’s director called the former U.S. astronaut provocative. He stated, “I will not allow you to behave like that with me.”

Soon after, it appears Rogozin blocked Scott Kelly.

Developments Regarding Russia’s Involvement in Space Exploration

Aside from Scott Kelly and his criticism of Russia and Rogozin, there have been other, confirmed developments speaking to Russia’s furthered isolation in the realm of space exploration. As per Newsweek, Roscosmos announced a halt to the sale of rocket engines to the U.S. Additionally, the Russian space agency canceled a mission set to deliver U.K.-government-linked satellites to space after the company refused to meet Russia’s new demands.

As Ukraine and Russia war on, Rogozin also spoke out against international sanctions. He laid the blame for the isolation of Russia’s space program at the foot of its international partners, as many of those same representatives continue to issue further sanctions.