Elon Musk vows to save ISS if Russia tries to crash it during war with Ukraine

Millionaire tech mogul Elon Musk has vowed his SpaceX firm will save the International Space Station after Russia threatened to drop it on countries who impose economic sanctions against their invasion of Ukraine.

Russia's space chief Dimitry Rogozin made the chilling threat on social media on Friday night in response to US President Joe Biden's range of sanctions that he said would "degrade Russia's aerospace industry".

Rogozin, the chief of Roscomos, Russia's space agency, asked if the US wanted to "destroy our cooperation on the ISS".

He warned: "If you block cooperation with us, who will save the ISS from an uncontrolled deorbit and fall into the United States and Europe?"

Musk, the founder and CEO of SpaceX, simply replied to Rogozin's series of tweets with his company's logo.

When quizzed by a social media user if he was answering the question directly that SpaceX would save the ISS from falling, he replied: "Yes".

Musk founded his private aerospace manufacturer in 2002 with the ultimate goal of the company to reduce space transportation costs and to colonise Mars.

It has developed the Falcon launch vehicle family and the Dragon spacecraft.

Musk replied to another tweet showing what the ISS would look like without the Russian Segment attached and a Dragon spacecraft docked to provide reboost capability and attitude control.

He said: "Good thread."

Russia is a key part of the 15-nation partnership that has kept the ISS orbiting Earth for 23 years but relations are at an all-time low because of Vladimir Putin's orders to invade Ukraine.

On Thursday, Joe Biden unveiled new sanctions aimed at Russia their space programme including threatening to cut off tech imports with Russia in an attempt to slow down their high-tech military.

He said: "We estimate that we'll cut off more than half of Russia's high-tech imports. That will strike a blow to their ability to continue to modernize their military.

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Russia faces international condemnation for its military actions in Ukraine and even China's decision to abstain on a UN vote condemning the invasion is seen as highlighting how isolated Moscow is.

Rogozin listed India, China, America and Europe as options for the 500-tonne drop in his tirade.

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