On Friday afternoon, NASA retracted the Russian state news service’s personal attacks on NASA astronaut Serena Onion Chancellor.
“NASA astronauts, including Serena Onion Chancellor, are highly respected, serve their country and make an invaluable contribution to the agency,” Kathy Luders costume:, chief of human spaceflight for NASA. “We stand behind Serena and her professional behavior and do not believe these allegations are credible,” he added.
Soon after Lueders tweeted this statement, NASA Administrator Bill Nelson agreed. “I completely agree with Cathy’s statement,” He said. “I fully support Serena and will always support the astronauts.”
The statements of support come more than 24 hours after the Russian mass news service TASS entered into talks with the Russian government agency, Post new claims On Auñón-Chancellor’s behavior as an astronaut aboard the International Space Station in 2018. TASS claimed that Auñón-Chancellor had an emotional meltdown in space and then destroyed a Russian spacecraft so it could return to Earth early.
and Ars I mentioned these allegations On Thursday, NASA issued a weak statement that in no way exonerated Ui Chancellor. “To protect their privacy, the agency will not discuss medical information regarding crew members,” the agency said in part.
NASA rarely criticizes Russia for being a generally reliable partner in the International Space Station project. NASA officials knew that refuting these new claims would inflame an already troubled relationship with Roscosmos’ political leaders, including with agency chief Dmitry Rogozin. However, two sources told Ars that the leadership of the NASA Office of Astronauts has been very frustrated by NASA’s lack of Onion-Chancellor support. This led to the strongest statements released by NASA on Friday.
Rumors have long circulated in the lower Russian media that American astronauts were blamed for the hole in the Soyuz spacecraft that caused the leak on the space station in 2018. But TASS’ report was the first to call Onion Chancellor and reveal a medical condition. Incendiary claims that this condition prompted her to sabotage the space station.
From the start, NASA knew these claims were meaningless. In 2018, senior NASA officials were informed of this, a concerned source told Ars. The agency’s space station program, based in Houston, was able to determine that the pressure on the space station had begun to subside in late August 2018. They knew the exact locations of the American astronauts before the leak occurred and the moment it began. None of the American astronauts were on the station near the Russian part where the Soyuz spacecraft docked. US officials shared these data with the Russians to no avail.
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