Ukraine crisis unlikely to endanger space station astronauts, says ex-official

Russian and American astronauts aboard the International Space Station ISS) are likely to be safe from diplomatic tensions over Ukraine unless their home nations go to war, a former US space official has said.

Scott Pace, who was executive secretary of the White House space council under former president Donald Trump, told The Associated Press that the ISS had been “largely isolated” from political squabbles.

“It’s possible to imagine a break with Russia that would endanger the space station, but that would be at the level of a dropping diplomatic relations,” Mr Pace said.

“That would be something that would be an utterly last resort, so I don’t really see that happening unless there is a wider military confrontation.”

Four Americans, two Russians, and one European are currently aboard the ISS, which is maintained in partnership by 15 countries and orbits the Earth at an altitude of about 254 miles.

This story is breaking and will be updated.


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