On Thursday, amid new announcements of sanctions on the Russian economy by the United States and NATO in retaliation for the invasion of Ukraine, Dimitry Rogozin, the chief of the Russian space corporation Roscosmos, made an eyebrow-raising threat: that if the sanctions continue, Russia could stop maintaining the orbit of the International Space Station and allow it to crash into the United States.

"If you block cooperation with us, who will save the ISS from an uncontrolled deorbit and fall into the United States or Europe?" tweeted Rogozin in Russian. "There is also the option of dropping a 500-ton structure on India or China. Do you want to threaten them with such a prospect? The ISS does not fly over Russia, so all the risks are yours. Are you ready for them?"

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Rogozin is known for making bizarre pronouncements. In 2020, he said that "we believe that Venus is a Russian planet," and last fall, he accused Ars Technica space reporter Eric Burger of war crimes for investigating his repeated invitations to SpaceX CEO Elon Musk to visit his home.

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