Jeff Caplan’s Minute of News: Astronauts and cosmonauts in a tin can

Mar 9, 2022, 7:00 PM | Updated: Mar 10, 2022, 1:13 pm
The International Space Station hosts astronauts and cosmonauts alike....
The situation in Ukraine is affecting Russian-American relations, including those involved in space programs. Photo credit: NASA via AP, File.

Editor’s note: This is an editorial piece. An editorial, like a news article, is based on fact but also shares opinions. The opinions expressed here are solely those of the author and are not associated with our newsroom.

SALT LAKE CITY —Well this is awkward. Let’s say you live in a house with a couple of your friends.

Let’s call them Mark and Kayla. But you rented the basement to a couple of Russians. Let’s call them Shkaplerov and Dubrov.

Right about now it might be a difficult relationship. But you don’t have to imagine this.

All you have to do is look up; all of them are on board the International Space Station right now.

Cosmonauts Anton Shkaplerov and Pyotr Dubrov are circling the earth with American astronauts Thomas Marshburn, Raja Chari, Kayla Barron, and Mark Vande Hei.

Vande Hei was asked by kids this week what three things he’d bring to space if he was staying there permanently?

Vande Hei said he’d bring a paint set, a Kindle with the greatest literature he could find, and a musical instrument.

He did not say “a knife.”

That’s a good sign. We can only imagine what the conversations are like between the Russians and Americans up there because what happens in space stays in space.

But back here on earth, we have Twitter beef.

The Director of the Russian Space Program Dmitry Rogozin and Former U.S. Astronaut Scott Kelly are in a face slapping competition.

Rogozin tweeted “Russian rockets are more beautiful.”

Scott Kelly tweeted “without U.S. money your space program is worthless. Maybe you can get a job at McDonald’s.”

Please note, he can’t. McDonald’s is closed in Russia.

Rogozin called Kelly a moron and threatened to let the space station fall out of the sky.

He can do that, the Russians control the thrusters that keep the station in space.

Rogozin then doubled down saying Kelly must be suffering dementia from too much time in orbit. Kelly responded by calling Rogozin a clown.

Veteran CBS Space Reporter Bill Harwood said the spat was unbelievable.

At this point, Russia might pick up its marbles and go home; pulling its cosmonauts off the space station early and leaving the vessel to fate.

Other Jeff Caplan Minutes of News:

Listen to Jeff Caplan’s Afternoon News every weekday from 3 to 7 p.m. for more of his “My Minute of News.” And check out the podcast below.

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Jeff Caplan’s Minute of News: Astronauts and cosmonauts in a tin can