New Delhi: Three Russian cosmonauts arrived at the International Space Station (ISS) dressed in yellow and blue flight suits, which match the colours of the Ukrainian flag, said a report in The Guardian Saturday.
Oleg Artemyev, Denis Matveyev and Sergey Korsakov of the Russian space corporation, Roscosmos, were the first to arrive at the ISS since the beginning of the Russia-Ukraine war last month.
The three men docked at the ISS after a three-hour journey from Baikonur launch facility in Kazakhstan in Soyuz MS-21 spacecraft Friday evening. They will be on a science mission on the ISS for around six months.
The cosmonauts’ move to wear yellow space suits with blue accents seemed to be a statement against Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The standard Russian dress code is blue.
Their arrival was live streamed both by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and Roscosmos, the BBC reported.
Asked about the colour of the suits, cosmonaut Oleg Artemyev said: “It became our turn to pick a colour. But, in fact, we had accumulated a lot of yellow material so we needed to use it.” He said this was the reason behind them choosing to wear the colour yellow, the Associated Press reported.
People and countries across the world have used the Ukrainian national flag colours, including to light up buildings such as the Eiffel Tower and the San Francisco city hall, in a bid to show solidarity with the eastern European country, following the attack on it by President Vladimir Putin.
The Russia-Ukraine war has escalated matters in the space sector, with Roscosmos chief Dmitry Rogozin warning that the US will have to fly to space in “broomsticks” after Russia halted supply of rocket engines to American companies.
“That’s just Dmitry Rogozin. He spouts off every now and then. But at the end of the day, he’s worked with us,” responded NASA Administrator Bill Nelson.
The ISS, which is led by a US-Russian partnership, has continued to work for the past two decades despite tensions between the two countries. It is a joint venture including with Canada, Japan and other European nations.