You may have noticed that relations between the Russian space agency Roscosmos and NASA have soured somewhat in the last few weeks, largely due to threats made by the head of Rosmoscos to crash the International Space Station (ISS) into Earth, the Russian space agency holding the launch of OneWeb to ransom, and — first and foremost — the invasion of Ukraine by Russian forces.
NASA as an organization has been calm and controlled during the tensions, stressing cooperation on the ISS as well as other projects. However, retired American astronaut Scott Kelly, free from having to be diplomatic, has responded to the head of Rosmoscos with a bigger burn than his space ships receive on re-entry.
On Wednesday, Roscosmos head Dmitry Rogozin tweeted out a video of flags being removed from Russian rockets.
"The launchers at Baikonur decided that without the flags of some countries, our rocket would look more beautiful," Rogozin said, as per Twitter's translate function. With the replies being turned off, space veteran Kelly responded in a quote tweet, telling him "Dimon, without those flags and the foreign exchange they bring in, your space program won't be worth a damn. Maybe you can find a job at McDonald's if McDonald's still exists in Russia."
Former astronaut Garrett Reisman also chipped in, tweeting "Rogozin has always been a fool. Only now he actually mortally wounds Roskosmos and ends one of the few remaining sources of currency for Russia. Keep this in mind when your ATM is empty. It will need a trampoline soon."
A Twitter user then asked what Reisman made of the situation on the ISS.
"Not many practical options there since despite the recent low-budget Rogozin fantasy video," he responded, referring to a strange and vaguely threatening video released by Russian affiliated media of the ISS being dismantled. "Either side pulling out would basically result in the end of the ISS. And without the ISS, what is left for Roscosmos?"
Meanwhile, Kelly appears to have been blocked by Rogozin for the dunk.