Astronauts and cosmonauts were watching a movie together in space aboard the spaceship, but realized that the villains were, by default, Russians.
What did they think at that moment?
The International Space Station is a place of coexistence for astronauts and cosmonauts, scientists from the United States and Russia, countries whose tension is increasing more and more.
The relationship between them is friendly, says NASA astronaut Mark Vande Hei ; however, there are times when their thoughts, customs and ideas conflict, causing a certain tension in the space.
A movie caused a tense moment
Vande Hei spoke to The Washington Post after his 355-day trip to the International Space Station and said that he sometimes “poke holes” in the “logic” of the cosmonauts, meaning that they sometimes argued about international issues.
This confrontation of ideas, which never got out of hand, did have an awkward moment one night at the movies, when an American movie took a stereotype into space: the villain was Russian.
“At one point I realized that all the bad guys were Russians,” Vande Hei said. “It gives me the creeps to even think about it because at one point, I looked at my cosmonaut crewmates and said, ‘How does that make you feel?’ And they said, ‘It’s a little scary when we see that everyone in the United States, the media, is portraying the Russians as the bad guys.’
To avoid this problem again, Mark Vande Hei adopted a strategy: everyone had a turn to choose a movie they had seen and wanted to share with the rest of the crew.
However, one detail that did not go unnoticed is that Mark Vande Hei pointed out that this happened on a “previous flight”, not during his most recent trip to space, which suggests that there may be some distance from this ritual between the American members and Russians.
The ISS continues to operate with both countries
Despite warnings from the head of Roscosmos, Dmitry Rogozin, to end its relationship with the United States on the ISS , the ship continues to operate with cosmonauts, whose work is vital for the orderly functioning of the laboratory.
For the most part, with the exception of politicians on Earth, operations continued largely as planned, with American astronauts and Russian cosmonauts working together peacefully.
The cosmonauts “were, are and will be very dear friends,” Vande Hei said upon arriving on Earth on a Russian ship. “There was never any concern about my ability to continue working with them,” he told reporters in Texas.
Vande Hei confirmed that the Russian invasion of Ukraine was a topic of conversation on the station. But the talks were “mainly about how they felt about it, and those are things I’d rather they share themselves,” he said.