Germany shuts down black hole telescope, suspends all space cooperation with Russia

Germany shuts down the Space Telescope (eROSITA) that was mapping the universe’s largest black hole in light of Russia’s aggression against Ukraine. Made in Germany, eROSITA was launched in 2019 by the Russian Spectrum-Roentgen-Gamma satellite and is co-financed by the German Aerospace Center (DLR) and Roscosmos, the Russian space agency.

After Germany announced the suspension of all scientific cooperation with Russia (except for research on the International Space Station), Roscosmos also immediately announced that it was suspending scientific experiments with Germany on the Russian side of the International Space Station (ISS).

The German Aerospace Center stated in a statement that in view of Russia’s aggression in Ukraine, the DLR Executive Committee has decided to stop ongoing or planned scientific research in cooperation with Russia, and will not launch new cooperation projects with Russian research institutions for the time being.

For years, the ISS partnership has been seen above politics, but with Russia’s aggression in Ukraine rapidly escalating, countries are questioning its future. Roscosmos also said that Russia’s space program will be adjusted due to Western sanctions, and that future satellite manufacturing will prioritize defense interests.

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