While it might have been viewed as a calculating and even cynical move to force his international acceptance, Russia’s President Vladimir Putin’s decision to appoint his long time ally Dmitry Rogozin as head of the space agency/industrial complex Roscosmos, has apparently not managed to secure Rogozin’s passage to USA.  In previously being Russian Deputy Prime Minister and by being a long-time Putin ally, Rogozin had been “sanctioned” by many Western nations after the annexation of Ukranian territory (the Crimea) by Russia.  As such, Rogozin was thus not able to travel to attend the traditional meeting of the World’s space agency heads at the International Astronautical Congress (IAC) in Bremen, Germany, in early October.  Nevertheless, Rogozin and his US counterpart NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine were at least able to meet a few weeks later in Kazakhstan where they met for the launch of the ill fated Soyuz MS-10 to discuss the future of the International Space Station (ISS).

Jim Bridenstine and Dmitry Rogozin during their past more friendly meeting. Courtesy: NASA/Bill Ingalls

However, after questioning from Space News, NASA has revealed that the planned “rematch” meeting between the two in USA during February has now been called off.  NASA had been under pressure to do so from the US Senate, although the Treasury department was said to be in favour of it.  The cancelled visit was planned to have included a visit to the NASA Johnson Space Center in Houston.