NASA administrator Jim Bridenstine has accepted the invitation from Roscosmos head Dmitry Rogozin to meet in Russia, the Russian state space corporation announced on its official website.
Bridenstine’s visit to Russia was discussed during a teleconference between the two space corporation administrators on January 14. Initially, Roscosmos did not report that the call had taken place, although this was reported by Kommersant. The Russian space corporation explained that it delayed the announcement because Moscow and Washington were trying to coordinate the information release.
“Dmitry Rogozin has invited the head of NASA to visit Russia or Baikonur in the next few months, in order to discuss in person the issues that have been accumulating. Jim Bridenstine has confirmed his willingness to come on a work visit,” Roscosmos states.
The heads of NASA and Roscosmos agreed to continue their countries’ collaboration in the space arena, in particular the International Space Station, the project to study the moon, and the missions to study deep space.
Rogozin, who is under US sanctions, was supposed to visit the US in February 2019, with the sanctions temporarily lifted specifically for the visit. However, on January 5 it came out that the invitation had been postponed indefinitely. Bridenstine later explained that he had taken this step due to pressure from senators.
In an interview with RBC, Dmitry Rogozin called the event an “episode of conflict” between US President Donald Trump and Congress. The head of the Russian space corporation emphasized that, in spite of the incident, he intended to invite Bridenstine to Russia.