Dmitry Rogozin, the bellicose director of the Russian space agency Roscosmos who has railed against NASA and its western space allies over sanctions imposed in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, is stepping down under orders from President Vladimir Putin. NASA also announced Friday it has finalized a no-funds-exchanged agreement with Roscosmos to allow Russian cosmonauts to launch to the International Space Station on U.S. crew vehicles and U.S. astronauts to fly on Russian Soyuz capsules.
Europe’s first Vega-C rocket launched at 9:13 a.m. EDT (1313 GMT) Wednesday from the Guiana Space Center in South America. The rocket debuted upgraded solid-fueled motors and a larger payload compartment to haul bigger satellites to space. The maiden Vega-C flight carried seven small spacecraft into orbit.