A video showing Russian cosmonauts leaving an American on the International Space Station has led former U.S. astronaut Scott Kelly to call out the head of Russia’s space program.
Kelly, who spent nearly a year aboard the ISS, said he was offended by the video and that Russia was out of line to post something that suggests an American astronaut would be left stranded in space, the Wall Street Journal reported.
Kelly and Roscosmos Director General Dmitry Rogozin exchanged tweets during the week as Russia intensified its invasion of Ukraine.
The tweets began when Kelly responded to a video shared by Rogozin showing U.S. flags being removed from a Soyuz rocket, and Russian cosmonauts leaving the ISS as American astronaut Mark Vande Hei is left behind.
In a post sharing the video which was produced by Roscosmos, Rogozin said: “The launchers at Baikonur decided that without the flags of some countries, our rocket would look more beautiful,” showing the removal of British and American flags.
Kelly replied in Russian to the tweet, saying: “Without those flags and the foreign exchange they bring in, your space program won’t be worth a damn. Maybe you can find a job at McDonald’s if McDonald’s still exists in Russia.”
Rogozin answered Kelly telling him to “get off (Twitter), you moron,” in a now-deleted tweet, adding “the death of the International Space Station will be on your consciousness.”
Rogozin then blocked Kelly on Twitter.
Earlier in the week, Rogozin tweeted that Americans could “ride their broomsticks” to space.
“If he’s going to act like a child, then I’m going to treat him like one,” Kelly said.
The ISS is divided into the Russian Orbital Segment and the United States Orbital Segment. The astronauts on the station now are set to come home on March 30.