Russian space agency Roscosmos has denied claims that its three cosmonauts wore the colors of the Ukrainian flag as a possible explanation against the ongoing war, according to a BBC report. The three cosmonauts, Denis Mateev, Oleg Artemyev and Sergey Korsakov, wore bright yellow and blue suits as they boarded the International Space Station on Friday.
Roscosmos was quick to dismiss all reports suggesting the cosmonauts wore the colors in solidarity with Ukraine. “Sometimes yellow is just yellow,” the agency wrote in a translated post on Telegram (via space.com† “The design of the uniform was agreed long before the news.” The post says that yellow and blue are the same colors in the emblem of the Bauman Moscow State Technical University, the alma mater of all three cosmonauts. In a separate post on Telegram, Roscosmos shared an image of Artemyev wearing a yellow suit during his maiden flight in 2014.
…а космонавтов-выпускников Бауманского университета заставим ни при каких обстоятельствахо не носить цвати ербаи ерби pic.twitter.com/E0MkcqdVIS
— (@Rogozin) March 19, 2022
Roscosmos head Dmitry Rogozin similarly added that the three represented their university, not Ukraine. “Under no circumstances will we force cosmonaut graduates from Bauman University not to wear the colors of their alma mater’s coat of arms,” he said. wrote on Twitter†
The cosmonauts gave no meaning behind the colors during a live-streamed press conference after arrival. Artemyev brushed off a question about the colors of their suits, jokingly saying, “It was our turn to pick a color. The truth is, we had accumulated a lot of yellow dust, so we had to use it up.
All three cosmonauts arrived at the ISS aboard the Soyuz spacecraft MS-21 launched from the Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. They were warmly received by their fellow German, Russian and American crew members aboard the ISS, despite tensions between Russia and other countries.
One of those crew members is American astronaut Mark Vande Hei. A Russian spacecraft will return him to Earth along with cosmonauts Pyotr Dubrov and Anton Shkaplerov on March 30. Russia says it will return Vande Hei as planned, despite reports to the contrary.