NASA stands by its astronaut after incendiary Russian claims

The Soyuz MS-09 spacecraft docked to the Rassvet module of the International Space Station's Russian segment.

Enlarge / The Soyuz MS-09 spacecraft docked to the Rassvet module of the International Space Station's Russian segment. (credit: NASA)

On Friday afternoon, NASA pushed back on personal attacks made by Russia's state-owned news service against NASA astronaut Serena Auñón-Chancellor.

"NASA astronauts, including Serena Auñón-Chancellor, are extremely well-respected, serve their country, and make invaluable contributions to the agency," said Kathy Lueders, chief of human spaceflight for NASA. "We stand behind Serena and her professional conduct. We do not believe there is any credibility to these accusations."

Shortly after Lueders tweeted this statement, NASA Administrator Bill Nelson concurred. "I whole-heartedly agree with Kathy’s statement," he said. "I fully support Serena and I will always stand behind our astronauts."

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