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Aerospace & Defense

Asian space business upended by Russia's war in Ukraine

Japan, South Korea look for Soyuz alternatives in wake of sanctions

The International Space Station, docked with a Soyuz MS-19 crew ship, orbits the Earth in December 2021.    © NASA/AP

TOKYO -- Japan and South Korea are scrambling for alternatives to space launch services from Russia's Soyuz as Asia deals with the fallout from Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

Satellite operators are trying to wean themselves off the inexpensive Russian launch services they have long relied on. With economic sanctions in place against Russia, including a ban on cross-border payments, and potential reputational damage, doing business with Russia has become too risky for them. India and China, meanwhile, are trying to maintain a low profile on their space cooperation with Russia.

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