Garrett Reisman

American Astronaut Refuses to Participate in Azerbaijan Conference

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LOS ANGELES — American astronaut Garrett Reisman refused to participate in the International Astronautical Congress being held in Azerbaijan, citing that country’s military aggression against Armenia, ARMENPRESS reports the cosmonaut made wrote on Twitter.

“Why is the International Astronautical Congress (IAC) being held in Azerbaijan, a country that is guilty of recent military aggression against its neighbor Armenia? Azerbaijan is one of the most corrupt countries, it has one of the worst human rights indicators in Europe. I will not go, and if you are planning to go, please reconsider,” Raisman wrote.

He also reminded followers that Azerbaijan’s military aggression against Armenia started in September of last year, which was condemned by the European Parliament.

Reisman also shared the reports and assessments of a number of international organizations, for example, the 2021 index of corruption perception of “Transparent International,” where Azerbaijan is in a bad position, it is 128th among 180 countries.

Reisman is an engineer and former astronaut. He was a backup crew member for Expedition 15 and joined Expedition 16 aboard the International Space Station for a short time before becoming a member of Expedition 17. He returned to Earth on June 14, 2008 on board STS-124 on Space Shuttle Discovery. He was a member of the STS-132 mission that traveled to the International Space Station aboard Space Shuttle Atlantis from May 14 to 26, 2010. He is a consultant at SpaceX and a Professor of Astronautics Practice at the University of Southern California‘s Viterbi School of Engineering.

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