We expected it from the beginning of Russia’s invasion of Ukrainethe latter will finally withdraw from the International Space Station (ISS) after the year 2024. This will be the end of what mainly symbolized US-Russian space collaboration.
On Tuesday July 26, Yuri Borisov, the new head of the Russian space agency Roscosmos, announced to the President of Russia Vladimir Putin that the country was going to withdraw from the ISS project. He added that the next step for them was to build their own space station.
According to the Tass news agency, Borisov said: “The decision to withdraw from this station after 2024 has been taken”.
The end of a deal
The first element of the ISS was launched in 1998. This launch then symbolized the reconciliation between the two former adversaries of the Cold War, particularly in the space domain. Two many other countries have also participated in the construction of the laboratory in orbit and its maintenance.
We now know that 2024 will be the last year of cooperation on board the ISS for the United States and Russia. Officials of the latter had already mentioned before that they were going to let this agreement expire and work on their own space station. This station is called the ROSS or Russian Orbital Stationand is expected to be operational in 2025.
Respect its obligations
Despite this decision, Borisov indicated that Russia would respect its obligations with its partners before leaving. Recently, the United States and Russia reached an agreement regarding the exchange of places on American ships and Russian ships. American astronauts will thus be able to continue to fly on Russian Soyuz spacecraft, and for their part, Russian cosmonauts will be able to travel to the ISS on board SpaceX starting this fall.
According to the information, this agreement guarantees that there will be constantly at least one American astronaut and one Russian cosmonaut aboard the ISS to operate the two parts of the station.
This decision was taken following the sanctions imposed by various countries, including the United States, on Russia because of the invasion of Ukraine. Further details regarding the implications of this decision will surely emerge over the coming weeks.