Russia has announced that it will depart the International Space Station (ISS) and instead establish its own station, after 2024.
In a televised meeting with President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday, the head of Roscosmos, the Russian space agency, stated that Russia does not see any benefit in extending the joint agreement with the US past the year 2024.
Yuri Borisov stated, “We will definitely carry out all our obligations to our partners but the decision to withdraw from the station after 2024 has already been made.”
“I think we will have started building a Russian orbiting station by then.”
Since 1998, the United States and Russia, despite their rocky relationship, along with other members, have successfully collaborated on the International Space Station. However, Russia’s departure will indefinitely bring an end to the joint space exploration programme.
On Tuesday, Nasa had not been informed of such a decision, according to the US State Department, which claimed to have been “caught by surprise” by Russia’s public declaration to depart from the ISS project. The revelation was described as “an unfortunate development” by the State Department.
After the Space Shuttle programme was terminated in 2011, US astronauts rode on Russian rockets to the station for several years. When SpaceX’s manned flights began last autumn, it was Nasa’s turn to provide a lift for Russian cosmonauts.
However, since the conflict in Ukraine, tensions between the two nations have risen to new heights, making such cooperation risky.
The two nations’ relations reached yet another low with their withdrawal from the orbiting lab, which is primarily run by Russia and the United States and has always had crew members from both countries on board.
In response to the European Space Agency’s formal termination of cooperation with Russia on the ExoMars project, through which Russia would have launched a European rover to the surface of Mars, Russia vowed to stop using a robotic arm at the International Space Station earlier this month.
Earlier this month, three Russian cosmonauts on board the International Space Station (ISS) posed with the flags of the two self-declared independent republics of Luhansk and Donetsk in Ukraine, which have been under official Russian occupation for the previous eight years. This was a peculiar and heavily criticised development,
Roscosmos has numerous times discussed leaving the ISS, where he has proposed unlatching one of the ISS’s newest Russia-built modules to build a new station.
According to the most recent plan, Russia would presumably build an orbiting lab from the ground up and launch it in a different orbit.
The Russian space industry is facing an imminent crisis, as 61 years after sending the first person into space, many of its projects are still in the planning stages or relying heavily on Soviet legacy.
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