Russia will leave the International Space Station “after 2024”.
The head of the Russian space agency Roscosmos Yuri Borissov said on Tuesday that Russia would leave the ISS “after 2024”, after having previously claimed that Western sanctions linked to the Russian invasion of Ukraine risked cause “the fall of the International Space Station”. NASA claims not to have received an “official” notification of the withdrawal of the Russians from the ISS after 2024
“We will undoubtedly fulfill all our obligations with regard to our partners” of the ISS, declared Yuri Borissov, during a televised meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin. “But the decision to leave this station after 2024 has been taken,” he said.
“I think that by then we will start creating the Russian orbital station”, which will be “the main priority” of the national space program, he added. “The future of Russian manned flights must be based above all on a systemic and balanced scientific program so that each flight enriches us with knowledge in the space field”, he specified.
Russian-Western cooperation plagued by war
Appointed head of Roscosmos in mid-July, Yuri Borissov replaced Dmitri Rogozin, known for his abrasive style and outrageous nationalism.
By 2020, Russia had lost its monopoly on space sends (with its aging but reliable Soyuz launchers and spacecraft) with the arrival on the SpaceX scene of billionaire Elon Musk.
Russian-Western cooperation in the space field has also been weighed down by the offensive launched by Russia since February 24 against its Ukrainian neighbor. The Western sanctions taken against Russia because of this offensive partly affect the Russian aerospace industry and risk having effects on the ISS, some supplies of which could be disrupted. Finally, the Russian space sector has been plagued for years by corruption and a lack of innovation.