International Space Station: Russia will leave the ISS after 2024

Another sign that Russia is distancing itself from the West was Moscow’s announcement of its withdrawal from the International Space Station.

But she is not going to abandon the space station immediately – Russia says it will remain a full partner of the ISS until “after 2024.”

The newly appointed head of the Moscow Space Agency told President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday: “Of course, we will fulfill all our obligations to our partners, but the decision to leave this station after 2024 has been made,” Roscosmos head Yuri Borisov told Putin. in comments published by the Kremlin.

Russian space officials have previously mentioned plans to leave the International Space station (ISS) in 2024, but this was officially confirmed for the first time by the head of Roscosmos.

Russia has said it will instead build its own space station in Earth orbit.

Mr. Borisov said the new space program is Roscosmos’ top priority.

“Good,” Putin replied in comments released by the Kremlin.

So far, space exploration has been one of the few areas where cooperation between Russia, the US and their allies has not been undermined by tensions around Ukraine and elsewhere.

The ISS has been operating since 1998, and in addition to the US and Russia, it also includes the European Union (plus the UK, Norway and Switzerland), Japan and Canada as partners.

The space station is divided into two segments. One of these is operated by Russia, while another larger segment is operated by NASA and other partner space agencies.

There is always at least one US crew member and one Russian crew member on board, as well as crew members from other countries.

The agreement to keep Russia on the ISS until at least 2024 means that astronauts will be able to fly to the station on Russian rockets, and cosmonauts will be able to do the same aboard Elon Musk’s SpaceX rocket later this year.

The Russians on board the ISS were embroiled in the Ukrainian conflict.

In February, new Russian crew members Oleg Artemiev, Denis Matveev and Sergei Korsakov entered the ISS wearing yellow overalls with a blue stripe, which some have interpreted as a subtle sign of support for Ukraine, given that blue and yellow are the country’s national colors.

But in July, the trio were seen in photographs aboard the International Space Station flying the flags of the self-proclaimed pro-Russian states of the so-called Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics in eastern Ukraine.

Russia plans to build its own space station

Mr. Borisov of Roscosmos said the space industry is in a “difficult situation.” He said he would seek to “raise the bar, and above all provide the Russian economy with essential space services,” pointing to navigation, communications and data transmission, among other things.

The launch of the first man into space in 1961 and the launch of the first Sputnik four years earlier are among the key achievements of the Soviet space program and remain a major source of national pride in Russia.

Russia, like the United States, has previously launched its won independent manned space stations.

But experts say the Russian Space Agency remains a shadow of its former self and has suffered a series of setbacks in recent years, including corruption scandals and the loss of a number of satellites and other spacecraft.

Mr. Borisov, a former deputy prime minister with a military background, has replaced Dmitry Rogozin, a hot-tempered nationalist politician known for his pompous statements and eccentric behavior.

Originally published as Russia will leave the International Space Station “after 2024”