Russia will leave the International Space Station “after 2024”

Moscow has said it will leave the International Space Station “after 2024” amid tensions with the West, which analysts warn could lead to a halt in Russian manned flights.
Confirmation of a long-debated move comes as ties between the Kremlin and the West are severed over and several rounds of damaging sanctions against Russia, including its space sector.

Space experts have said that Russia’s withdrawal from the International Space Station (ISS) will seriously affect the country’s space sector and deal a major blow to its manned flight program, which is Russia’s main source of pride.

You can see people shaking hands and hugging each other.

US astronaut James Voss (far left) shakes hands with astronaut Bill Shepherd (far right) Russian cosmonauts Yuri Usachev (left) and Sergei Krikalev (right) embrace on the International Space Station in 2001. It was launched in 1998, at a time of hope for US-Russian cooperation. Source: A MONKEY / AP

“Of course, we will fulfill all obligations to our partners, but the decision to leave this station after 2024 has been made,” Yuri Borisov, the new head of Roscosmos, told President Vladimir Putin. or their meeting.

“I think by this time we will start assembling the Russian orbital station,” Borisov added, calling it the main “priority” of Russian cosmonautics.
“Good,” Putin replied.
The ISS is due to be decommissioned after 2024, although the US space agency says it could remain in service until 2030.
The ISS was launched in 1998 at a time of hope for cooperation between the US and Russia after their space race competition during the Cold War.
The United States said it was taken by surprise by the announcement.

“This is an unfortunate development given the critical scientific work done on the ISS, the valuable professional collaboration of our space agencies over the years,” State Department spokesman Ned Price said.

Asked if the United States wants to end space relations with Russia, Robin Gateens, director of NASA’s ISS, said, “No, absolutely not.”

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.

“Like in an old woman’s apartment”

Russia is heavily dependent on imports for everything from manufacturing equipment to consumer goods, and the effects of Western sanctions are expected to hurt the country’s economy in the long run.
Space expert Vadim Lukashevich said that space science cannot flourish in a country under heavy sanctions.
“If the ISS ceases to exist in 2024, we will have nowhere to fly,” Lukashevich told the AFP news agency. “The very preservation of manned flights in Russia, the birthplace of astronautics, is at stake.”
Pointing to Russia’s growing scientific and technological isolation, Mr. Lukashevich said the authorities could not plan more than a few months ahead and added that even if Russia built an orbital station, it would be a throwback to the 1980s.

“It will be archaic, like an old lady, with a push-button telephone and a record player,” he said.

Earth view from the International Space Station.

The International Space Station is due to be decommissioned after 2024, although the US space agency NASA says it could remain in service until 2030. Source: A MONKEY / AP

A similar remark was made by space analyst Vitaly Yegorov, saying that building a new orbital station from scratch in a few years is almost impossible.

“Neither in 2024, nor in 2025, nor in 2026 will there be a Russian orbital station,” Yegorov told AFP.
He added that it would take at least a decade of “the most generous funding” to build a full-fledged space station.

Russian Soyuz rockets were the only way to get to the International Space Station until SpaceX, run by billionaire Elon Musk, unveiled the capsule in 2020.

“It’s hard to recover

The Soviet space program boasts a number of key achievements, including sending the first man into space in 1961 and launching the first Sputnik four years earlier. These exploits remain the main source of national pride in Russia.
But experts say Roscosmos is now a shadow of itself 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, who was appointed in mid-July, replaced Dmitry Rogozin, a short-tempered politician known for his rants.