Russia Mulls Withdrawing From the ISS After 2024


    As the 20-year-old International Space Station (ISS) starts showing its age, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Yury Borisov suggested Russia would back away from the ISS as early as 2025 to pursue a national space station. Science Magazine reports: Although he and other officials have since backpedaled from such a concrete date for withdrawal, Russian skepticism over the future of the ISS could complicate U.S. efforts to keep it operating until the end of the decade. “ISS partners would have a really hard time keeping the station functional without Russia,” says Vitaly Egorov, an industry observer, writer, and former spokesperson for Dauria Aerospace, a Russian company. On 18 April, Russia 1, a state TV channel, reported that Borisov told a meeting chaired by President Vladimir Putin, “We need to honestly inform our partners about leaving the ISS in 2025.” In a statement to newswires released later that day, Borisov’s office clarified his remarks and backtracked from the date. “A technical inspection is needed, and then we can make a decision and inform our partners,” the statement said. But it reiterated that the ISS has run well past its original life span, and its condition “leaves much to be desired.” Seemingly downplaying Borisov’s remarks this week, Dmitry Rogozin, who leads Roscosmos, the Russian space agency, said on Monday that Russia would not pull out of the ISS until the proposed new station becomes functional. “Pauses are deadly for human spaceflight,” he wrote in a Facebook post. Rogozin later added that the new station, which does not have a name yet, could be based on one of the modules initially planned for the ISS. Read more of this story at Slashdot.


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