Russia will leave the International Space Station 'after 2024'

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The Russia will leave the International Space Station “after 2024”

International Space Station

Russia announced on Tuesday that it would end its participation in the International Space Station (ISS) “after 2024”, raising the question of its survival, amid Russian-Western tensions over the coronavirus crisis. Russian offensive in Ukraine.

A model of international cooperation bringing together Europe, Japan, the United States and Russia, the ISS began to be assembled in 1998. Its Retirement was scheduled for 2024, but NASA estimated it could remain in service until 2030.

However, Russia plays a key role in keeping the station in orbit, but some of its ships are affected by Western sanctions due to the invasion of Ukraine.

This announcement of Russia's withdrawal from the ISS comes ten days after the appointment as head of the Russian Space Agency (Roscosmos) of a new boss, Yuri Borissov – who replaced Dmitry Rogozin – known for his abrasive style and outrageous nationalism.

We will undoubtedly fulfill all our obligations with regard to our partners in the ISS, declared Mr. Borissov, received in the Kremlin by Russian President Vladimir Putin, but the decision to leave this station after 2024 has been taken.

A few minutes later, NASA said it had not received official notification of such a withdrawal after that date.

I think that by then we will start creating the Russian orbital station, which will be the main priority of the national space program, Borissov continued.

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 field of space, he specified.< /p>

For Russian space analyst Vitali Egorov, this decision will mean a break of several years for Russian manned flights, because Russia is far from having its own infrastructure in orbit.

There will be no Russian orbital station in 2024, 2025 or 2026, he said: creating a good orbital station in three years is almost unreal.

According to Mr. Egorov, even with the most generous funding, it will take at least ten years.

So the Russian company RKK Energia, which designs and builds Soyuz spacecraft, said on Tuesday that construction of the Russian orbital station would not begin before 2028.

If the decision on its construction is made by the end of the year, the first stage will begin in 2028 with the launch of an energy and science module by an Angara rocket, the general builder said. by RKK Energia, Vladimir Solovyov, quoted by the state news agency RIA Novosti.

Until his appointment as head of Roscosmos in mid-July, Borissov, 65, held the portfolio of Deputy Prime Minister in charge of Russia's military-industrial complex, which includes space.

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He spoke to Mr. Putin about a difficult situation in the Russian space sector and indicated that he wanted above all to provide the space services necessary for the Russian economy, citing including navigation, communication and data transmission.

As many areas where Moscow is lagging behind the Americans.

Russian-Western cooperation in the space field has been weighed down by the offensive launched by Russia on February 24 against its Ukrainian neighbor.

The Western sanctions taken in the wake affect partly the Russian aerospace industry and risk having effects on the ISS, some supplies of which could be disrupted.

Mr. Rogozin, the previous boss of Roscosmos, had already hinted that because of this Russia was going to give up on the idea of ​​extending the life of the ISS until 2030.

He claimed in March that without the Russians, the ISS will crash on Earth, because only the Russian side has the means to correct the orbit of the 500-ton structure.

While Russia has any ambition to independently re-enter the space race, it has faced serious problems for years, including endemic corruption that hampers its programs and innovation.

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