The Russian chief confirms his departure from the International Space Station

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The Russian chief confirms his departure from the International Space Station
The Russian chief confirms his departure from the International Space Station
“The decision has already been made, and we are not obliged to discuss it publicly,” Roscosmos chief said.International Space Station
Cosmonauts (from left) Denis Matveev and Oleg Artemyev worked outside the International Space Station’s Russian segment for 6 hours and 37 minutes outfitting Nauka and configuring the European robotic arm in April 2022.
International Space Station
International Space Station

As a result of the sanctions imposed on it after its invasion of Ukraine, Russia has confirmed it will withdraw from the International Space Station (ISS), perhaps as soon as two years from now.

In an interview with the state-owned Rossiya-24 TV channel on Saturday (April 30), Roscosmos director general, Dmitry Rogozin, said: “The decision has already been made, and we are not required to talk about it publicly.”

As for when Russia will end its involvement in the ISS project, Rogozin said it would give at least a year’s notice “in line with our obligations.”

  Russian space analysts have noted that Russia never agreed to extend its involvement in the ISS beyond 2024; NASA and the other international partners now want the project extended to at least 2030.

He has a history of making blustery statements, considering he is a seasoned politician with close ties to the Russian president Vladimir Putin.

 Russian chief
Russian chief

According to him, any international sanctions imposed by the US on Russia over the Ukrainian invasion would surely destroy the partnership between NASA and Roscosmos that keeps the space station running and aloft on the planet. On the day after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, he posted on Twitter that international sanctions on Russia would cause “further damage” to the partnership between NASA and Roscosmos.

International Space Station

I must add that last month, he reaffirmed his comments, saying that normal relations between ISS partners would only be restored once the illegal sanctions have been lifted completely and unconditionally.

On Dec. 15, 1998, the STS-88 mission touched down at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center after an 11-day mission that delivered the first American-built module to begin construction of the International Space Station.

In 1998, the first modules of the International Space Station were launched into space, and were expected to last for just 15 years.

International Space
International Space

However, maintenance problems – specifically on the Russian half of the space station – have increased in recent years; and experts have warned that some of the ISS modules are getting old, according to NBC News.

According to NASA, the U.S. and Russia are the two main partners in the ISS project, which was started after they collaborated on the last stages of the Mir space station in the 1990s.

Russian chief
Russian chief

In the past, the U.S. has been primarily responsible for providing life support for the up to 10 people who lived aboard the ISS at any one time, and Russia has mainly been responsible for keeping the station in orbit, by regularly firing the engines of the Soyuz spacecraft docked there.

The Russians also controlled access to the ISS for several years because only their Soyuz flew there after the U.S. Space Shuttle ended operations in 2011. However, the introduction of passenger-carrying spacecraft like the SpaceX Dragon means this is no longer the case.

Additionally, experts have noted that NASA is now testing its ability to keep the ISS in orbit with blasts from the engines of the Cygnus cargo spacecraft, which is manufactured and launched by Northrop Grumman – so Russia’s involvement in the ISS may no longer be needed.

International sanctions and space

International Space Station
International Space Station

Russia could soon give notice and begin its withdrawal from the ISS project based on Rogozin’s latest comments. 

Nevertheless, activities on the space station have been relatively normal since he made his initial comments, including the arrival of three Russian cosmonauts in mid-March, Live Science sister site Space.com reported.

TASS also reported comments Rogozin made the day before his television interview, in which he suggested that a decision on the fate of the ISS project was not yet final.

As to the future of the ISS, “it will depend largely on the development of the situation both inside Russia and around it,” he told Reuters in an interview on Friday, April 29.

Also, Roscosmos has sent its proposals for cooperation on the ISS project after 2024 to the Russian government and President Putin.

The Russian chief confirms his departure from the International Space Station
International Space Station

The same day, Rogozin said that Russia will begin testing one-orbit trips to the ISS by Soyuz spacecraft in 2023 and 2024 – a trip that usually requires the spacecraft to make at least four Earth orbits.

In addition, that schedule does not appear to fit well with assertions that the end of Russia’s participation in the ISS project is imminent.

According to Space.com, Russia already has plans to build a successor space station to the ISS.By 2025, the first module, built by the Energia corporation, could be in orbit for at least $5 billion.

Space Station
Space Station

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