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Russia to withdraw ISS Project in 2024

The decision to leave the international project was formed a year ago

ROSS should be assembled from 2025 in an orbit that will allow coverage of Russian territory. (S.I & HDE)

Moscow, July 26, 2022 “The decision to withdraw Russia from the International Space Station (ISS) project after 2024 has been taken, and all obligations to partners will be fulfilled.” The announcement was made on Tuesday, July 26, 2022, at a meeting of Russian President Vladimir Putin and director general of the Roscosmos space agency, Yuri Borisov. “We will fulfill all our obligations to our partners, but the decision to leave the ISS after 2024 has been made,” Yuri Borisov told the president. The head of Roscosmos also spoke about the beginning of the formation of the Russian Orbital Service Station (ROSS).

The creation of the ROSS station was identified as one of the most important priorities for the coming years. In addition, the new director general of the space industry intends to develop satellite systems to provide space services to the country's economy. Indeed, Borisov repeated to the president his own words a year ago about plans to reduce work on the ISS after 2024 due to the severe deterioration of systems and equipment in our Russian segment. “It's just that, on April 12, 2021, this decision, clearly requested of the president by former Roskosmos head Dmitry Rogozin, was probably not prepared to the end,” suggests the head of the Space Policy Institute, Ivan Moiseev. “- Either we left immediately, or tomorrow, or later… throughout the year, specific dates “floated”. However, it has now become clear that we have confirmed that we have postponed this decision from a year ago, and all previously signed agreements with NASA remain in effect until 2024.

This was the conversation between the Russian president and the head of the space agency:

Putin: As far as manned cosmonautics is concerned, what are the ideas on what needs to be done in the near future?

Borisov: Mr Putin, you know that we are working within the framework of international cooperation on the International Space Station. Of course, we will fulfill all our obligations to our partners, but the decision to leave the station after 2024 has been made. I think at this point we will start to assemble the Russian orbital station. I believe that the future of Russian manned cosmonautics, above all, must be based on a balanced and systematic scientific program, so that each flight enriches us with knowledge in the space area.

Putin: Great.

According to the plan, the first stage of the assembly of the ROSS station was posted on the state-owned social media channels. This involves launching the Basic Science and Energy Module (NEM), the trunking modules, and the air chamber into a high-latitude orbit, which will allow for the survey of the entire territory of Russia, including the Arctic and the Southern Sea Route. In the first stage, only two cosmonauts will be allowed to remain on the station. In the second phase, the number could double due to the advent of laboratory and production modules, as well as the satellite services platform.

In March, Roscosmos admitted that the Russian government could not extend the agreement on the corporation's participation in the ISS program until 2024 due to multinational economic sanctions imposed in response to the military operation in Ukraine. NASA previously emphasized that they continued to cooperate with Roscosmos on the ISS work. NASA chief Bill Nelson highlighted that the astronauts' relationship with Russia's colleagues on the station remains functional and professional.

As for the second task – providing the country's economy with high-quality communications, satellite navigation, and space maps, how well the industry handles import substitution will play a big role. – This is the most important question – says Ivan Moiseev- Will we have enough money for everything under the new conditions? If we primarily create rockets on our own, the share of imports in creating satellites is very high – up to 80% for some devices. If before we could choose the best of the best, now the choice is restricted – only China. To create something of high quality and your own, you need time and money. But apparently, the president, who previously oversaw Roskosmos through his deputy prime minister, is sure. “…You know the prospects, you know our competitive advantages, the issues that require special attention,” he said, addressing the new boss.

NASA announces plans to continue work on ISS after Russian departure NASA representatives reported that Russia has not officially notified the American side of the withdrawal of the ISS project after 2024.

It is known that the American space agency will continue to operate the International Space Station until 2030, said Joel Montalbano, head of the American ISS program, in a press conference with the National Aerospace Agency. He commented on the words of Roskosmos' director general about the intention to leave the ISS after 2024. "We will approach 2030 in full force," Montalbano said, quoted by SpaceNews editor Jeff Foust on Twitter. Reuters, citing a senior NASA official, reported that Russia had not notified the American side of its plans. Astronaut Kjell Lindgren, who is currently on the ISS, confirmed this via a video link during the conference: according to him, the crew on the station “work together”. Now aboard the ISS, in addition to Lindgren, are NASA astronauts Robert Hines, Samantha Cristoforetti and Jessica Watkins, as well as Roscosmos cosmonauts Oleg Artemyev, Denis Matveev and Sergey Korsakov. In February, NASA admitted that the ISS could cease operation in early 2031. According to the American plan, at this time the station will begin to descend slowly and then enter the atmosphere. Its wreckage should land in an uninhabited area in the South Pacific, near the so-called Point Nemo.


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