Russia intends to leave International Space Station ‘after 2024’
Russia has decided to leave the International Space Station 'after 2024', the new head of Moscow's space agency told President Putin on Tuesday.
The announcement comes at a time when tensions between the Kremlin and the West are intensifying over Moscow’s military interference in Ukraine and various unprecedented series of sanctions against Russia.
Russia and the United States have worked together on the ISS, which has been in orbit since 1998.
“Sure, we will meet all our obligations to our partners, but the decision to leave this station after 2024 has been taken,” Yury Borisov, who was appointed head of Roscosmos in the middle of July, told Putin. ‘I think in the meantime we will start building a Russian orbital station,’ added Borisov, calling it the main ‘priority’ of the space program. “Good,” Putin replied in remarks published by the Kremlin.
Until now space exploration was one of the few areas where collaboration between Russia and the United States and its allies had not been ruined by tensions over Ukraine and elsewhere. Borisov said the space industry was in a ‘tricky situation’.
He said he would seek ‘to raise the bar, and in the first place, to provide the necessary space services to the Russian economy’, navigating, communicating, and transmitting data, among other things.
One of the key achievements of the Soviet space program was the dispatch of the first man into space in 1961 remains a great source of national pride in the Russian Federation.
But experts say that Russia’s space agency remains in the shadow of its former identity and has suffered a series of setbacks in recent years. These include corruption scandals and the loss of several satellites and spacecraft.
Borisov, a former deputy prime minister of military background, replaced Dmitry Rogozin, a flamboyant nationalist politician known for his grandiloquent statements and eccentric behavior.