Russia Will Leave the International Space Station in 2024!
Russia will pull out of the International Space Station after 2024 and focus on building its own orbiting outpost, the country’s new space chief said Tuesday amid high tensions between Moscow and the West over the fighting in Ukraine.
The announcement, while not unexpected, throws into question the future of the 24-year-old space station, with experts saying it would be extremely difficult — perhaps a “nightmare,” by one reckoning — to keep it running without the Russians. NASA and its partners had hoped to continue operating it until 2030.
“The decision to leave the station after 2024 has been made,” Yuri Borisov, appointed this month to lead the Russian space agency, Roscosmos, said during a meeting with President Vladimir Putin. He added: “I think that by that time we will start forming a Russian orbiting station.”
The space station has long been a symbol of international cooperation in the name of science after the Cold War. It is now one of the last places where the U.S. and the Kremlin work together.
U.S. State Department spokesman Ned Price called the announcement “an unfortunate development” given the “valuable professional collaboration our space agencies have had over the years.” National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby said the U.S. is “exploring options” for dealing with a Russian withdrawal.
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