- Moscow will continue to be a part of the International Space Station (ISS).
- Until Russia creates its own outpost by 2028, its space agency officials assured their partners in the United States.
- A conference is set for Friday, July 29, to discuss extending the US-Russia partnership.
Till 2028, Moscow will continue to be a part of the International Space Station (ISS), Russian space agency officials assured their partners in the United States, an official said on Wednesday, 27 July. Russia might have its own outpost by then.
The International Space Station‘s two main partners are NASA and Roscosmos, and both organizations are responsible for running the craft and always providing a human presence there. Concerns over the ISS partnership’s survival have been raised in light of the increasingly unfriendly relationship between the United States and Russia over Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. While NASA has always reassured the public that operations are continuing as usual on the station, Borisov’s predecessor, Dmitry Rogozin, made many threats about Roscosmos’s withdrawal from the ISS agreement.
This follows the unexpected declaration by the Russian space agency Roscosmos that it will discontinue its collaboration with NASA in 2024. But according to NASA’s Space Operations Chief Kathy Lueders, Roscosmos will continue working with NASA until the completion of its station, known as ROSS.
According to Lueders, who was reported by Reuters, “we’re not getting any indication at any working level that anything’s changed,” and that for the time being, interactions between the US space agency and Roscosmos would continue “business as usual.”
Friday’s Meeting To Decide The Extending Partnership
This Friday’s meeting will be to discuss expanding participation. In addition to astronauts from the US and Russia, the International Space Station (ISS), a science laboratory roughly the size of a football field that orbits 400 kilometers above Earth, has been occupied continuously for more than 20 years. It has also hosted astronauts from Canada, Japan, and 11 European nations.
There hasn’t been a formal agreement reached, though, to keep Moscow’s involvement going into 2024. Lueders added that a conference set for Friday, July 29, with officials of the US, Russia, and other partners is expected to cover the possibility of extending each other’s involvement in the ISS beyond 2030.
In an interview with Vladimir Solovyov, the flight director of the Russian part of the space station, that was posted on Roscosmos’ website on Wednesday, Solovyov stated that Moscow must remain in the ISS until ROSS is operational.
“We, of course, need to continue operating the ISS until we create a more or less tangible backlog for ROSS. We must take into account that if we stop manned flights for several years, then it will be very difficult to restore what has been achieved,” Solovyov had said, as per Reuters.
ROSS will be built in two phases, with the first starting in 2028. Additionally, Rogozin has stated that the ISS and the next Russian space station will need to share space. Therefore, there’s no need to start worrying about the future of the space station just yet. The spacecraft will reportedly continue to be used by NASA until 2030, and Roscosmos will likely be there for most of that period.