Russia says it will quit International Space Station after 2024
The country will focus on building its own orbital station, the newly appointed space chief says.
Russia on Tuesday announced that it will pull out of the International Space Station after its current commitment ends by 2024.
The announcement was made during a meeting between Yuri Borisov, the newly-inducted chief of Roscosmos State Corporation, and Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Roscosmos agency is in charge of the country’s space programme. Borisov was made its director general on July 15.
On Tuesday, Putin asked Borisov to share some ideas about what needs to be done for manned space exploration.
“Mr Putin, you know that we are working within the framework of international cooperation on the International Space Station,” Borisov said. “Of course, we will fulfill all our obligations to our partners, but the decision to leave this station after 2024 has been made.”
Borisov said that Roscosmos will instead focus on building its own orbital station.
“I believe that the future of Russian manned cosmonautics, first of all, should be based on a balanced and systematic scientific programme, so that each flight enriches us with knowledge in the field of space,” Borisov added.
To this, Putin replied: “Good”.
Tuesday’s development came amid tensions between the Kremlin and the West after the Russian military invaded Ukraine on February 24.
Russia and the United States have worked together on the International Space Station, which has been in the orbit since 1988, AFP reported.
On Tuesday, Borisov told Putin that the space industry was in a difficult situation. He said his main task now is towards providing the Russian economy with the necessary space services.
“And this is navigation, this is communication, data transmission, meteorological, geodetic information and so on,” he added. “These are the most demanded services today, without which it is impossible to imagine modern life.”
Phil Larson, a White House space advisor during the Barack Obama regime, called the move a “bluster from the Russians”, The New York Times reported. “It could be revisited or it could come to fruition,” he added.