Russia set to abandon the International Space Station, leave NASA to fly solo
Russia has decided to quit the International Space Station (ISS) program, the new chief of Moscow's space agency Roscosmos said. This will leave NASA alone to fly the ISS. The announcement has been made after the West isolated Russia from trade and finance over the Kremlin's war in Ukraine. Tensions between Russia and the West heightened after Moscow's military intervention in Ukraine. The Russian space agency Roscosmos had been threatening to pull out of the ISS for months on concerns over Western sanctions that would destroy cooperation with NASA aboard the orbital lab.
As reported by space.com, the new head of Roscosmos, Yuri Borisov said, "The decision to leave the station after 2024 has been made." As per reports, Russia has already started looking for potential projects that can replace the ISS after 2024. Earlier, Russia was supposed to quit ISS in 2024, however, it has now likely been shifted by 2028.
Borisov shared that by that time they will start putting together a Russian orbital station. Talking about the same, Roscosmos Executive Director for Piloted Space Flights Sergey Krikalev said that there is no fixed date about how long it will take to establish a Russian orbital station, but work will continue nominally and in accordance with international agreements.
Borisov replaced Dmitry Rogozin as the head of Roscosmos after President Vladimir Putin removed the latter. Borisov is a former Deputy Prime Minister with a military background and is known for his eccentric nationalist behavior.
Until now space exploration is one of those areas where Russia and the United States' were not affected by the ongoing tensions over Ukraine and elsewhere. However, with this announcement, it seems to be nearing its end.