Russia intends to withdraw from the International Space Station (ISS) project with the West after 2024, this according to the new head — Yury Borisov — of Roscosmos, the nation’s space agency.
Moscow intends to fulfill all its obligations to foreign partners as part of the ISS project, but “the decision to withdraw from this station after 2024 has been made,” Borisov told President Vladimir Putin during a meeting at the Kremlin. “I think, by that time, we’ll start putting together a Russian orbital station,” Borisov added.
According to Roscosmos, Russia’s manned space flights should form part of a systematic scientific program — each mission would provide the country with new knowledge.
The previous head of Roscosmos, Dmitry Rogozin, had predicted that the ISS, which NASA plans to operate until 2030, would “fall apart” by that time unless “huge amounts of money” are invested in its repair. However, efforts to keep the station on-orbit are no longer effective for Russia, due to the current geopolitical environment, Rogozin stated.
Borisov also acknowledged in April that the Russian station modules have exhausted their lifespans.
The ISS was launched in 1998 as a joint effort by Russian, American, Japanese, Canadian and European space agencies. The space station is divided into Russian and American sections, with the latter being run by the US and other participants of the project.
Roscosmos had earlier shared sketches of the Russian Orbital Service Station (ROSS) which the nation plans to build to replace the ISS. ROSS is planned to be a fully automated station and Russian cosmonauts will only need to service and replace equipment.
ROSS will be comprised of four modules as well as a spacecraft-maintenance platform and will host a crew of from two to four people.