Russia to leave International Space Station project after 2024, director says
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Russia will opt out of the International Space Station project “after 2024” and will focus on building out its own post, the newly-appointed space chief said Tuesday.
Yuri Borisov, who was appointed earlier this month as the head of Moscow’s space corporation Roscosmos, told Russian President Vladimir Putin that Russia will fulfill its partner commitments before leaving in less than two-year’s time.
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“The decision to leave the station after 2024 has been made,” Borisov said according to reports Tuesday.
The announcement comes after months of speculation that Moscow would abandon the international space collaborative amid its controversial war in Ukraine – ending a 30-year partnership after it was first invited to join the International Space Station in December 1993.
Though according to Robyn Gatens, the Director of the International Space Station Division at NASA Headquarters, she has received no official notice from Roscosmos about severing its participation in the International Space Station, first reported Space News Inc.
Despite a steep decline in international relations between Moscow and Western nations, NASA and Roscosmos agreed earlier this month to push geopolitics aside and signed partnership agreement to benefit the astronaut community.
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The deal would allow Russian cosmonauts to catch a ride on U.S.-made spacecraft in exchange for American astronauts being able to fly on Russian spacecraft.
The agreement set to begin this fall would mean that the space station would always have at least one American and one Russian on board so that both sides could monitor the outpost.
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U.S. astronaut Frank Rubio is still set to fly to the International Space Station from Kazakhstan in September, riding alongside two Russians.
Later that month Russian cosmonaut Anna Kikina will join two Americans and one Japanese aboard a SpaceX rocket launching from Florida.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.