The withdrawal of the ISS from Russia is becoming clearer, but it will not take place before 2028
We had recently heard of the news that the Russia was going to withdraw from the ISS after 2024. Now we know that the departure will take place, but that it is not yet imminent. According to an article published by Reuters on July 27, Russia intends to remain a partner in the ISS project at least until its new space station is readywhich means at the earliest in 2028.
This information comes from Kathy Lueders, responsible for human spaceflight at NASA. Lueders said she spoke with Russian officials after the announcement by Yuri Borisovthe director of the Russian space agency Roscosmos.
Nothing changes on the ISS
According to Lueders, they received no indication that anything had changed. She described the relationship between NASA and Roscosmos in the field of human spaceflight as being normal.
We can thus say that the ISS is the only sector in the space industry to still work with Russia. All of the latter’s other partners in the field have decided to sever ties with the country following the invasion of Ukraine. For example, there are Russian rocket engines that American companies can no longer buy, and Soyuz rockets that no longer take off from the European Spaceport in Guyana.
Russia’s future in space
In announcing Russia’s withdrawal, Borisov didn’t really touch on a whole new topic. His predecessor, Dmitry Rogozin, had already threatened to leave the ISS project several times, in particular because of the sanctions that certain countries, including the United States, imposed on Russia.
After the ISS, Russia will concentrate on the construction of its own space station which will be called ROSS or Russian Orbital Service Station. Roscosmos has also recently published an interview with Vladimir Solovyov about the ROSS. Solovyov is the flight director of the Russian segment of the space station and he indicated that a hasty withdrawal from the ISS would be bad for Russia.
Solovyov said they needed to continue to operate the ISS until they can create a more or less tangible backlog for the ROSS. For him, we must consider the fact that if they stop human spaceflight for several years, it will be difficult to restore everything that has already been done.