‘Not yet reported’: NASA surprised by Russia’s ISS evacuation

“Not reported yet”
NASA surprised by Russia’s ISS evacuation

So far, international cooperation in space has transcended all political crises. But now Russia has announced that it is withdrawing from the ISS system. It is unclear how work in space will continue without a space nation. NASA is surprised.

Russia wants to leave the International Space Station after 2024, but that hasn’t been announced yet, according to NASA. NASA President Bill Nelson said, “NASA has not been notified of any partner’s decision. NASA is still committed to operating the ISS through 2030, and is therefore coordinating its work with its partners.

This was announced earlier by the Russian space agency Roscosmos ISS to be decommissioned after 2024. “Of course we will fulfill all obligations to our partners, but it has been decided to leave the station after 2024,” said new Roscosmos boss Yuri Borisov in a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin. US National Security Council communications director John Kirby said the Russian government had not officially notified the US of any such intentions. Options are being explored to mitigate potential impacts to the ISS after 2024, Kirby said.

The ISS is owned by the United States, Russia, Canada, Japan and the European Space Agency (ESA). However, without Russia’s cooperation, the station could not continue to operate in this way. It’s unclear what will happen to humanity’s more than 20-year-old and now fracturing outpost after 2024. Most recently, Russia sank the Mir space station in the Pacific in 2001 after 15 years of operation. The news from Moscow was nothing short of surprising. The ISS, which orbits 400 kilometers above Earth, has been in operation for years and has been plagued by repeated malfunctions.

Sanctions also hit Roscosmos

After the Putin-ordered invasion of Ukraine, Western countries also imposed economic sanctions on the Russian space industry, which is why Roscosmos is complaining of massive technical problems. Dmitry Rogozin, head of Roscosmos, has recently repeatedly questioned cooperation with the United States, given the acute political tensions between Moscow and Washington. Rogozin did not rule out disconnecting the Russian module from the ISS and allowing it to continue operating independently. He also pointed to the possibility of using a military earth observation station.

His successor, Borisov, has now announced that construction of the Russian space station must begin before departure. Vladimir Solovyov, chief designer at Russian rocket maker Energia, said the first module for Russia’s new space station will launch in 2028. A decision should be made by the end of this year. “Ankara-A5M” rocket from Vostokny Cosmodrome can carry this module into space, he said.

The ISS has long been seen as a symbol of hope for international understanding: “The lasting legacy of the ISS will be a place of international cooperation and peace,” US astronaut Thomas Marshburn said when he was commissioned in May. ISS board told his Russian colleague Oleg Artemyev. According to Moscow, cooperation on the ISS should continue until the Russian withdrawal.

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