End of an Era

Russia plans to leave its decades-long partnership with NASA after 2024 and leave the International Space Station (ISS) for good. This is according to the newly appointed head of the Russian space agency, Yury Borisov. The new Roscosmos chief announced that “the decision to leave this station after 2024 has been made.”

Borisov continued, “You know that we are working within the framework of international cooperation at the International Space Station. Undoubtedly, we will fulfill all our obligations to our partners, but the decision to leave the station after 2024 has been made.” 

An array of international astronauts are shown here in this 2016 photo. Image Credit: rbth.com

NASA announced back in February that it intends to keep operating the International Space Station until the end of 2030, when the plan is for it to be deorbited and crash into the Pacific Ocean. The replacement for the aging ISS would likely be a commercially operated platform that would serve as an interstellar site for international collaboration and scientific research, albeit without Russian or Chinese participation. More on that in a bit.

Robyn Gatens, Director of the International Space Station for NASA, says the US has yet to receive official word from the Russians about their desire to sever ties with the ISS. She says,