According to TechCrunch, Russia is now having internal discussions on whether or not they will continue to contribute to the International Space Station (ISS) until 2024.
Despite the country’s earlier declaration, Sergei Krikalev, Head of Human Space Programs for Roscosmos, claimed that no final decision has been taken by the Russian space agency regarding the extension of remaining in the ISS.
According to Roscosmos Director Yur Borisov, Russia declared its exit from the station after 2024 in July. They’ll design and construct their own orbiting station instead. However, they immediately snatched it back since they plan to extend its participation for an additional four years, according to Reuters.
Russia’s Motivations to Stay
The future plans and continuing on the space station with numerous astronauts from NASA, ESA, JAXA, and other organisations led to Russia’s choice to remain. This is made worse by the possibility that Russia’s station won’t be complete until 2025.
Russian officials have expressed a desire to continue the collaboration till the completion of their own space station, NASA Space Operations Chief Kathy Lueders revealed through The Sun. Russia did not provide any precise dates for the project.
The United States, Russia, Canada, Japan, and Europe are among the countries whose space agencies work together to run the International Space Station. The ISS will continue to run as planned until 2030.
Tomorrow, October 5, SpaceX will launch four crew members to the ISS for this mission. According to Space, the team would also comprise cosmonaut Anna Kikina, NASA astronauts Nicole Mann and Josh Cassada, and Japanese spaceflyer Koichi Wakata. A cosmonaut will be aboard a SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft for the first time ever.
A Russian Soyuz spacecraft and an American astronaut, Francisco Rubo, both launched to the ISS last month. The exchange agreement between the United States and Russia includes both launches.
Krikalev continued, “We will continue this approach to make our software more dependable. This type of interchange will strengthen the resilience of our programme.”
Since the US invaded Ukraine in February, there have been strained relations between Russia and the US. Despite the tensions, all of the plans that were a part of the agreement were still carried out. Employees from the United States continue to collaborate with Roscosmos at Mission Control in Moscow, Russia, according to NASA Manager of the ISS Program Joel Montalbano. He continued by saying that dialogue between the two nations was ongoing.