The director general of the Russian space agency Roscosmos, Dmitry Rogozin, has confirmed that the country will leave the International Space Station, according to a Bloomberg report.
Rogozin said Moscow’s decision to leave the ISS was due to economic sanctions imposed on the country following its invasion of Ukraine. This decision marks the end of an unprecedented era of global collaboration and is the culmination of a split that has been in the making for a long time.
The United States and Russia have already drawn up plans for life beyond the aging ISS, and Russia has already spoken out about continuing space operations without US collaboration.
Russia blames ISS escape on US sanctions
On Saturday April 30, two Russian state news agencies, Tass and RIA Novosti, reported that Rogozin said the decision was made in an official capacity.
“The decision has already been made, we don’t have to talk about it publicly,” he told state television. “I can only say this: in accordance with our obligations, we will inform our partners of the end of our work on the ISS with one year’s notice.”
Shortly after the start of the Russian conflict in Ukraine, when the United States and other world powers imposed aerospace sanctions on Russia, Rogozin said the United States could launch into space aboard “American brooms” because it could no longer rely on Russian Soyuz rocket launches for its space operations. The head of Roscosmos blasted Western economic sanctions and also said the country would end its partnerships with NASA and the European Space Agency.
“I believe that the restoration of normal relations between the partners of the International Space Station and other joint projects is only possible with the complete and unconditional lifting of illegal sanctions,” he added. he tweeted.
Following suggestions in February that Russia leaving the ISS could cause the orbital station to deorbit, Elon Musk wrote that SpaceX could help keep the ISS operational.
The end of an era of unprecedented space collaboration
The announcement ends a collaboration on a bastion of global scientific cooperation and what many have constituted as an era of successful cooperation between Moscow and Washington. Since its launch in 1998, the ISS has fostered teamwork between global scientists from Russia, the United States, Canada, Japan and the European Space Agency (ESA), making it the collaboration most ambitious scientist in history. The space station has enabled countless breakthroughs, including recent work with the Bose-Einstein Quantum state, or the “fifth state of matter.”
Last year, we reported that Russia planned to launch its own space station by 2025, and that its space agency was already considering canceling the collaboration on the ISS beyond 2024, when its current agreement was terminated. ended. Moscow had recently refused to collaborate with NASA on its lunar gateway project, deciding instead to create its own lunar space station alongside China.
The United States recently announced that it intends to keep the ISS operational until 2030, although the space station’s aging hardware means it will eventually be decommissioned and perform a controlled re-entry above the Earth. one of the Earth’s oceans. Much like Russia, the United States is planning a life beyond the ISS and has contracts with Blue Origin, Lockheed Martin and others to help them launch private space stations into orbit.