On July 26, when reporting to President Vladimir Putin, President of the Space Group Corporation Borisov said that Russia has decided to withdraw from the International Space Station after 2024 and will build its own space station. Putin agreed to this.
The International Space Station ( ISS ) is an international cooperative space exploration project. It is large, systematically complex and technologically advanced. Built, operated and used by 16 countries, it is the largest, longest and most involved international space cooperation project ever. The ISS was built on the Russian Mir orbital station, and Russia controls key systems of the ISS. Many fear that Russia’s withdrawal from the ISS could cause serious damage to the station.
In February, after the outbreak of the Russia-Ukraine conflict, the U.S. imposed a series of sanctions on Russia, including in the Russian space sector. Russia had asked the U.S. and European national space agencies to lift the sanctions and warned that the deadline for cooperation on the International Space Station would depend on Russia’s decision. In April, Roscosmos President Dmitry Rogozin said that Russia’s relations with its partners on the ISS and other projects will return to normal only if the illegal sanctions are completely and unconditionally lifted.
Borisov told Putin, “We will definitely fulfill all our obligations to our partners, but the decision to withdraw from this station after 2024 has been made.” Russia will leave the ISS project after 2024, but they will still fulfill all existing obligations to their partners within the framework of ISS work.
Previously, the Russian proposed its own plan for space facility construction, which is to build its own space station, i.e., it plans to start ” outpost assembly ” in 2028, including a core module, a new cargo spacecraft, a new manned rocket, etc., and then start the second phase of construction around 2030, adding two larger modules.
However, at the International Space Station Research and Development Conference, NASA officials said that they were not officially notified of any plans to end Roscosmos’ participation in the station. “We haven’t received any official word from the partner as to the news today,” according to Robyn Gatens, ISS director at NASA Headquarters.
The White House press secretary said they have not received official notification from the Russian side, but they said they are exploring options that could mitigate the impact on the International Space Station after 2024 if Russia does leave.