Breaking News
Get Actionable Insights with InvestingPro+: Start 7 Day FREE Trial Register here
Investing Pro 0
Ad-Free Version. Upgrade your Investing.com experience. Save up to 40% More details

Russia signals space station pullout; NASA says it's not official yet

World Jul 26, 2022 11:31PM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This article has already been saved in your Saved Items
 
© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: The International Space Station (ISS) photographed by Expedition 56 crew members from a Soyuz spacecraft after undocking, October 4, 2018. NASA/Roscosmos/Handout via REUTERS/File Photo

By Joey Roulette

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Russia's new space chief announced on Tuesday his country plans to withdraw from the International Space Station after 2024, but senior NASA officials said Moscow has not formally conveyed an intent to end its two-decade-old orbital partnership with the United States.

While heightened tensions between Moscow and Washington over Russia's invasion of Ukraine have raised months of doubt about future American-Russian space cooperation, the announcement by Yuri Borisov, the newly appointed director-general of Russia's space agency Roscosmos, came as a surprise.

The two former Cold War adversaries signed a crew exchange agreement less than two weeks ago allowing U.S. astronauts and Russian cosmonauts to share flights on each other's spacecraft to and from International Space Station (ISS) in the future.

NASA Administrator Bill Nelson issued a statement reiterating the U.S. commitment to keeping the ISS in operation through 2030, adding the space agency "is coordinating with our partners."

"NASA has not been made aware of decisions from any of our partners, though we are continuing to build future capabilities to assure our major presence in low-Earth orbit," he said.

Launched in 1998, the ISS has been continuously occupied since November 2000 under an U.S.-Russian-led partnership that also includes Canada, Japan and 11 European countries.

"Of course, we will fulfill all our obligations to our partners, but the decision about withdrawing from the station after 2024 has been made," Borisov told Russian President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday.

Robyn Gatens, NASA's ISS director, said her Russian counterparts have not communicated any such intent as required by the intergovernmental agreement on the orbiting research platform.

"Nothing official yet," Gatens said in an interview at an ISS conference in Washington. "We haven't gotten anything official."

White House spokesperson Karine Jean-Peters likewise said Moscow "has not formally notified the United States of their intention to withdraw from the ISS."

"We're exploring options to mitigate the potential impacts on the ISS beyond 2024 if Russia does withdraw," she added in a briefing for reporters.

STRAINED SPACE RELATIONS

The space station was born in part from a foreign policy initiative to improve American-Russian relations following the collapse of the Soviet Union and the Cold War hostility that spurred the original U.S.-Soviet space race.

The ISS arrangement, which has endured numerous strains over the years, has stood as one of the last links of civil cooperation as Russia's Feb. 24 invasion of Ukraine sent relations between Washington and Moscow to a new post-Cold War low.

NASA and Roscosmos had been in talks to extend Russia's ISS participation to 2030. The White House this year approved NASA's plans to continue running the ISS until then.

NASA officials had previously said bilateral cooperation aboard the space station remained intact.

Borisov's remarks on Tuesday followed a pattern similar to those of his predecessor, Dmitry Rogozin, who during his tenure would occasionally signal an intent to withdraw from the ISS - in contrast with official talks between NASA and Roscosmos.

Asked for clarification on Russia's space station plans, a Roscosmos spokeswoman referred Reuters to Borisov's remarks without saying whether it represented the agency's official position.

The U.S. and Russian segments of the ISS, spanning the size of a football field and orbiting some 250 miles (400 km) above Earth, were deliberately built to be intertwined and technically interdependent.

For example, while U.S. gyroscopes provide day-to-day control over ISS orientation in space and U.S. solar arrays augment power supplies to the Russian module, the Russian unit provides the propulsion used to keep the station in orbit.

"You can't have an amicable divorce," Garrett Reisman, a retired NASA astronaut and current astronautical engineering professor at the University of Southern California, told Reuters in an interview. "We're kind of stuck together."

Former Russian space chief Rogozin had previously said that Russia could not agree to extend its ISS role beyond 2024 unless the United States lifts sanctions on two Russian companies blacklisted for suspected military ties. Putin removed Rogozin as space chief on July 15, replacing him with Borisov, a former deputy prime minister and deputy defense minister.

Russia signals space station pullout; NASA says it's not official yet
 

Related Articles

Israel and Palestinian militants declare Gaza truce
Israel and Palestinian militants declare Gaza truce By Reuters - Aug 08, 2022 2

By Nidal al-Mughrabi and Maayan Lubell GAZA/JERUSALEM (Reuters) -Israel and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad militant group declared a truce late on Sunday, raising hopes of an end...

Add a Comment

Comment Guidelines

We encourage you to use comments to engage with other users, share your perspective and ask questions of authors and each other. However, in order to maintain the high level of discourse we’ve all come to value and expect, please keep the following criteria in mind:  

  •            Enrich the conversation, don’t trash it.

  •           Stay focused and on track. Only post material that’s relevant to the topic being discussed. 

  •           Be respectful. Even negative opinions can be framed positively and diplomatically. Avoid profanity, slander or personal attacks directed at an author or another user. Racism, sexism and other forms of discrimination will not be tolerated.

  • Use standard writing style. Include punctuation and upper and lower cases. Comments that are written in all caps and contain excessive use of symbols will be removed.
  • NOTE: Spam and/or promotional messages and comments containing links will be removed. Phone numbers, email addresses, links to personal or business websites, Skype/Telegram/WhatsApp etc. addresses (including links to groups) will also be removed; self-promotional material or business-related solicitations or PR (ie, contact me for signals/advice etc.), and/or any other comment that contains personal contact specifcs or advertising will be removed as well. In addition, any of the above-mentioned violations may result in suspension of your account.
  • Doxxing. We do not allow any sharing of private or personal contact or other information about any individual or organization. This will result in immediate suspension of the commentor and his or her account.
  • Don’t monopolize the conversation. We appreciate passion and conviction, but we also strongly believe in giving everyone a chance to air their point of view. Therefore, in addition to civil interaction, we expect commenters to offer their opinions succinctly and thoughtfully, but not so repeatedly that others are annoyed or offended. If we receive complaints about individuals who take over a thread or forum, we reserve the right to ban them from the site, without recourse.
  • Only English comments will be allowed.

Perpetrators of spam or abuse will be deleted from the site and prohibited from future registration at Investing.com’s discretion.

Write your thoughts here
 
Are you sure you want to delete this chart?
 
Post
Post also to:
 
Replace the attached chart with a new chart ?
1000
Your ability to comment is currently suspended due to negative user reports. Your status will be reviewed by our moderators.
Please wait a minute before you try to comment again.
Thanks for your comment. Please note that all comments are pending until approved by our moderators. It may therefore take some time before it appears on our website.
 
Are you sure you want to delete this chart?
 
Post
 
Replace the attached chart with a new chart ?
1000
Your ability to comment is currently suspended due to negative user reports. Your status will be reviewed by our moderators.
Please wait a minute before you try to comment again.
Add Chart to Comment
Confirm Block

Are you sure you want to block %USER_NAME%?

By doing so, you and %USER_NAME% will not be able to see any of each other's Investing.com's posts.

%USER_NAME% was successfully added to your Block List

Since you’ve just unblocked this person, you must wait 48 hours before renewing the block.

Report this comment

I feel that this comment is:

Comment flagged

Thank You!

Your report has been sent to our moderators for review
Continue with Google
or
Sign up with Email