Russia's decision to remain on ISS til 2028 saves it from early demise
NASA has announced that Russia will remain a participant aboard the International Space Station (ISS) until 2028, ensuring the station's safe operation until it is finally vacated by all 15 international partners in 2030 before its deorbiting.
In July 2022, as relations with Russia and the West reached a new low over Moscow's invasion of Ukraine, Roscosmos Chief Yury Borisov caused a major stir in space circles when he declared that his country would no longer be a part of the ISS partnership after 2024.
Citing costs and the safety of Russian cosmonauts as the primary reason, the decision was not just one that further damaged East/West diplomacy, it also put the ISS in peril because Russia is a major contributor of hardware to the space station and Russian Progress cargo ships provide the thrust needed to keep it in the proper orbit. In addition, Russia's Zvezda module contains the station's primary life support systems.
Another concern was that Russia would follow its abandoning of the ISS by removing its modules to build a new station of its own – a risky operation at best. In the worst-case scenario, Russia leaving the 15-nation partnership might have resulted in the ISS being deorbited and burning up in a controlled reentry five years earlier than planned.
Though the unstable geopolitical situation makes the remainder of the ISS's lifespan about as secure as that of a salmon at a bear convention, the recent decision does introduce an element of hope.
"The International Space Station is an incredible partnership with a common goal to advance science and exploration," said Robyn Gatens, director of the International Space Station Division at NASA Headquarters in Washington. "Extending our time aboard this amazing platform allows us to reap the benefits of more than two decades of experiments and technology demonstrations, as well as continue to materialize even greater discovery to come."
Please keep comments to less than 150 words. No abusive material or spam will be published.
just bogus in the first place?
Also, why is 2030 the date chosen for shuttering the Space Station?