Russia plans to withdraw from International Space Station in 2024

The 24-year-old space station has long been a symbol of post-Cold War international teamwork and is one of the last areas of cooperation between the U.S. and the Kremlin

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World News

July 26, 2022 - 4:06 PM

Russian President Vladimir Putin meets with Russia's space agency Roscosmos head Yury Borisov at the Kremlin in Moscow on July 26, 2022. (Mikhail Klimentyev/Sputnik/AFP/Getty Images/TNS)

MOSCOW (AP) — Russia will pull out of the International Space Station after 2024 and focus on building its own orbiting outpost, the country’s new space chief said Tuesday amid high tensions between Moscow and the West over the fighting in Ukraine.

The announcement, while not unexpected, throws into question the future of the 24-year-old space station, with experts saying it would be extremely difficult — perhaps a “nightmare,” by one reckoning — to keep it running without the Russians. NASA and its partners had hoped to continue operating it until 2030.

“The decision to leave the station after 2024 has been made,” Yuri Borisov, appointed this month to lead the Russian space agency, Roscosmos, said during a meeting with President Vladimir Putin. He added: “I think that by that time we will start forming a Russian orbiting station.”

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