The International Space Station has its name for a reason. The orbiting laboratory has hosted astronauts from all over the world over its many years. With the installation of new devices on the spacecraft, its capabilities have grown and a lot of science is being carried out. Over the years, the United States (NASA) and Russia (Roscosmos) have been the main partners that keep the space station operational. Now one of those partners is contemplating the dangerous decision to withdraw. Hint: It is not NASA.
Regarding Russia’s TASS news agency, according to the reports, Russian officials decided that it was time for the country to make a decision on withdrawing from the International Space Station. The decision will reportedly be made after a technical and inspection examination of the spacecraft itself, some grinding and a risk assessment. Simply put, Russia no longer believes that the space station is suitable for long-term research efforts, and as of 2025 it may not feel comfortable sending its scientists there.
At least little information appears to have been lost during the translation from the original Russian reports and what is being distributed on some news sites. Some outlets say Russia has already decided to leave the station, while others quoted Russian officials as saying that they are still considering the decision. Whatever the case, it is clear that Russia is no longer “participating” in the International Space Station, and blames this sentiment on the technical condition of the spacecraft itself.
Russia has conducted spacecraft risk assessments in the recent past and some of the country’s top specialists predict that “many of the elements on board the International Space Station will fail” after 2025. The country has already agreed to work with NASA and other partners in the region on the International Space Station project. Until 2024. At least, at this point you can decide that’s enough.
Either way, a statement from Roscosmos doesn’t offer much confirmation:
“We have 2024 as an agreed time limit with our partners regarding the operation of the International Space Station. After that, decisions will be made based on the technical condition of the station units, which have often also reached their useful life. We also planned to deploy a next-generation national orbital service station.”
It would be interesting to see what NASA would do if its main partner on the International Space Station decided to return to the program in 2025. The spacecraft spent more than two decades in space, gradually growing as NASA and Russia expanded, bringing in more scientific equipment and testing various modules for ease of use. Many new discoveries were made during his time in space, but no one disputes that this is the latest machine to orbit the Earth. Leaks have occurred regularly, especially on the Russian side of the spacecraft. It will eventually need to be replaced completely, but nobody really knows when this will happen. For now, scientists have yet to work on microgravity.
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View the original version of this article at BGR.com
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