Russia has decided when it will pull out of the International Space Station (ISS), and will give a year’s notice to its partners, Roscosmos chief Dmitry Rogozin said on Saturday.
In an interview with the Rossiya-24 TV channel, the head of the space agency said that although a timeframe has been set, the authorities “are not obliged to speak about it publicly.”
Rogozin earlier said Western sanctions imposed over Russia’s military offensive on Ukraine are preventing Roscosmos from proceeding with “business as usual” when it comes to joint work with the US and other Western countries on the ISS. He also said that if he could he would already have cased cooperation.
In the interview he noted that the terms of Russia’s activity on the ISS are determined by the government and the president, and that the agency is currently allowed to continue operations on the ISS through 2024.
“I can only say one thing: in accordance with our obligations, we will warn our partners a year in advance about the end of work on the ISS,” he said.
Rogozin also explained that during its remaining time on the ISS, Russia “will demonstrate its readiness to deploy the Russian Orbital Service Station (ROSS).” He said the ROSS will be multifunctional and that development plans are already underway.
“When it is presented… we will begin to create this ‘smart hardware’ and prepare its launch into space, the deployment of the station,” Rogozin said.
Earlier the Roscosmos chief predicted that the ISS, where NASA planned to operate until 2030, would “fall apart” by that time unless “huge amounts of money” are invested in its repair, but that in the current geopolitical environment, work on the ISS is no longer effective for Russia.
In mid-March Rogozin said the “hostile” geopolitical situation could force Russia to make ROSS “militarily applicable.” It will mean, according to Rogozin, that “there will be no one” on ROSS besides the Russian cosmonauts, who will “service the target equipment installed at this station.”
Since Russia launched its military offensive in Ukraine in late February, many countries have imposed sweeping sanctions on Moscow, targeting its banks, finances, and the import of sensitive technology, among other things.