NASA and Roscosmos reiterated that they expect to continue operations of the International Space Station after 2024 as NASA continues to push for an extension to 2030.
The new head of Russia’s space agency backed away from comments suggesting Russia would withdraw from the International Space Station as soon as 2024 but expressed doubts Russia would be involved through 2030.
NASA officials said July 26 they have received no official notification from Roscosmos of plans to end cooperation on the International Space Station despite comments from that agency’s new leader.
The Russian government dismissed Dmitry Rogozin as the head of the space agency Roscosmos July 15, the same day the agency and NASA signed a long-anticipated agreement to exchange seats on flights to the International Space Station.
NASA and Roscosmos are in the final stages of completing a long-awaited agreement to allow Russian cosmonauts to fly on commercial crew vehicles and American astronauts on Soyuz spacecraft.
The European Space Agency has officially ended cooperation with Russia on the ExoMars mission, prompting a Russian threat to halt use of a European robotic arm on the International Space Station.
NASA strongly criticized Russia for using the International Space Station to promote its invasion of Ukraine, a break from the agency’s approach of emphasizing ongoing cooperation despite the war.
NASA is continuing to work with Roscosmos on a seat barter agreement despite missing a self-imposed deadline last month to complete a deal in time to allow exchanges on missions launching this fall.
ESA announced April 13 it was further cutting ties with Russia by dropping plans to cooperate on a series of lunar missions, turning instead to NASA and other agencies.
After Western nations refused his demand to end sanctions on Russian companies involved in the International Space Station, the head of Roscosmos said he will make recommendations in the “near future” on Russia’s continued participation in the station, but there are no signs of any near-term changes in station operations.
NASA officials say they are still hopeful to complete a seat barter agreement with Russia in time to allow an exchange of seats on missions this fall despite the tensions between Russia and the West.
A Soyuz spacecraft carrying an American astronaut and two Russian cosmonauts landed in Kazakhstan March 30, an ordinary end of a mission in extraordinary times.
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has not affected operations of the International Space Station or plans for a NASA astronaut to return home on a Soyuz spacecraft late this month, according to agency officials.
Air Force Secretary Frank Kendall said U.S. national security launches will not be affected by Russia’s decision to stop supplying rocket engines to the United States.
The head of Roscosmos has renewed threats to terminate Russian participation in the International Space Station even as NASA says operations on the station remain normal.
Roscosmos is looking to China as a supplier of components and a partner in missions following the invasion of Ukraine, but sanctions could still heavily impact any new plans.
The European Space Agency said Feb. 28 that it is “very unlikely” that its ExoMars mission will launch this September because of sanctions on Russia from its invasion of Ukraine.
American and European officials said Feb. 23 that space cooperation with Russia remains unaffected even as that country continues to threaten a full-scale invasion of Ukraine.
A Russian cosmonaut has received a visa to come to the United States for routine space station training after initially having his application rejected, an incident that’s raised questions about how increased tensions over Ukraine might affect space.
The White House’s decision to extend operations of the International Space Station through the end of the decade is a “trigger” for other partners to make their own plans to continue participation in the station.