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Russia will use International Space Station 'until 2028'
Russia will use International Space Station 'until 2028'
by AFP Staff Writers
Moscow (AFP) April 12, 2023

Russia said Wednesday it planned to use the International Space Station until 2028, an apparent reversal of an earlier announcement to quit the orbiting laboratory after 2024.

In July last year, Moscow said it was leaving the International Space Station "after 2024" as ties unravelled between the Kremlin and the West over Moscow's military intervention in Ukraine.

On Wednesday, the head of Russian space agency Roscosmos, Yuri Borisov, said Moscow's participation in the international space project had been extended.

"By the decision of the government, the operation of the International Space Station has been extended until 2028," Borisov told President Vladimir Putin during a televised meeting, referring to the Russian segment.

He said the "time has come" to discuss the creation of a Russian orbital station.

"Time is running fast and we cannot take a break from manned spaceflight under any circumstances," Borisov told the Kremlin chief.

The ISS was launched in 1998 at a time of increased US-Russia cooperation following the Cold War "Space Race."

ISS partners -- the United States, Russia, Europe, Canada and Japan -- are for the moment only committed to operate the orbiting laboratory until 2024, though US officials have stated they want to continue until 2030.

The space sector is a rare venue of cooperation between Moscow and Washington since Russia sent troops to Ukraine.

Space experts say the construction of a new orbital station could take more than a decade and Moscow's departure from the International Space Station would deal a significant blow to its programme of manned flights.



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