Russia open to continued operation of the ISS space station

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Russia is open to continuing to operate the International Space Station ISS until 2030. The USA had already announced a corresponding extension two weeks ago. “This allows us to prepare a decision by the Russian government to extend the ISS mission,” said the head of the Russian space agency Roscosmos, Dmitry Rogozin, according to the Interfax news agency. At first he did not say when Moscow would make a decision. As recently as spring 2021, Rogozin had threatened Russia with an exit from 2025.

The currently valid agreement between the international partners expires in 2024. An extension has been discussed for a long time. Russia had justified a possible withdrawal from the project with reference to US sanctions against its own space companies, but recently signaled an interest in continued operation.

The gradual construction of the ISS, which flies around 400 kilometers above the earth, began in 1998. In Russia, there were increasing numbers of critical voices last year who, in view of the many technical faults in the ISS, doubted that the safety of astronauts could be guaranteed at all until 2030.

There are currently seven astronauts and cosmonauts there, including Matthias Maurer from the Saarland for more than two months.


(bme)

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