Rogozin: Russia to Gradually Withdraw from International Space Station Starting in 2025

The International Space Station, photographed by ESA astronaut Paolo Nespoli following the undocking of his Soyuz-TMA on 23 May 2011. (Credit: ESA/NASA)

Roscomos General Director Dmitry Rogozin said Russia’s withdrawal from the International Space Station (ISS) will be a gradual one. TASS reports:

“Work is already underway on the first basic module for the new Russian orbital service station. The Energia Space Rocket Corporation has been set the task of ensuring its readiness for the launch into the designated orbit in 2025,” Rogozin wrote in his Telegram channel.

The Roscosmos chief also posted a video of the first module under construction: this will be a research and power unit that was previously intended for its launch to the International Space Station in 2024….

“There is no talk about dumping the ISS in 2025. We are talking about our gradual exit from this project and creating a new national orbital service station,” the Roscosmos chief wrote on his Facebook, responding to a user’s comment.

The Kremlin-backed news channel RT previously reported that Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed off on the new space station due to the deteriorating condition of ISS.

In recent years, the ISS has begun to fall apart, with astronauts now frequently discovering cracks. Last week, it was revealed that Russian cosmonauts were still working on plugging a leak first noticed in 2019. The ongoing problems with the international station have prompted Moscow to begin creating a replacement.

Called ROSS, the Russian orbital satellite will consist of three to seven modules and will be able to carry up to four people. Although only approved by Putin on Monday, on the 60th anniversary of Yuri Gagarin’s landmark first human spaceflight, the project has been in the works for some time. Last November, the first deputy designer general for space contractor RSC Energia revealed his belief that Russia needed to get started on a new station, saying the ISS was already falling apart.

“Until 2025, Russia has obligations to participate in the ISS program,” Vladimir Solovyov told the Russian Academy of Sciences. “There are already a number of elements that have been seriously damaged and are out of service. Many of them are not replaceable. After 2025, we predict an avalanche-like failure of numerous elements onboard the ISS.”

The United States wants to extend station operations until 2028 or 2030.