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Russia reaffirms commitments to ISS through 2028

Published Apr 28th, 2023 7:34PM EDT
ISS Nauka
Image: Roscosmos

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The past year and some months has been rocky for the International Space Station. After Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, and the subsequent response from the United States and other world powers, Russia’s withdrawal from the ISS seemed imminent. Now, that doesn’t seem to be the case at all, as Russia has reinforced its commitment to the ISS through 2028.

Back in 2022, Russia said that it would leave the ISS sometime after 2024. This left NASA and other ISS partners scrambling to figure out who would replace Russia, which is involved in several key parts of the station. The vague departure, of course, left it open that Russia would stick with the ISS — and that’s exactly what has happened.

According to an update shared by NASA in late April, Russia has confirmed its commitment to the International Space Station’s operations throughout 2028. The rest of the station’s partners — including Europe, Canada, and Japan have signed on through 2030.

international space station over EarthImage source: dimazel / Adobe

The ISS has been in operation since 1998, and astronauts have continually occupied it since November 2000. Now, after three decades of working and operations, the station continues to deliver vital information about space, while also taking part in an assortment of experiments.

NASA has already shared details about how it plans to deorbit the ISS in 2030, including expensive plans to create a “tug-boat” for the ISS, to help facilitate its return to Earth. Still, it’s good to see Russia’s commitment to the ISS being renewed, especially given that NASA would have needed to find someone to replace that spot — and quickly — for all operations to continue as they have.

At least now NASA and the other collaborators can rest easy knowing that the ISS will continue its operations at least until 2028, allowing NASA to hopefully fullfil its plans to keep the station operating into 2030, before it plummets it to the Pacific Ocean and transitions to operating off private commercial space stations in the coming decades.

Josh Hawkins has been writing for over a decade, covering science, gaming, and tech culture. He also is a top-rated product reviewer with experience in extensively researched product comparisons, headphones, and gaming devices.

Whenever he isn’t busy writing about tech or gadgets, he can usually be found enjoying a new world in a video game, or tinkering with something on his computer.