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The International Space Station (ISS) will be disassembled and removed from orbit by NASA in 2031, according to its plan. Before then, it is anticipated that commercial replacement facilities would take over, allowing NASA to keep humans permanently present in low-Earth orbit.

With astronauts from various nations living, working, and carrying out crucial scientific tests in Earth orbit since the Space Station’s inauguration in 1998, the age of the Space Station has witnessed a sustained human presence in space. The International Space Station is another popular item to see in the night sky, and it is even feasible to take pictures of it. Regarding the ISS, Russia has been a significant partner.

The newly appointed head of Russia’s space agency backtracked on comments that implied Russia may leave the International Space Station as early as 2024, but he still expressed uncertainty that Russia would remain on board until 2030. When he informed Vladimir Putin that Russia will stop sending astronauts to the International Space Station after 2024, Yuri Borisov alarmed the other ISS partners on July 26. The remarks were made as preparations by NASA and other collaborators to extend ISS operations until 2030 were still being made.

Borisov highlighted that Russia would depart after 2024 rather than in 2024 itself in an interview with Russia 24 that was also posted on the Roscosmos website on July 29. “We mentioned that we aim to conduct so not from the year 2024, but after 2024,” he said, based on a translation of the paper. He declared that Russia would adhere to the intergovernmental treaty for ISS partners that calls for nations to give at least a year’s notice before quitting. He said that it might take up to two years to complete the withdrawal process.

Regarding withdrawal, he asserted, “We haven’t yet issued a warning; there is no need for it.” “We just mentioned that the departure process will get underway after 2024. In fact, everything relies, including the ISS’s performance, on including whether it will happen in the middle of the year 2024 or 2025.”

According to industry insiders, Roscosmos officials have informally told NASA that Russia is unlikely to leave the International Space Station before it begins deploying modules for the Russian Orbital Service Station, which is a new national space station. No sooner than 2028 is the earliest date for that. In the interview, Borisov raised doubt about Russia’s commitment to the station through the year 2030. One was that he thought Russia would eventually finish the station research it planned to do. According to him, the research “does not show any further profits, extending this procedure until 2030.”

The station’s upkeep is an additional problem. Russian engineers, he claimed, were worried that aging modules’ systems could break in an “avalanche-like” manner. Because of this, “around 2 years ago we began to really ponder regarding the continuation of the human program and the creation of a home orbital station.” He continued by saying that the time spent on station maintenance by ISS employees, including those on the American section, has begun to “beyond all realistic boundaries” and is consequently taking time away from research efforts.

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