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Will Russia abandon the International Space Station program? Unlikely

Camaway2

Member
For those who like me are interested in space stuff, you surely have read on the news that Rogozin has threatened to pull the plug from the ISS program.
Ars Technica explain why this is unlikely:

"
The tweets led to a firestorm of media coverage today, much of it saying that Russia will end its cooperation on the International Space Station (see, for example, here and here). Such coverage lacks a fundamental understanding of Dmitry Rogozin and Russia's approach to spaceflight.


Cooperation on the space station will, of course, end at some point in the future. Some of the ISS's hardware has been flying in space for nearly 25 years, and it will eventually age out. And while Russia could decide to end cooperation this month, that seems unlikely. Russia is currently committed to operating the station through 2024, and even as the war has raged in Ukraine, there have been talks about possibly extending operations to 2030.


Further Reading​

Legally, Russia can’t just take its Space Station and go home

NASA's preference is to continue operating the station until 2030. For reasons that include a desire not to violate international treaties, the US alongside Europe, Japan, and Canada are unlikely to break the partnership with Russia. That, in effect, leaves the decision to Russia.


Rogozin has been blustering about pulling the plug on the International Space Station almost since the beginning of the war against Ukraine. However, he and the thousands of employees at Roscosmos have taken precisely zero concrete actions that would actually initiate that process. Indeed, earlier this week, NASA astronaut Mark Vande Hei returned to Earth on a Soyuz spacecraft. The operations were entirely nominal, and the relations between Russian and NASA officials were professional.


The possibility exists that Vladimir Putin could decide, at any moment, that Russian participation on the ISS no longer suits him. His decision-making process is opaque to Western observers. But pulling out of the ISS seems improbable, because walking away from the space station would be the equivalent of taking a wrecking ball to Russia's civil space program. And Russians take enormous pride in their space program, going back more than six decades to Sputnik and Yuri Gagarin. Without active cooperation with Western nations, however, Russia would almost certainly no longer be a space power—it would be the world's first former space power."

Full article here: Ars Technica
 

FunkMiller

Member
Er… it’s the west who should be deciding whether to continue with Russia and the ISS. Fuck what Putin or Rogozin think or want.
 

Camaway2

Member
Er… it’s the west who should be deciding whether to continue with Russia and the ISS. Fuck what Putin or Rogozin think or want.
I believe the idea is not to break ongoing contracts. If the legally binding agreement comes to an end it will be Russia's decision.
 

Thaedolus

Gold Member
Er… it’s the west who should be deciding whether to continue with Russia and the ISS. Fuck what Putin or Rogozin think or want.
I'm not so sure there's a benefit in going after the Russian space program...sanctions make sense when they're targeting programs that fund the Russian war machine, I'm not sure they're really raking it in from ferrying astronauts to the ISS. It probably makes sense to keep the status quo until the ISS can be safely deorbited at the end of its useful life.
 

EverydayBeast

thinks Halo Infinite is a new graphical benchmark
Since Ukraine Putin is guess what? Target #1 and what happens in space? Cooperation, you have to throw sanctions in space too. Nasa and space x doesn’t need Russia.
 

Thaedolus

Gold Member
Since Ukraine Putin is guess what? Target #1 and what happens in space? Cooperation, you have to throw sanctions in space too. Nasa and space x doesn’t need Russia.
Russia produced and owns essential segments of the ISS so...when talking ISS, yes they kind of do.
 

Camaway2

Member
Russia produced and owns essential segments of the ISS so...when talking ISS, yes they kind of do.
True, but they are at the end of their lifespan and/or already proven less than safe. A scenario would be to find a replacement for the Russian modules (life support + thrusters) and keep the ISS going for another 8 years as planned.
 

Thaedolus

Gold Member
True, but they are at the end of their lifespan and/or already proven less than safe. A scenario would be to find a replacement for the Russian modules (life support + thrusters) and keep the ISS going for another 8 years as planned.
It would probably take 10 years to develop suitable replacements.
 

Tams

Member
A major issue is Russia being able to fulfil their resupply and crew rotations. With Western sanctions, they won't be able to build all the rockets and capsules they need. And it's questionable if NASA are going to be able to get the components through to them, and if they do, if they even end up with ROSCOSMOS and not the RF military.

It would probably take 10 years to develop suitable replacements.
There are already commercial propositions for extending the life of the ISS, and then eventually jettisoning the original ISS (i.e. they want to piggyback on the ISS to set up a space station). Some have even already had modules attached to the ISS. Also, Dragon can be adapted to boost the ISS if need be. Of course, none of that is easy, nor really a good use of resources.
 

Camaway2

Member
There are already commercial propositions for extending the life of the ISS, and then eventually jettisoning the original ISS (i.e. they want to piggyback on the ISS to set up a space station). Some have even already had modules attached to the ISS. Also, Dragon can be adapted to boost the ISS if need be. Of course, none of that is easy, nor really a good use of resources.
This. For what I have read, a Dragon boost is considered a viable short term solution. Obviously none of this is ideal, but the fact that it’s possible would make Rogozin think twice before actually pulling the plug.
 

Lady Jane

Member
Space programs has always been a dick waiving contest for countries. Just like the US, Russia would have to cease to exists for them to get out of it.
 
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M1chl

Currently Gif and Meme Champion
Because Russia should take no part in anything. Also since they last year, blasted their own satelite with the missile and endangered other space projects with the debris. Basically it was like in the "Gravity" movie...
 
Because Russia should take no part in anything. Also since they last year, blasted their own satelite with the missile and endangered other space projects with the debris. Basically it was like in the "Gravity" movie...

Well I agree that they should take no part in ISS but why kick these poor astronauts to atmosphere? :messenger_grinning_sweat:
 
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