Russia says it will quit the International Space Station by 2024

26 Jul 2022

Image: © Andrey Armyagov/

The newly appointed head of Roscosmos, the state-controlled space corporation in Russia, said the country would fulfil its obligations before leaving.

Russia is planning to withdraw from the International Space Station (ISS), an area which is said to be one of the few remaining points of cooperation between it and the US.

Russia will focus instead on building its own orbital outpost, according to the head of its state space corporation, Roscosmos.

Yuri Borisov was only appointed as head of Roscosmos earlier this month. Borisov said “the decision to leave the station after 2024 has been made”.

However, he said that Russia would fulfil its obligations to its international partners before leaving the ISS.

The country’s relations with the West continue to be tense owing to economic sanctions imposed on it by the US and others following its invasion of Ukraine.

Earlier this month, NASA and Roscosmos had made a deal to ensure that astronauts can continue using Russian rockets, while Russians can travel to the ISS on rockets belonging to US-headquartered, privately owned rocket company SpaceX.

The deal stipulated that ISS would always have at least one Russian and one American on its missions to keep everything impartial, according to Russian and US officials.

Borisov’s predecessor, Dmitry Rogozin, had also said Russia would pull out of its involvement in the ISS due to Western sanctions.

In April, the European Space Agency cut ties with Russia on some of its planned missions. It was due to work with Roscosmos on three lunar missions, including the ExoMars mission originally scheduled for this September.

That mission has been officially suspended. Doubts were initially cast on the likelihood of it going ahead as far back as February when Roscosmos withdrew from Europe’s spaceport, leaving the ESA to find an alternative to the Russian rocket, Soyuz, for its ExoMars launch.

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Blathnaid O’Dea was a Careers reporter at Silicon Republic until 2024.