How the Russia-Ukraine War Could Jeopardize the Future of the International Space Station

NASA recently announced its plans for the future of the International Space Station (ISS), indicating that its “destruction” would be scheduled for 2030. However, as the conflict between Russia and Ukraine evolves, and who are sanctions applied to the aggressor countryincluding in the technology and space sector, the future of the ISS is becoming uncertain.

Just this week, the Russian space agency (Roscosmos) announced that it has a license from the Russian government to remain in operations on the ISS only until 2024. In statements to Tass, Roscosmos said that , given the current context of conflict, there are doubts about the scope of this agreement.

Roscosmos hopes that the US government will stop pressuring NASA to engage in a dialogue process with Russia, indicating that if an agreement cannot be reached, it will have an impact on the ISS program.

Earlier, in a series of posts on Twitter, Dmitry Rogozin, director of Roscosmos, said that due to the sanctions imposed by the United States, Russia could abandon cooperation on the ISS, leaving the threat in the air that station could drop in the United States or Europe, or even China or India. It is recalled that the Russian part of the ISS is responsible for maintaining the station’s orbit, as well as its propulsion.

On the other hand, Bill Nelson, Administrator of NASA, said during a recent meeting of the Board of Directors of the American space agency that the maintenance of the entity wishes to maintain professional relations with all the partners of the ISS to ensure safe operations.

How the The Wall Street JournalKathy Lueders, NASA Associate Administrator for Human Exploration and Operations, reinforces the importance of collaboration between different partners in the process, noting that it would be difficult for NASA to operate the ISS alone.

The departure of Russia from the group of partners that make up the ISS, which also includes the European (ESA), Japanese (JAXA) and Canadian (CSA) space agencies, would mean the elimination of the Russian orbital segment. For now, the future of the ISS is uncertain, but some are already starting to think about ways in which SpaceX could help maintain normal operations.

According to Kathy Lueders, the agency sought additional help for operations on the ISS, highlighting the case of Northrop Grumman or SpaceX. By the way, in response to Dmitry Rogozin’s series of tweets, Elon Musk intervenedjust posting an image of the SpaceX logo, leading many to believe the space company could play a big role in the station’s future.

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