MOSCOW: Russian and US space agencies have committed to collaborating on missions to the International Space Station (ISS) until at least 2025, according to a statement from the Russian space corporation Roscosmos on Thursday.
Amid strained relations between Moscow and Washington due to Russia’s military actions in Ukraine, the two space agencies have decided to prolong their partnership in the space sector, maintaining joint efforts to deliver crews to the ISS. This collaboration includes the so-called cross-flights, involving sending crews of different nationalities on a single spacecraft.
Roscosmos announced in a press release, “An agreement was reached to continue cross-flights until 2025 inclusive,” emphasizing that the decision aims to uphold the overall reliability of the ISS. The agreement also ensures the presence of at least one representative from Roscosmos on the Russian segment and one representative from NASA on the American segment of the ISS.
Space Collaboration Between Russia and US
The International Space Station, a symbol of post-Cold War cooperation, was launched in 1998. Although the ISS partners, including the United States, Russia, Europe, Canada, and Japan, had initially committed to operating the orbiting laboratory until 2024, recent statements from US officials indicate a desire to extend operations until 2030.
While the ISS partners’ commitment officially extends until 2024, Russia’s recent announcement in April suggested a plan to utilize the space station until 2028, marking a shift from an earlier indication to withdraw from the ISS after 2024.