“Of course, we will fulfill all our obligations to our partners, but the decision about withdrawing from the station after 2024 has been made.”
-Statement by Yuri Borisov regarding Russia’s participation in the International Space Station (ISS), as quoted by Reuters. Mr. Borisov was recently appointed director-general of Russia’s space agency Roscosmos. However, like his predecessor, he may have spoken without thinking through the consequences. Time magazine quoted Vladimir Solovyov, an ISS flight director, who stated, “We, of course, need to continue operating the ISS until we create a more or less tangible backlog for ROSS. We must take into account that if we stop manned flights for several years, then it will be very difficult to restore what has been achieved.” In other words, the withdrawal may not be anytime soon. Not a very good start for Mr. Borisov.