WASHINGTON, July 27. /TASS/. The United States is exploring options to minimize the consequences of Russia’s potential withdrawal from the International Space Station (ISS) project, a senior White House official has said.
"We've seen their public comments. But I can tell you, the Russian government has not formally notified the United States of any intention to withdraw from the International Space Station," Coordinator for Strategic Communications at the National Security Council in the White House John Kirby said on Tuesday. "We are exploring options, of course, to mitigate any potential impacts on International Space Station with beyond 2024 if in fact, Russia withdraws [from the program]."
"For our part, we're going to remain committed to working with all the ISS partners to ensure its safe operation, and of course, the safety and security of the astronauts that are on board," the official added.
Roscosmos Director General Yury Borisov said at a meeting with President Vladimir Putin earlier on Tuesday that Russia’s key priority in space exploration would be to build a Russian space station.
In April 2021, Borisov, who was Russia’s deputy prime minister at that time, said that the ISS was not in good condition and Russia may look into creating its own space station. The Energia Rocket and Space Corporation was tasked with readying the launch of the first module of the prospective Russian station by 2025. It will be a research and energy module that was originally planned to be launched to the ISS.
Roscosmos’ former CEO, Dmitry Rogozin, said in late February that it was quite difficult financially to implement these two projects: the ISS and the new station, simultaneously. He suggested that it would be expedient to ensure a certain "overlapping" period when both stations would be operating. Under the current agreement, the ISS will be operational until 2024. In the spring, the Energia corporation signed a state contract for the development of a concept design of Russia’s future station.