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Russia Tells US It Will Stay on International Space Station Till 2028: Report

This comes after Russia announced that it intends to leave the ISS and end its partnership with NASA 'after 2024.'

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Russian space agency officials informed their counterparts in the United States that Moscow will remain a part of the International Space Station (ISS) at least until their own outpost is built in 2028, an official said on Wednesday, 27 July.

This comes after a surprise announcement by Russian space agency Roscosmos that it intends to end its partnership with NASA after 2024. The announcement had come in the backdrop of rising tensions between Moscow and the West over Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, leading to multiple rounds of sanctions against Russia.

NASA's Space Operations Chief Kathy Lueders said, however, that Roscosmos would continue its partnership with NASA until its outpost, named ROSS, is completed.

"We're not getting any indication at any working level that anything's changed," Lueders was quoted as saying by Reuters, adding that the US space agency's relations with Roscosmos would remain "business as usual" for now.

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Meeting on Friday To Discuss Extending Participation

The ISS, which is a science laboratory around the size of a football field orbiting around 400 km above Earth, has been occupied continuously for over 20 years under the US-Russia partnership and has also included astronauts from Canada, Japan, and 11 European countries.

However, a formal agreement to extend Moscow's participation beyond 2024 has not been made.

Lueders further said that representatives of the US, Russia, and other partners intend to discuss the prospect of extending each other's participation in the ISS to 2030 at a meeting scheduled for Friday, 29 July.

Roscosmos had on Wednesday published an interview on their website with the flight director of the space station's Russian segment, Vladimir Solovyov, in which he had said that Moscow must continue to remain in the ISS until ROSS is up and running.

"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," Solovyov had said, as per Reuters.

(With inputs from Reuters.)

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