A senior space official said that the exact timing depends on the technical state of the station.
A high-ranking official of the Russian space agency said on Thursday that Russia's withdrawal from the International Space Station ISS depends on the technical state of the project and could come at any time after 2024.
Something in the statement about 2024 may have been lost in translation. The statement on Russia leaving after 2024 means that there won't be any abrupt moves until 2024. The decision on the withdrawal would be made on the technical condition of station Sergey Krikalev, the executive director for manned space programs at Russian space agency Roscosmos, said at a press conference.
In late July, Yury Borisov, the new head of Roscosmos, said Russia would withdraw from the station after 2024, and that Moscow intends to fulfill its obligations to its foreign partners as part of the ISS project. Russia s decision to leave the station was not a secret, he noted, although the exact timing would depend on a number of things, including the condition of the ISS itself and its operational performance. Borisov, who was appointed director general of Roscosmos in July, said Russia would start putting together its own orbital station by the time it leaves the ISS, and that the decision had nothing to do with geopolitics, including the Ukraine conflict.
He said that the ISS is a project that has enriched science and brought nations closer together, but I hate to disappoint you, but they simply are not there.
The former head of Roscosmos, Dmitry Rogozin, said that the ISS, which NASA plans to operate until 2030, would fall apart unless huge amounts of money are invested in repairs.
Vladimir Solovyov, the former Soviet cosmonaut and chief designer for Russian spacecraft manufacturer RSC Energia, said last year Russia would start building its own space station as early as 2028. The Russian Orbital Service Station will be called ROSS and will be built on the Science Power Module 1, which was originally designed for the ISS, but is now being repurposed, Solovyov said at the time.
The International Space Station is jointly run by Russia, the US, Europe, Japan, and Canada. The station was launched in 1998 and has been inhabited for nearly 22 years. It serves as a platform for conducting experiments in zero gravity and trying out technology for future journeys into deep space, including the Moon and Mars.