In a surprise move, Russia and Roscosmos have agreed to an extension of International Space Station operations to 2028 as reported by TASS, joining other partner nations in the extension. With Russian assets currently impounded at Baikonur, some resolution will likely occur in regards to that situation.
As previously reported, Russia only launches crewed missions to the ISS from the Baikonur launch site in Kazakhstan. There have been no known launches from Baikonur since Kazakh authorities impounded Russia’s space assets at the site. Therefore it is likely some resolution to this issue is underway.
In order to maintain operations to the ISS, the station needs supplies and crews, which Russia and other nations currently accommodate. Previously, Russia only agreed to extend operations to next year. Other nations have agreed to a 2030 extension, and although 2028 is not 2030, Russia’s continued commitment means that it will be a partner to nearly the end of the ISS’s lifetime.
The ISS carries out basic research and scientific experiments in the fields of Earth science, medicine, astronomy, space physics, and solar studies. The ISS has also become a platform to test new technologies in space and for deploying smallsats into low-Earth orbit. The ISS was once the only space station in orbit; however, China has joined this club with its Tiangong space station.
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