ISRO Missions and Discoveries

Russia to leave International Space Station (ISS)


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level: International Space Station (ISS)

Mains level: Implications of Russia-Ukraine War

Russia will pull out of the International Space Station (ISS) after 2024 and focus on building its own orbiting outpost.

Why in news?

  • Russia will end a symbolic two-decade orbital partnership between Moscow and the west.

International Space Station (ISS)

  • The ISS was launched in 1998 as part of joint efforts by the U.S., Russia, Japan, Canada and Europe.
  • The idea of a space station originated in the 1984 State of the Union address by former U.S. President Ronald Reagan.
  • The space station was assembled over many years, and it operates in low-earth orbit.
  • Since its inception, it has served as a laboratory suspended in space and has aided multiple scientific and technological developments.
  • The ISS was originally built to operate for 15 years.

Why was ISS launched?

  • A space station permits quantum leaps in research in science, communications, and in metals and lifesaving medicines which could be manufactured only in space.
  • ISS has consistently maintained human presence for the past 21 years, providing astronauts with sophisticated technologies for scientific research.

What is Russia’s role in maintaining the ISS?

  • The ISS is built with the cooperation of scientists from five international space agencies — NASA of the U.S., Roscosmos of Russia, JAXA of Japan, Canadian Space Agency and the European Space Agency.
  • Each agency has a role to play and a share in the upkeep of the ISS.
  • Both in terms of expense and effort, it is not a feat that a single country can support.
  • Russia’s part in the collaboration is the module responsible for making course corrections to the orbit of the ISS.
  • They also ferry astronauts to the ISS from the Earth and back.
  • Until SpaceX’s dragon spacecraft came into the picture the Russian spacecraft was the only way of reaching the ISS and returning.


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