Will Russia Leave The ISS?

CNN is reporting a claim from a Russian source that their nation’s cosmonauts will depart the International Space Station program by 2020. Since the final Apollo mission that docked with an orbiting Russian spacecraft, we’ve enjoyed better Russo-American relations in space than planetside. Regrettably, Ukraine has placed a shadow over future space missions. I hope the Ukraine crisis is one day resolved, and if the CNN story is accurate, that Russians return to the ISS. The ISS is by far the greatest manned achievement in space flight. On the other hand, the 2020 deadline is a problem for NASA–our astronauts hitch a ride on Russian rockets. This will undoubtedly add pressure to developers for the next manned U.S., European, or Japanese delivery system. Only time, and perhaps some rushed ingenuity, will tell.

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