Russia solidifies plans to leave the international space station after 2024

What do the kids say? "It ain't a good look." Well, Russia in 2022 is the definition of "not a good look." Vladimir Putin's horrific invasion of Ukraine has swiftly turned him into arguably the most despised world leader. Considering that Kim Jong Un still exists, that's quite a feat. The response to Russia's invasion has caused several countries to withdraw their economic support from the country for good. When McDonald's- who has no problem slowly murdering customers with their shoddy food- announces they're leaving your country, you know you're definitely in "ain't a good look" territory. 

However, it seems like Russia isn't going to let everyone walk out on them. Russia is planning to do some walking themselves. Russia previously announced that they would withdraw support from the International Space Station in April, but now the nation has given participating countries a year. Russia plans to leave the international space station after 2024. Although there hasn't been an official withdrawal put in writing, it doesn't seem like Russia has any intent on staying in the ISS. 

The country's announcement today (July 26) that it plans to pull out of the International Space Station (ISS) consortium after 2024 sounds definitive. But the space community remains divided about how seriously to take that stated threat. 

"What they mean is that the Russian decision to withdraw from participation in the station by 2024 is becoming firmer," John Logsdon, a space historian and policy analyst at George Washington University, told

He said the announcement was a statement of intent by Russia to withdraw from the ISS partnership and to put its personnel and financial resources into developing an independent space station, which might be an early-stage "paper station" at this point.

Logsdon said the remaining space station consortium partners have probably been developing contingency plans for years, based on past comments by Russian space agency leadership. "I mean, that would be derelict duty if they haven't done anything," he said.

NASA Administrator Bill Nelson signaled, however, that the agency has not yet received a formal withdrawal notice from Roscosmos, Russia's federal space agency.

"NASA is committed to the safe operation of the International Space Station through 2030, and is coordinating with our partners," Nelson said in an emailed statement today. "NASA has not been made aware of decisions from any of the partners, though we are continuing to build future capabilities to assure our major presence in low-Earth orbit."

"We haven't received any official word from the partner as to the news today," Robyn Gatens, ISS director at NASA headquarters, said at the livestreamed ISS Research and Development Conference in Washington, D.C. this morning, according to SpaceNews(opens in new tab). 

She speculated that perhaps Russia was planning for a future space station after the ISS, along similar lines to NASA's early-stage commercial space station efforts. "I think the Russians, just like us, are thinking ahead to what's next for them," Gatens said.