By Tim Binnall
Russian officials have revealed that the country is looking to end their participation in the International Space Station and, in turn, construct their own orbiting facility. Deputy Prime Minister Yuri Borisov reportedly indicated the country's plan for departure in an interview over the weekend, arguing that the structure of the 23-year-old space station had begun to deteriorate to the point that it would soon be too dangerous to send cosmonauts to the site. As such, he explained that the country plans to evaluate the state of the ISS in 2024, when Russia's cooperative agreement surrounding the space station expires, and inform their partners on a decision at that time.
However, it may be a foregone conclusion that Russia will no longer be a part of the ISS after 2025 as the head of the country's space agency may have tipped their hand with regards to what the future holds. At around the same time as Borisov was giving his interview, Dmitry Rogozin announced that "the first core module of the new Russian orbital station is in the works" with the expected launch date being a rather convenient 2025. Unlike the ISS, which is a cooperative of 18 nations, the nationalized space station would be solely operated by Russia. "If you want to do well, do it yourself," he reportedly mused to a media outlet concerning the plan.