Russians have dubbed the International Space Station (ISS) as a "catastrophe" waiting to happen as the Russian government moves towards building its own ISS.
The United States and Russia have been partnered for 23 years, but that partnership may soon run its course as Russian officials have suggested that they may withdraw from the ISS in 2025. The news comes from a state TV news report from April 18 that suggested that Yury Borisov, the Russian Deputy Prime Minister, said the ISS is currently in a deteriorating condition that puts lives of Russian astronauts (cosmonauts) at risk.
Borisov said, "We can't risk the lives [of our cosmonauts]. The structure and the metal [are] getting old, [and] it can lead to irreversible consequences - to catastrophe." Borisov somewhat backtracked on his statement by saying that a "technical inspection is needed, and then we can make a decision and inform our partners." Now, Roscosmos officials have said that "the first core module of the new Russian orbital station is in the works," and maybe completely finished by 2025.
Vitaly Egorov, an industry observer and former spokesperson for Russia's Dauria Aerospace company, said to Science magazine, "ISS partners would have a really hard time keeping the station functional without Russia."
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