Russia has indicated it will continue to use the International Space Station (ISS) though 2024 despite earlier threats to retaliate against U.S. sanctions by abandoning support for the orbital outpost in 2020.
Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin said in May, as the confrontation between Moscow and Washington over Ukraine was escalating, that Russia would reject a U.S. request to prolong use of the ISS beyond 2020.
But a long-term manned space exploration plan discussed by the leadership of the Russian space agency on February 24 “foresees the use of the ISS through 2024,” Roscosmos said in a statement.
After that, it said, Russia plans to create its own “orbital base” using Russian modules of the ISS.
The plan also calls for a manned landing on the moon — a feat that eluded the Soviet Union — around 2030.
Roscosmos said a final decision on the plan would be adopted later.