The head of the Russian space agency Roscosmos confirmed on Tuesday that it will leave the International Space Station after 2024 and will focus on developing its own orbital outpost.
“Of course, we will fulfill all our obligations to our partners, but the decision was made to leave this station after 2024,” Yuri Borisov said during a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin, according to Roscosmos. statement.
NASA has already revealed plans retire the ISS by 2031 as countries seek to build more modern space stations capable of acting as staging posts for future exploration projects or for long-term lunar missions.
Despite tensions related to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, both Roscosmos and NASA signed an agreement this year to allow astronauts and cosmonauts to travel together on rocket missions to the ISS.
However, Borisov’s predecessor at the head of Roscosmos, Dmitry Rogozin, had also warned that the agency would “reconsider its priorities” and focus on “space independence.”
Russia and China have already revealed vague plans for a lunar base, while Borisov said Roscosmos will now focus on its space station initiative starting around 2024.
The ISS is a joint project between NASA, Roscosmos and the space agencies of Europe, Japan and Canada.
Separately, the European Space Agency has canceled a cooperation agreement with Roscosmos on the ExoMars mission to find out if there was ever life on Mars. Instead, ESA member countries will consider an alternative plan at a meeting of space ministers this year.