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Russia will assist NASA with ISS space flights through 2025

Russia and the United States have had a strained relationship, at best, in recent years. However, the pair are still working together in one regard: getting crews to the International Space Station (ISS). Roscosmos, Russia’s federal space agency, has announced that the two countries will continue partnering on “cross-flights until 2025 inclusive.”

Cross-flights involve putting crews from multiple countries onto the same spacecraft. Roscosmos intends always to have at least one of its own representatives in the Russia section of the ISS and at least one NASA representative in the US section. The agency added that the decision was made “to maintain the reliability of the ISS as a whole.” The ISS, launched in 1998, is a symbol of US-Russia cooperation after the Cold War and the space race ended.

The news follows NASA’s April 2023 announcement that Russia will remain aboard the ISS until 2028. The Director General of Roscosmos, Yuri Borisov, had previously said Russia would pull out of the ISS “after 2024” to focus on creating its own space station. NASA had been preparing for Russia’s departure with plans ranging from pulling astronauts from the ISS to figuring out how to control the ISS if Russia took away its thrusters. The US agency has committed to maintaining the ISS until at least 2030.

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