“What are today’s headlines, Orak?” said Scorch walking into the dorm room.
“Russia is going to withdraw from the International Space Station (ISS) after 2024,” Orak announced, “It has decided to build its own space station.”
“Wow,” marveled Felix, “Russia has huge plans.”
Orak explained, “The ISS is a space station. It is a large spacecraft that orbits the Earth. It is the largest man-made object in space! It is used to explore space and conduct scientific experiments.
The ISS was launched in the year 1998. Since 1998, the United States (US) and Russia have worked together on the ISS.”
“Then why is Russia leaving the ISS?” Verum wanted to know.
Orak replied, “If you remember, there’s a war going on between Russia and Ukraine. This war has ruined Russia’s relationship with many western countries. They have issued sanctions against Russia.”
“Sanctions,” Scorch explained, “are official orders that limit business or contact with a country to make it do something or make it obey.”
“The US also has levied sanctions against Russia,” Orak continued, “Previously too, Russia had threatened to quit the project because of such sanctions from the western countries.
One such example is the European Space Agency (ESA). It ended the collaboration with the Russian space agency, Roskosmos, to launch a rover to Mars. Russia, too, has stopped launches from ESA’s launch site in French Guiana.”
“These are tense and complicated global relations,” Scorch remarked.
“But what about the scientific experiments taken up by the ISS? Will Russia leave them halfway?” said Felix.
“No. The ISS was going to be decommissioned in 2024. But now the US plans to extend it for six more years. Russia will leave after the project is completed in 2024,” Orak said.
“However,” Orak added, “The US space agency NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration) has not received any notice from Russia about the withdrawal.”