Recently, Russia insinuated that it was planning on leaving the International Space Station after 2024. NASA and Roscosmos have worked together since its inception to keep the station in orbit since the first ISS component was launched in 1998, despite whatever political climate exists. The Russians have walked back this threat somewhat, but it leaves the question, what happens if they decide to abandon the ISS?
Chris Combs is a Dee Howard faculty fellow and assistant professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Texas at San Antonio and an expert on ISS operations.
He spoke to TPR’s Jerry Clayton about the Russian’s threat to leave the ISS. This conversation has been condensed and edited for clarity.
Clayton: Now, first of all, do you believe the Russians?
Combs: No, I don't. I don't believe what they're saying. This is a threat that they've been making for a while now. It always felt empty. It always felt pretty hollow because, first of all, from a logistical standpoint,