Russia boasts the International Space Station

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He told his TPR’s Jerry Clayton about Russia’s threat to detach him from the ISS. This interview has been condensed and edited for clarity.

Combs: No, I haven’t. I don’t believe them. It’s a threat they’ve been making for some time. I felt empty all the time. First, the Russian and US components of the ISS are interdependent, which makes no sense from a logistical point of view. So this is kind of a wonderfully dependent network of parts. But with these parts, we honestly can’t cancel the deal without shutting down the entire space station.I don’t think Russia is going to do that. Business as usual is the way things are done.

But put it in the context of the fact that earlier this year A announced plans to deorbit the decommissioned ISS in 2030. We already know that the new space station concept will come online. So when Russia says by 2028, or whenever a new space station is ready, it’s not a statement that really changes anything.

And I hear most people at NASA say they haven’t received official notice from Russia. So it felt like it was just a quote to make headlines. It caught people’s attention because it caught them off guard. But less than a day later, they retracted it and said, “Well, it could be as early as 2028.”

Story Highlights

  • Chris Combs is a Fellow and Assistant Professor in his Dee Howard Faculty of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Texas at San Antonio and an expert in ISS operations.

  • CLAYTON: First of all, do you believe in Russians?