NASA and Russia are said to be working on a space station together, or at the very least beginning steps to actually committing to a project of this magnitude. While it might seem like something that would be a distant possibility, given the tension between the two countries politically, the joint project seems to be moving forward quickly. Specific details of this kind of partnership haven’t been fully ironed out, it is beginning to show interesting signs of life.
It was reported earlier that the two entities would be potentially working on a collaborative project to build an International Space Station 2.0 – which would replace the current International Space Station – when its funding runs out in 2024. While direct language hasn’t been tied to a new International Space Station between the two countries, NASA did point out in a statement that, “interest in continuing international cooperation,” exists and is always a priority.
Igor Komarov who is the head of Russia’s Roscosmos space agency said, “Roscosmos together with NASA will work on the programme of a future orbital station.” However, doubts were obviously raised given the tension between the two countries. In addition to that though, Russia had threatened to pull out of the agreement with the International Space Station in 2020, if things did not improve politically between the two countries.
At this point though, nothing would indicate that the two organizations are going to stop working together. At this point, NASA and Roscosmos are both likely to continue working together, especially on new projects like a second International Space Station. Perhaps though, the most interesting note to come from this entire story thus far has been the fact that both confirmed that the overall mission of the original International Space Station could actually be extended further – but at this point there isn’t any clear indication which way that would go.
A joint project between the two countries though, with NASA and Roscosmos could be seen as a great opportunity for the two to improve or alleviate the political tension that does exist. Since many would wonder why entering a long term agreement like this with either country, given the doubts that exist, would seem like a very permanent move.