U.S. State Department spokesman Ned Price said the United States regrets Russia’s plans to withdraw from the International Space Station (ISS) project in 2024. He said this during the briefing, which was broadcast on the department’s YouTube channel.

“We have seen Russia’s announcement. It’s a regrettable development, given the critical scientific work being done on the ISS, the valuable professional cooperation that our space agencies have had,” Price said.

The State Department also stressed that this decision by official Moscow came as a surprise to Washington. Price added that he was not aware of negotiations between Russia and the United States on the issue.

The U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) also said it had received no official notification from Russia about its plans for the ISS. NASA ISS program manager Robin Gatens said that Russia, like the United States, was studying “what’s next and what will happen after the ISS program.

Moscow’s decision to withdraw from the ISS project after 2024 was announced this Tuesday by Roscosmos head Yuri Borisov. He noted that the state corporation’s main priorities would be the creation of a Russian orbital station, scientific space and deep space. The head of Roskosmos also spoke about plans to start forming a Russian orbital service station (ROSS).

Vladimir Solovyov, general designer of the Rocket and Space Corporation (RSC Energia), said on the same day that construction of the station, which will replace the ISS, is planned to begin not earlier than 2028. Its approximate shape is already known. Solovyov assumed that the first crew will be able to go to the new orbital station as early as 2028, as a manned flight to ROSS will be possible during the first stage of its deployment in orbit.

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