A Soyuz capsule carrying three crew members from the International Space Station (ISS) has successfully landed in Kazakhstan wrapping up a six-month stay in space.
The space station partnership, headed by the US and Russia, had been relatively untouched by the rhetoric and economic sanctions stemming from the Ukraine crisis.
But Rogozin Dmitry, Russia’s Deputy Prime Minister, said that he would reject a US and European request to extend the ISS programme beyond 2020.
“…the Federal Space Agency, our colleagues – the Academy of Sciences and the Advanced Research Fund – are ready to offer some new strategic projects aimed at the further development of the Russian space programme after 2020, so at the moment we think we will need the ISS only until 2020,” Rogozin said.
The plan to part ways on a project supposed to end the “space race” underlines how relations between the Cold War rivals have declined since the start of the Ukraine crisis.