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Canada Commits To ISS 2030 Extension

Canada has formally committed to an extension of the International Space Station to 2030.

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Zac Aubert

Zac Aubert

Sun Mar 26 2023Written by Zac Aubert

Canada has formally committed to an extension of the International Space Station to 2030.

On March 24, during a summit meeting in Ottawa between Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and US President Joe Biden, the Canadian government committed to extending its participation in the International Space Station (ISS) to 2030, in line with other Western partners but without Russia. This decision reflects a renewed dedication to space exploration, which includes Canada's contributions to the NASA-led lunar Gateway.

“Prime Minister Trudeau agreed to extend Canada’s commitment to the International Space Station (ISS) and support science on the Lunar Gateway...Our country’s continued participation in ISS and Lunar Gateway cement Canada’s global leadership in robotics in space and on Earth.” - Canadian Government

At the end of 2021, the White House declared its intention to prolong ISS operations until 2030. Since then, the US has been collaborating with its key partners to secure their commitment to the station's extension beyond the earlier deadline of 2024. The Japanese government endorsed the extension formally in November 2022, followed shortly after by the European Space Agency during its ministerial meeting.

During a conference in January 2022, Christian Lange, an official at the Canadian Space Agency, stated that no one had expected Canada to make a decision before the US, ESA, or Roscosmos.

Russia is now the only ISS partner that has not consented to the extension until 2030. In July last year, Yuri Borisov, the new chief of Roscosmos, had stated that Russia would withdraw from the ISS partnership after 2024. However, officials subsequently clarified that this meant after 2024 and not necessarily immediately after.

In February, the Roscosmos council sanctioned a proposal to extend Russian operations on the station until 2028. The agency has stated that it will now prepare documents to obtain formal approval from the Russian government for this extension.