Putin horror as rocket launched into space with military payload after NASA spat

It comes after Russian space officials told counterparts in the US Moscow would like to keep flying its cosmonauts aboard the International Space Station (ISS) until their own orbital outpost is built and operational.

The latest indications are Russia is at least six years away from ending an orbital collaboration with the US which dates back more than 20 years.

A schism in the ISS program seemed closer at hand last week, when Yuri Borisov – the newly appointed director-general of Russia’s space agency Roscosmos – surprised NASA by announcing Moscow intended to withdraw from the space station partnership “after 2024.”

Kathy Lueders, NASA’s space operations chief, said in an interview Russian officials later told the US space agency that Roscosmos wanted to remain in the partnership as Russia works to get its planned orbital outpost, named ROSS, up and running.

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