Russia announced this week that after more than two decades of international cooperation in space research, it will withdraw from the International Space Station in 2025 and build and operate its own floating laboratory in orbit. .
The decision to leave the country comes at a time when relations between Russia and the United States are constantly deteriorating on many fronts. The two forces accuse each other of militarizing the area.
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According to the Interfax news agency, Dmitry Rogozin, head of the Roscosmos space agency, would say: “If we can get it into orbit by 2030 according to our plans, it will be a great discovery.”
“We have the will to take a new step towards exploring the global human space.”
What is the International Space Station doing?
A spacecraft has been in orbit around the Earth for a long time. It’s like a huge laboratory in space, allowing astronauts to board a ship and stay for weeks or months to perform microgravity experiments.
The Mir space station of the former Soviet Union operated from 1986 to 2001. ISS has been operating in space since 1998 and is known for its exemplary cooperation between the five participating space agencies: NASA (United States), Roscosmos (Russia), Jaxa (Japan), ESA (Europe), and CSA (Canada).
For more than 20 years since its launch, humans have been continuously conducting $ 150 billion in scientific research on ISS under microgravity conditions, making it impossible to access Earth research.
According to NASA, so far 243 people from 19 countries have visited the RSS, and the Floating Laboratory has hosted more than 3,000 research and educational research from researchers in 108 countries and regions, conducting cutting-edge research in a variety of fields. Biology and Physiology. Human, Physical, Material and Spatial Sciences.
Recent US-Russia space feud
Russia played a key role in the RSS’s success, and other space agencies relied on innovative technology to build a Russian modular space station to build a space station in the early days, the Financial Times reported.
Since the withdrawal of the US spacecraft in 2011, Russia has been an integral part of the Soyuz passenger vehicle, the only means of transport for astronauts to ISS. Reliance on Russia ended last year, but the United States began using the SpaceX system developed by Elon Musk.
This was a major blow to the Roscosmos as it ran out of funding from NASA to transport astronauts to the space station. Between 2011 and 2019, NASA spent $ 3.9 billion on Soyuz aircraft, according to the report.
Next year, the United States is expected to have another domestic option outside of SpaceX, as the delayed Boeing Starliner capsule is expected to be operational.
Development comes at a time when relations between the West and Russia continue From bad to bad. The United States has accused the Kremlin of hacking “solar winds” and interfering in the 2020 election. Last week, NATO criticized Russia. In 2014, he was accused of being involved in the bombings of the Czech Republic. .
Last year, the United States accused Russia of conducting weapons tests after applying a projectile from a satellite. Russia has criticized the United States for treating space as a military theater.
What does Russia intend to do now?
Russia plans to build and operate its own space station by 2030. According to an Interfax report, its space module adds energy, which is expected to cost less than $ 5 billion.
The station will orbit the Earth at high latitudes, allowing it to better observe the polar regions, especially as Russia intends to expand. By the Arctic Ocean As the ice melts.
Building a new station will help Russia overcome the challenges it now faces on its old ISS, i.e. experiment and adopt the latest technology into a hardware architecture that is more than two decades old.
Russian Deputy Prime Minister Yuri Borisov said: “We can not risk our lives. [of our cosmonauts]. The current state of the metal structure and aging can have irreversible consequences – a catastrophe. We must not allow this to happen.
However, leaving the RSS means that Russian researchers will lose access to a laboratory they have worked on for more than 15 years to produce engineering and assembly work, and their research potential is expected to begin by now. NASA has proposed to phase out the RSS until at least 2028, after which it can continue to be used and improve key systems, the FT report said.
Borisov said Russia would run the space station itself, but opened the door for other countries to participate. last year, Russia rejects US offer To be part of the Artemis program and to sign a joint agreement with China last month on a monthly basis.