Russia’s space agency announced on April 20 that it plans to launch its own orbital station in 2025 as officials consider pulling out from the International Space Station (ISS).
“The first basic module for the new Russian orbital service station is already being constructed. The Rocket and Space Corporation Energia has been tasked with ensuring its readiness to launch into the target orbit in 2025,” Roscosmos Chief Dmitry Rogozin posted on messaging app Telegram along with a video.
The Russian space module is set to cost at least $5 million, according to a report by Interfax news agency.
Russian Deputy Prime Minister Yuri Borisov said on state television that the planned space station would have a better view on the polar regions because it would orbit at a higher altitude.
Borisov has also indicated in recent days that Russia could withdraw from the ISS in 2025 due to its “poor condition” brought by ageing.
“The situation that today is connected to the structure and the metal getting old, it can lead to irreversible consequences — to catastrophe. We mustn’t let that happen,” Borisov said on state television last April 18.
Borisov added that Russia would provide a “fair warning of our departure” to its international partners.
According to Roscosmos, its agreement with ISS expires in 2024, but a decision on quitting the ISS has yet to be made.
“When we make a decision, we will start negotiations with our partners on forms and conditions of cooperation beyond 2024,” Roscosmos told AFP News in a statement.
Russia had a monopoly on manned space flights to the ISS, but lost it last year after the first successful mission of Elon Musk’s SpaceX, which ferried American federal space agency astronauts to the ISS via a capsule.
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