Russia last week announced that it would withdraw from the International Space Station in 2025 and build its own floating laboratory that will be launched into orbit by 2030. This will end two decades of Russia’s association the Space Station.
Roscosmos space agency Chief Dmitry Rogozin was quoted as saying by the Interfax news agency; “If in 2030, in accordance with our plans, we can put it into orbit, it will be a colossal breakthrough. The will is there to take a new step in world manned space exploration.”
The decision to leave the ISS comes at a time when relations between Russia and the US have been deteriorating on several fronts, with the two accusing each other of militarising space.
Russia was a crucial player in making the international Space Station a success. The Country was also indispensable as its Soyuz vehicle was the only one passenger vehicle for transporting astronauts to the ISS ever since the US retired its Space Shuttle Program in 2011. Last year, the monopoly ended after the US started to use the SpaceX system of Elon Musk. A major blow for Roscosmos, it ended the funding it received from NASA. Between 2011 and 2019, NASA had spent about 3.9 billion dollars on the Soyuz flights. The US is also expected to have another domestic option apart from SpaceX.
The United States had blamed Russia for carrying out the “Solar Winds” hack and interfering in the 2020 election. Last week, Russia received flak from the NATO alliance after it was accused by the Czech Republic of being involved in a 2014 explosion at an arms depot. The United States last year accused Russia of carrying out a weapons test after a projectile was said to have been fired from a Russian satellite. Russia, in return, blamed the US.
Russia plans to launch its own space station into orbit by 2030. Interfax said that the space module is being assembled by the Energia corporation and is set to cost at least five billion dollars. The station is said to orbit the Earth at higher latitude. This enables Russia to better observe the Polar Regions. The new space station will also help to tide over the challenges Russian cosmonauts currently face on the ageing ISS. The challenges include conducting experiments and adapting the latest technology to a hardware architecture that is over two decades old.
NO RISK FOR COSMONAUTS
Russian Deputy Prime Minister Yuri Borisov said that the country cannot risk the lives of the cosmonauts. The metal structure and the metal was getting old and it can lead to irreversible consequences, he said. The minister said that Russia would manage the new space station itself. However, he said that interested countries may join them.
INTERNATIONAL SPACE STATION
A Space Station is basically a big spacecraft that continues to be in low earth orbit for prolonged duration of time. It is a giant laboratory in area. Astronauts can stay on the space station for weeks or months to perform experiments in microgravity. The ISS has been in area since 1998 and has been identified for the exemplary cooperation between the five companies which were operating it: NASA (United States), Roscosmos (Russia), JAXA (Japan), ESA (Europe) and CSA (Canada). As per reports from NASA , 243 astronauts from 19 international locations have visited the ISS. It hosted more than 3,000 analysis and academic investigations.