Russia wants to leave the International Space Station

According to an Interfax report, its distance module is being assembled from the Energia corporation and will be set to cost at least $5 billion.

Russia this week declared it could be withdrawing from the International Space Station in 2025, and build and manage its own floating lab that’ll be launched to orbit by 2030.

After over two decades of international cooperation in space research, Russia this week announced that it would be withdrawing from the International Space Station in 2025 and construct and manage its floating laboratory which will be launched to orbit by 2030.

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The choice to leave also comes at a time when relations between Russia and the US are steadily deteriorating on multiple fronts, together with the two powers also accusing each other of militarising space.

Roscosmos space agency chief Dmitry Rogozin was quoted as saying by the Interfax news service,”If in 2030, in accordance with our plans, we could place it into orbit, it is going to be a colossal breakthrough.”
“The will is there to take a new step into the world manned space exploration”

A space station is essentially a massive spacecraft that stays in low-earth orbit for long periods of time. It is similar to a large laboratory in space, and enables astronauts to come aboard and stay for weeks or months to execute experiments in microgravity.

The Mir space station of the former Soviet Union, and later operated by Russia, was operational from 1986 to 2001. The ISS has been in space because 1998 and continues to be famous for its exemplary cooperation between the five participating space agencies which have been running it: NASA (United States), Roscosmos (Russia), JAXA (Japan), ESA (Europe), and CSA (Canada).

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For more than 20 years since its launching, people have lived and carried out scientific investigations on the $150 billion ISS under microgravity conditions, being able to make breakthroughs in research impossible on Earth.

As per NASA, 243 people from 19 countries have so far visited the ISS, along with the floating laboratory has hosted over 3,000 research and educational investigations from researchers from 108 countries and regions, carrying out cutting edge research in a variety of areas, such as biology, human anatomy, and physical, content and space science.

The Current US-Russia space competition

Russia has become a crucial player in creating the ISS a success, together with other space agencies relying on advanced Russian modular space station building technology to construct the space station in the initial years, as per a Financial Times report.

Russia was likewise indispensable for its Soyuz passenger car, which served as the only means for transporting astronauts to the ISS ever since the US retired its Space Shuttle Program at 2011. This reliance on Russia finished this past year, however, when the US began to use
the SpaceX system developed by Elon Musk.

This was a significant blow for Roscosmos, since this meant an end to the funding it received from NASA for carrying astronauts to the space station. Between 2011 and 2019, NASA had spent $3.9 billion on the Soyuz flights, the report said.

Next year, the US can be expected to have another domestic option besides SpaceX, as Boeing’s postponed Starliner capsule is expected to become operational.

The development also comes at a time when relations between the West and Russia have been going from bad to worse. Last week, Russia received flak in the NATO alliance after it had been accused by the Czech Republic of being involved in a 2014 explosion at an arms depot.

Last year, the US accused Russia of carrying out a weapons evaluation after a projectile was said to have been fired by a Russian satellite. Russia, in return, blamed the US for treating space as a”military theatre”.

So, what exactly does Russia intend to do now?

The channel will reportedly orbit the Earth in a higher latitude, enabling it to observe the polar areas, particularly since Russia intends to develop the Arctic sea route as the ice melts.
Constructing a new station would also help Russia wave over obstacles that its cosmonauts now face on the aging ISS, like conducting experiments and adapting the most recent technology to a hardware structure that is over two decades old.

The situation that now is joined to the structure as well as the metal becoming old, it may result in irreversible consequences — to tragedy. We mustn’t let that happen”.

But, leaving the ISS would also indicate that Russian investigators would eliminate access to a laboratory that’s seen over 15 decades of engineering and assembly work to build it, and whose study potential is only now truly anticipated to take off. NASA has ruled out retiring the ISS until at 2028 and may continue to use it then by updating key systems, the FT report stated.

Borisov also said that Russia would handle the space station itself, but has left the door open for additional nations to join. This past year, Russia refused a US offer for a part of the Artemis program, and last month signed an agreement with China to jointly create a lunar base.

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