Russia’s space agency on Monday unveiled for the first time a physical model of what a planned new Russian-built space station would look like, suggesting Moscow is serious about abandoning the International Space Station (ISS) and going it alone .
Russia, which some Kremlin hardliners believe has a historic break with the West, sparked by sanctions imposed on Moscow’s “special military operation” in Ukraine, is seeking to reduce its reliance on Western countries. And running to move forward on his own. Or cooperate with countries like China and Iran.
The West, which has accused Russia of prosecuting an unprovoked imperialist-style invasion of Ukraine, has hit the Russian economy with sanctions designed to starve Moscow for technology, information and money.
Russia’s national space agency Roscosmos presented a model of the space station planned by Russian state media to be dubbed “ROSS” at the “Army-2022” military-industrial exhibition outside Moscow on Monday.
Yuri Borisov, who was appointed head of Roscosmos by President Vladimir Putin last month, has said Russia will leave the ISS after 2024 and is working to develop its own orbital station.
Launched in 1998, the ISS has been continuously occupied since November 2000 under a US-Russia-led partnership that also includes Canada, Japan and 11 European countries.
NASA, which is keen to keep the ISS operational until 2030, says it has not yet received official confirmation of Russia’s planned return and it was already understood that Moscow would continue to participate until 2028.
Roscosmos said in a statement that the new space station will be launched in two phases without giving any dates.
In the first phase, the operation of the four-module space station will begin. Later this will be followed by two more modules and a service platform. This, when completed, will be enough to accommodate four astronauts as well as scientific instruments.
Roscosmos has said that the new station will carry a more comprehensive view of Earth for surveillance purposes than the Russian astronauts enjoy in their current section.
Although designs for some of the new stations already exist, design work on other sections is still underway.
Russian state media have suggested that the start of the first phase is planned for 2025–26 and no later than 2030. The launch of the second and final phase is planned for 2030-35, he said.
The space station, as currently envisioned, will not have a permanent human presence, but will be staffed twice a year for extended periods.
Dmitry Rogozin, the past head of Roscosmos and known for his strong statements against the West, has suggested that the new space station could serve a military purpose, if necessary.