For more than two decades, the International space station (ISS) served as a collaborative research vessel for astronauts around the world. Scientific experiments conducted on the permanently manned spacecraft are considered an integral part of future exploration and have even provided the foundation for breakthroughs here on Earth. More than a research laboratory, the ISS program has been hailed as a post-Cold War diplomatic triumph for partners Russia and the United States, which operate the spacecraft alongside Canada, the United States. Europe and Japan.
But now geopolitics threatens to jeopardize this work. Russia is considering launching its own orbital space station in 2025 as it debates its withdrawal from the ISS program to go it alone, reports the AFP. The country’s space agency has reportedly started work on the station’s first central module, according to a statement shared on Telegram by Roscosmos chief Dmitry Rogozin. Moscow says its deliberations are based on the age of the ISS, but it’s hard to ignore the impact of recent events on the ground.
“When we take a decision, we will start negotiations with our partners on the forms and conditions of cooperation beyond 2024,” said Roscosmos. AFP in a report.
Russia lost control of access to the ISS last year after SpaceX carried out its first operational mission at NASA’s Orbiting Laboratory. Vladimir Putin also warned that the decision of the United States to launch a Space force suggests that the White House considers the space a “military theater and plans to conduct operations there.” Meanwhile, criticism from the Biden administration of Russia’s treatment of jailed opposition leader Alexei Navalny – and growing fears about a military conflict in Ukraine – have further severed relations between the two parties.
Russia also has a history of operating space laboratories. He previously built the Me, a modular space station that had been in orbit for 15 years and would work with China on a project moon research station.
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