At a meeting with President Vladimir Putin that took place on April 12, Cosmonautics Day, it was decided to build Russian own space station and abandon the use of the International Space Station (ISS). On April 18, Deputy Prime Minister of the Russian Federation Yury Borisov told about this.
For flights into deep space, a transport and energy complex with a nuclear power and propulsion system will be created. It has been developed in Russia since 2010.
The decision to extend the operation of the ISS will be made after 2024, based on its technical condition and plans for deploying a national orbital station. This was reported by the press service of Roscosmos.
"We have a timescale at the station agreed with our partners in the ISS—2024. After that, the decision will be made on the basis of the technical condition of the station modules that have basically expired their service life, as well as our plans to deploy a new generation national orbital station," the state corporation stated.
Context. The ISS construction in orbit began on November 20, 1998 with the Zarya functional cargo module. It was built in Russia for American money. Now the station includes 15 main modules, five of them are Russian.
Initially, it was planned that the station would operate for about 20 years, then its service life was repeatedly extended. In January 2019, the specialists of the I. Khrunichev Center informed that the Zarya module equipment was operating beyond the warranty period. Furthermore, the telemetry control system is in a critical state.
In May 2017, Dmitry Rogozin, who was at that time Deputy Prime Minister, instructed Roscosmos to work out the issue of creating an alternative to the ISS. He specified that the Russian segment of the station would remain on the ISS. "We are not going to remove or sink it," he stressed.
At the end of 2020, the Rocket and Space Corporation Energia, the operator of the Russian segment of the ISS, proposed abandoning the further operation of the station. According to the First Deputy General Director of the corporation Vladimir Solovyov, a number of elements at the station are failing, and after 2025 this process will become an avalanche.
Recently, ISS crews have often reported malfunctions at the station. One of them was a crack in the Russian module Zvezda that caused an air leak.
Additionally. The American company Axiom Space plans to send three people to the ISS at the lowest price—for $55 million. The company, that has venture funding, has signed a contract with SpaceX to organize travel on the Crew Dragon spacecraft. The mission is scheduled to launch in the second half of 2021.