It seems that the ghosts of the Cold War have returned to haunt us when it comes to the space race between the United States and Russia. On Wednesday, the Interfax news agency quoted Roscosmos chief Dmitry Rogozin as saying that by 2030, Russia will be able to launch its own space station into orbit if President Vladimir Putin agrees. Here’s everything you need to know about this recent development:
Why the separation?
Problems of political disagreement have also led to separation between US and Russian space agencies. The two countries have shown exemplary professional coordination at the International Space Station for two decades. However, relations between Russia and the United States are subject to human rights issues after Putin’s administration imprisoned opposition leader Alexei Navalny.
Navalny, who is in a Russian prison, has been on hunger strike for 20 days and, according to his doctors, may not have much time left. The US has called on the Russian government not to stifle dissenting voices and will face consequences if Navalny dies. He also accused Russia of launching cyber attacks against them and interfering in their elections.
Another reason for the separation to happen is the aging of the ISS and the purpose for which it was first launched. According to a report by Science Mag, the cosmonauts were forced to repair the cracks of a Russian module that was believed to be the source of minor air leaks. Given these circumstances, Deputy Prime Minister Yuri Borisov told Russian television last weekend that Moscow would announce its international partners that it would leave the ISS project in 2025.What happens after Russia leaves?The Russian Deputy Prime Minister said in his address that the country needs a national space station to do well. However, Borisov mentioned that they will consider allowing foreign crews to visit their projects. Conformable Reuters, Interfax quoted an unnamed source as saying that Russia intends to spend up to $ 6 billion on the ambitious project. The head of the Russian space agency said that, unlike the ISS, the Russian station would most likely not be permanently equipped, because the orbit’s path would expose it to higher radiation, Reuters reported.The future of the ISS? Science Magazine reports Vitaly Egorov, an industry observer, writer and former spokesman for Dauria Aerospace, a Russian company saying that if the separation were to occur, ISS partners would have difficulty maintaining the station without Russia. However, the head of Roscosmos assured that Russia will not leave the ISS until the proposed new station becomes operational, mentioning how the breaks are fatal for space flights.
Read all the latest news and breaking news here