Russia is ready to start building its own space station in order to launch it into orbit by 2030 if President Vladimir Putin launches it, the head of his space agency Roscosmos said on Wednesday.
The project will mark a new chapter in the exploration of Russian space and an end to more than two decades of close cooperation with the United States aboard the aging International Space Station (ISS).
“If in 2030, according to our plans, we can put it into orbit, it will be a colossal discovery,” Interfax news agency was quoted as saying by Roscosmos chief Dmitry Rogozin. “The will is there to take a new step in space exploration with world crews.”
Russian cosmonauts have been working with counterparts in the United States and 16 other countries on the ISS since 1998 – one of the closest areas of cooperation between Moscow and Washington, whose relations are currently in deep human rights crisis, cyber attacks and a number of of other problems.
Deputy Prime Minister Yuri Borisov told Russian television over the weekend that Moscow would announce its partners that it would leave the 2025 ISS project.
Rogozin said the Russian station, unlike the ISS, would most likely not be permanently equipped because the orbit’s path would expose more radiation.
But cosmonauts would visit him and use artificial intelligence and robots.
He said Russia is ready to consider allowing foreign crews to visit, “but the station must be national … If you want to do well, do it yourself.”
Interfax quoted an unnamed source as saying that Russia intends to spend up to $ 6 billion to launch the project.
This story was published from an agency stream with no changes to the text.