In late July, Russia announced to pull out of ISS by 2024 and focus on building its own orbiting station.
Russia’s space agency, Roscosmos, unveiled a physical model of its proposed new space station on Monday, suggesting its seriousness to abandon the International Space Station by 2024.
Roskosmos presented the planned space station model called the Russian Orbital Service Station, which is dubbed “Ross” by the local media, at a military-industrial exhibition named Army-2022. The space agency said that the new station will be launched in two phases, without specifying any dates.
The first phase would see the four-module space station commence its operations and experimentation. Later, this would be followed by two modules and a service platform. When completed, it would be capable to accommodate up to four cosmonauts and scientific equipment. With the experience of living and working on the ISS for over two decades, the local Russian media expect the launch of the first stage in 2025-26 and no later than 2030, while the second and final stage is planned for 2030-35.
At the moment, Ross would not have any human presence but would be staffed twice a year for extended periods. According to a Reuters report, which cited Roskosmos, “the new station would afford Russian cosmonauts a much wider view of the Earth for monitoring purposes than they enjoy in their current segment.”
Launched in 1998, the ISS is a multinational collaborative project involving five participating space agencies, namely America’s NASA, Russia’s Roskosmos, Japan’s JAXA, Europe’s ESA, and Canada’s CSA. It is a hub of deep, international space exploration projects, and a centre to test future science needed by humans in their future missions to Moon and Mars. While NASA and other international partners are keen to keep the ISS operating until 2030, Russia is reluctant to make any commitments beyond 2024.
In late July, Kremlin announced to pull out of ISS by 2024 and focus on building its own orbiting station. The move comes in response to several Western sanctions on Moscow after it invaded Ukraine in late February and intends to reduce its dependence on the West, while also cooperating with countries like China and Iran.