Russian space agency Roscosmos has announced this week that it hopes to launch its own orbiting space station by 2025. The agency is considering withdrawing from the ISS program and operating its own space station. Roscosmos head Dmitry Rogozin says that work has already begun on the first module for the space station.
Officials also warned that they are considering removing themselves from the international space station, one of the few successful cooperation attempts that Russia has made with the US. The first module for the space station is being built by the Russian Energia space Corporation with the goal of having it ready to launch in 2025.
Russia has been a participant in the ISS program since the space station launched in 1998. The ISS was a project involving Russia, the US, Canada, Japan, and the ESA. Russian Deputy Prime Minister Yuri Borisov said recently that Russia was considering removing itself from the ISS in 2025 due to the space station’s age. Russia has made statements that it would work with China on an orbiting space station near the moon and potentially on a lunar base.
The US currently has laws in place that prevent it from working in space with China. While hinting that it might remove itself from the ISS project, Russia was clear that a decision on leaving the space station hasn’t been made. Roscosmos says that it will make a decision and start negotiations with partners on terms and conditions for cooperation beyond 2024.
The good news with Russia considering removing itself from the ISS is that the United States no longer requires Russian spacecraft to put its astronauts in orbit. Commercial space flights are now common, with SpaceX putting astronauts onto the ISS and other companies looking to do the same.