Russia is reportedly ready to start constructing its own space station with the aim of launching it into orbit by 2030.
As one of the five space agencies involved with the International Space Station, Roscosmos, the Russian space agency, would first need to consider withdrawing from the multinational collaborative project, launched in 1998, in order to break away and establish its own space station, however, The Guardian reports that those discussions may have already taken place.
Yury Borisov, the Russian Deputy Prime Minister, reportedly revealed the first part of Russia’s plans to go solo with its own space station during a TV broadcast over the weekend in which he reportedly touched on the nation’s potential departure from the program, saying Moscow would, “give notice to its partners that it would withdraw from the International Space Station project in 2025.”
In addition to ending its decades-long cooperation with the ISS project, Roscosmos would also need to seek approval from President Vladimir Putin in order to proceed with its plans to build and launch its own space station. According to an unnamed source quoted by Russian news agency Interfax, the project could cost as much as $6 billion to get off the ground… and into space.
“If in 2030, in accordance with our plans, we can put it into orbit, it will be a colossal breakthrough,” Interfax quoted Roscosmos chief Dmitry Rogozin as saying, addressing the plans for a Russian station, which would reportedly be operated in a different manner to the ISS. “The will is there to take a new step in world manned space exploration.”
Forging its own path, Rogozin reportedly said the Russian space station would be monitored by artificial intelligence and robots, rather than being continuously manned by a human crew, because its orbit path would expose it to higher levels of radiation, which would put teams at greater risk long-term. However, cosmonauts and foreign crews could visit for shorter periods.
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Short stays in space may be preferential as scientists have previously confirmed the negative health effects of humans traveling to space, which occur as a result of the microgravity found outside Earth. We certainly still have a long way to go in researching and understanding “the fabric of the universe,” though the “Galactic Federation” of aliens are reportedly keeping us in the loop.
Adele Ankers is a Freelance Entertainment Journalist. You can reach her on Twitter.