After more than two decades of international cooperation in space exploration, Russia announced this week that it will leave the International Space Station in 2025 and build and operate its own floating laboratory, which will enter orbit in 2030.
Relations between Russia and the United States have steadily deteriorated in several ways, and the two powers have also accused each other of militarizing space.
Recent US-Russia Space Rivalry
According to a report in the Financial Times, other space agencies relied on Russian advanced technology to build modular space stations in the early years. Russia is irreplaceable because its Soyuz passenger ship is the only means of transportation. After the United States abandoned the space shuttle program in 2011, astronauts entered the International Space Station, but the dependence on the United States ended when the United States deployed the SpaceX system developed by Elon Musk last year.
What is Russia planning?
Russia is currently planning to build and operate its own space station, which will be launched in 2030. According to Interfax news agency, the space module will be assembled by Energia and is worth at least US$5 billion. According to reports, the station is orbiting the Earth at high latitudes, which will allow it to better observe the polar regions, especially if Russia plans to develop Arctic sea routes when the ice melts. The new station will also help Russia cope with the challenges its astronauts are currently facing on the aging International Space Station, such as: B. Conduct experiments and adapt the latest technology to the hardware architecture that has been in use for more than two decades.
However, leaving the International Space Station will also mean that Russian researchers will not be able to enter the laboratory. The construction of the laboratory has taken more than 15 years of engineering and installation work, and it is only now expected to truly gain its research potential. ISS will have to wait until at least 2028, and then update the critical system based on the FT report to continue using it.