High Russia space official shoots down idea of new Russian space station

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Sergei Savelyev, deputy director of Russian space agency Roscosmos, dismissed the idea that Russia might leave the ISS partnership to build its own independent space station.

“Theoretically it is possible to create a new Russian space station, but neither the current nor future drafts of the federal space program [through 2025] touch on this subject, and any [hypothetical] implementation could be tied in with the continued operation of the ISS,” [he said]…

Savelyev added that he anticipates Russia will continue to use the ISS beyond 2020, but that its focus will shift toward cooperating with China on Beijing’s own space stations — a small station is already in orbit, and a second larger one is set to be operational around 2020 — and aboard the Russian segment of the ISS.

I think the Russians know that it would be foolish to abandon their partnership on ISS, at least not for a few more years. For at least another decade it is going to be the best thing they’ve got in space.



  • wodun

    Why would the Russians leave? Their presence there moderates our behavior and ties our hands because we are dependent on them.

  • More to the point, why would they leave a partnership that pays tens of thousands of dollars per person for crew transport because a certain nation no longer has that capability.

  • Edward

    Once CST-100 and Dragon are in service, the US will no longer be dependent upon the Russians, and that revenue source will dry up for the Russians.

    Meanwhile, Russia is stuck working to rules that NASA insists upon. This limits Russia’s ability to do some of the experiments that they want.

    For instance, it took Russia a few years to convince NASA to do a one-year mission in order to measure the effects on the astronauts and cosmonauts. If Russia didn’t have NASA to argue with, they would have already finished this (future) mission. It took a while for Russia to convince NASA to let Dennis Tito start the popular/profitable space tourism to the ISS. NASA’s rules require that experimental data be made publicly available a mere five years after the experiment, leaving only a short time for experimenters (read: companies) to get a jump on the competition; perhaps Russia has a problem with that, too.

    Partnerships have advantages, but they also have disadvantages. They seem to have weighed them with NASA vs. with China. China seems to be winning on that front.

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