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The new colonial movement: In expressing a desire not to play a secondary role in its next space station, Roscosmos head Dmitry Rogozin said today that Russia might pull out of its partnership with NASA in building its Gateway lunar station.
Russia agreed last year to work with the U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) on plans for the moon-orbiting Deep Space Gateway, which will serve as a staging post for future missions.
But the head of Russian space agency Roscosmos, Dmitry Rogozin, said Russia might exit the joint program and instead propose its own lunar orbit space station project. “The Russian Federation cannot afford to play the second fiddle role in it,” he was quoted as saying by the RIA news agency, without much further elaboration.
A spokesman for Roscosmos said later that Russia had no immediate plans to leave the project.
Russia’s problem is that they simply don’t have the cash to build their own lunar station. They could build a new station of their own in Earth orbit, and that might be what they end up doing. In fact, based on the knowledge they gained from both Mir and ISS, they might be able to design that station for short interplanetary flights, such as to the Moon and back, once built.
If I was Rogozin, that is exactly what I would do. Get out of NASA’s boondoggle, and build something in Earth orbit that will really demonstrate interplanetary travel.