Russia considering getting out of Gateway


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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.

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4 comments

  • ” . . . they might be able to design that station for short interplanetary flights . . .”

    Do you mean the station itself could go to the Moon, or support flights?

  • Blair Ivey: I mean taking the station on a flight around the Moon. Any interplanetary spaceship has got to be as big as Mir, and they actually designed Mir with this in mind, minus the engines. I’m not saying the engineering is trivial, but if put enough fuel and engines on it you can make it work.

    And someone will have to in order to go to Mars.

  • jburn

    Maybe China is offering the Russians a better deal on the next station……

  • wodun

    they might be able to design that station for short interplanetary flights, such as to the Moon and back, once built.

    Sort of like their of Gateway. They could even launch missions to the lunar surface if they wanted.

    What they should do is run a make/buy analysis for what activities they want to do in space. ITAR would be a problem but since Russia doesn’t have a good track record when it comes to developing new hardware lately, they really need to look at ways to cut out some of their inefficiencies.

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