The Russian space agency Roscosmos today unveiled a small tabletop model of the independent Russian space station it proposes to build that will replace its portion on ISS.
The picture to the right shows that model. It shows four large modules, a second docking hub, and a Russian manned Federatsiya (“Federation” in English) capsule (intended to replace Soyuz) docked to the nearest port.
Roskosmos said in a statement that the new space station would be launched in two phases, without giving dates. The first phase would see a four-module space station start operating. That would later be followed by a further two modules and a service platform, it said. That would be enough, when completed, to accommodate up to four cosmonauts as well as scientific equipment.
Roskosmos has said the new station would afford Russian cosmonauts a much wider view of the Earth for monitoring purposes than they enjoy in their current segment. Although designs for some of the new station already exist, design work is still underway on other segments.
Russian state media have suggested that the launch of the first stage is planned for 2025-26 and no later than 2030. Launch of the second and final stage is planned for 2030-35, they have reported.
Russia officials have also said that it will stick with its partnership at ISS until this new station has begun operations.
It will be very revealing how successful Russia is at meeting this timetable. For the past thirty years, since the fall of the Soviet Union and the advent of international cooperation at ISS, its aerospace sector has routinely failed to meet any schedule at all, promising a lot but never delivering, or delivering literally decades late. (For example, Federatsiya has been under development for almost a decade, with no apparent progress.) Forced to go it alone, and in competition with the rest of the world, that sector, now controlled and owned by the government (like the Soviet days), might finally have some incentive to produce.
Or not. The corruption that permeates Russia’s government is deep and widespread. It is entirely possible that a large percentage of the money budgeted for this project ends up in the pockets of its managers instead of used to build anything.
We shall have to wait and see.
Now available in hardback and paperback as well as ebook!
From the press release: In this ground-breaking new history of early America, historian Robert Zimmerman not only exposes the lie behind The New York Times 1619 Project that falsely claims slavery is central to the history of the United States, he also provides profound lessons about the nature of human societies, lessons important for Americans today as well as for all future settlers on Mars and elsewhere in space.
Conscious Choice: The origins of slavery in America and why it matters today and for our future in outer space
, is a riveting page-turning story that documents how slavery slowly became pervasive in the southern British colonies of North America, colonies founded by a people and culture that not only did not allow slavery but in every way were hostile to the practice.
does more however. In telling the tragic history of the Virginia colony and the rise of slavery there, Zimmerman lays out the proper path for creating healthy societies in places like the Moon and Mars.
“Zimmerman’s ground-breaking history provides every future generation the basic framework for establishing new societies on other worlds. We would be wise to heed what he says.” —Robert Zubrin, founder of founder of the Mars Society.
All editions are available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and all book vendors, with the ebook priced at $5.99 before discount. The ebook can also be purchased direct from my ebook publisher, ebookit, in which case you don't support the big tech companies and I get a bigger cut much sooner.
Autographed printed copies are also available at discount directly from me (hardback $24.95; paperback $14.95; Shipping cost for either: $5.00). Just email me at zimmerman @ nasw dot org.