Russia announced this week that it intends to withdraw from the International Space Station (ISS) consortium after 2024. The timing of this decision is uncertain, but we know that the country now has ambitions to build its own station. by the end of the decade.

After the success of the Salyut program, Mir and the International Space Station, Russia is looking to the future with a brand new station called ROSS. Roscosmos, the country’s space agency, has just released some renderings of its future orbital complex, the construction of which should begin by 2028.

The first assembly phase of the outpost will include a base module, a possible new supply ship and a new transport vehicle. A second phase, which should begin in 2030, will add two other large modules to the first.

The design of ROSS isn’t quite set in stone yet, however. Several questions still remain, in particular concerning its orbit. The outpost could fly in a 51.6-degree orbit similar to that of the ISS or in a near-polar 97-degree orbit. The choice of this location will probably depend on the different launch sites chosen.

Prioritizing science in microgravity

A few days ago, the new boss of the Russian space agency Roscosmos announced that Russia would leave the International Space Station (ISS) after the expiration of its current commitment, i.e. after 2024. geopolitical situation current has indeed added to the technical problems recently wiped edge of Russian side station related to aging infrastructure from the outpost.

Roscosmos presented this imminent departure as an opportunity to switch to this new ROSS station. On the one hand, the Russians no longer want to depend on the United States to carry out their scientific operations in orbit. On the other hand, cosmonauts have wasted a lot of time in recent years managing the maintenance and repair of on-board systems that have exhausted their resources.

With its new station, Russia intends to emphasize science. Vladimir Soloviev, the flight director of the Russian segment of the ISS and the general designer of RSC Energia, who is also the prime contractor for the Russian manned spaceflight program, recently admitted that the various Russian experiments carried out on board the ISS and previously aboard the Mir station had not given much feedback.

Russia announces its departure from the International Space Station after 2024

Western sanctions would “destroy” cooperation aboard the orbital laboratory. But although these threats were “numerous and incendiary”.

“Dependent on each other”

Although sober, the position of Yuri Borissov remains in line with those of his predecessor, the bubbling Dmitry Rogozin, whose washington post recounts a recent clash with Elon Musk on Twitter, during which he threatened to let the Space Station crash: “It would be possible that a structure of 500 tons falls on India or China. The ISS does not fly over Russia, so all the risk is on you. Are you ready ? ”. A sweeping declaration which, among other things, undoubtedly earned the former boss of Roscosmos to be thanked on July 15, but which confirms the state of mind of the Russians regarding their role in the collaboration international.

Russian official predicts ‘avalanche’ of failures on the International Space Station after 2024

That’s when Roscosmos director Yuri Borisov expects an “avalanche” of technical breakdowns aboard the ISS due to its aging hardware, according to a statement posted on the space agency’s website on Friday. Russian Roscosmos.

“If we talk about when Russia’s participation in the ISS project will end, we announced that we intend to do this not from 2024, but after 2024,” Borisov said, according to a translation. Google of its statement. “According to the opinion of our strength engineers, reliability specialists, who predict that after 2024, avalanche-like processes are possible due to the failure of various equipment in the modules of the ISS.”