Russia has plans for its own space station after the ISS

2 Mar 2015

International Space Station (ISS) image via STS-124 Shuttle Crew/NASA

The Russian Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos) is attempting to push its own way into space once again with plans to build its own space station after the International Space Station (ISS) finishes operation.

With tensions rising between the west and Russia politically once again, the official Roscosmos statement would appear to show that the agency is looking to distance itself from its international neighbours that it currently shares in space with the ISS.

According to the statement, Roscosmos will push ahead with the development of the space station after the ISS finished up in just under 10 years’ time as part of its eventual lunar ambitions which could see Russia finally make their first human landing on the moon, over 60 years after NASA’s successful landing.

In the meantime however, all those who have been involved with the running of the ISS were pleased following Russia’s commitment to continue funding and sending cosmonauts to the giant facility until 2024.

With the US and NASA discussing plans to potentially see the ISS last for 30 years to bring it up to 2028, the space station could be significantly smaller as Russia would plan to disconnect its modules from its international collaborators and use them as the foundation for its own space station.

Speaking to The Guardian, Martin Barstow, president of the Royal Astronomical Society, said this news isn’t particularly good for the future of international relations in space.

“The ISS was a focus for everybody and although its life is going to be extended, it’s still going to be limited,” he said.

“The collaborative part of that project may go, and it would be bad if it were lost. The way to avoid fighting is to work together on international significant projects. In the next ten years things could change quite dramatically.”

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic