Russia unveils look of its new space station
The Russian space agency unveiled a mockup of its new orbital station for the first time on Monday, after Moscow revealed earlier this year that it plans to leave the International Space Station (ISS) after 2024.
Roscosmos showcased the model of the Russian Orbital Station (ROS) during the Army 2022 International Military-Technical Forum. According to the agency, Energia Space Corporation, which is a part of Roscosmos, is now developing a sketch of the future space station, with its deployment set to unfold in two stages.
The first stage will involve four modules – a science power module, a node, a core module, and a gateway, Roscosmos said. At this stage, the crew will consist of two people.
The second stage will add two more modules to the station – target and production modules – as well as a servicing platform, the agency added. After this, the crew will be increased to four.
“Among the new features and capabilities of the national station, the developers single out huge energy potential for purpose-oriented tasks, unification of modules, the possibility of interaction with next-generation satellite groupings and various modes of operation,” Roscosmos said.
In late July, Roscosmos chief Yury Borisov said Russia will withdraw from the ISS after 2024, adding that Moscow intends to fulfill its obligations to its foreign partners. He noted at the time that the decision has nothing to do with geopolitics, including the Ukraine conflict.
Later, Sergey Krikalev, the executive director for manned space programs at Roscosmos, clarified that the timing for pulling out depends on the technical state of the ISS, and could come at any time after 2024.
Last year, Vladimir Solovyov, a former Soviet cosmonaut and chief designer for spacecraft manufacturer RSC Energia, said Russia would start construction on its own space station as early as in 2028. The project will be built on the Science Power Module 1, which was originally designed for the ISS, but is now being repurposed, Solovyov said at the time.
The former head of Roscosmos, Dmitry Rogozin, predicted that the ISS, which NASA plans to operate until 2030, would “fall apart” by that time unless “huge amounts of money” are invested in repairs.