It seems that the ghosts of the Cold War are once again haunting us when it comes to the space race between the United States and Russia. On Wednesday, Interfax news agency quoted Roscosmos chief Dmitry Rogozin as saying that by 2030 Russia will be able to launch its own space station into orbit if President Vladimir Putin gives the right. Here’s everything you need to know about this recent development:
Why the Separation?
Issues of political disagreement have resulted in segregation also between the U.S. and Russian space agencies. The two countries have shown exemplary professional coordination at the International Space Station for two decades. However, Russia and US relations are strained over human rights issues after the Putin administration jailed opposition leader Alexei Navalny.
Navalny, who is in a Russian prison, is now hungry for 20 days and according to his doctors he may not have much time. The United States has urged the Russian government not to stifle dissenting votes and will face consequences if Navalni dies. It also accused Russia of launching cyber attacks against them and interfering in their elections.
Another reason why the separation may have occurred is the aging of the ISS and the purpose for which it was first launched. According to a report by Science Mag, astronauts had to patch the cracks in a Russian module, which was supposed to be the source of small air leaks. Given these circumstances, Deputy Prime Minister Yuri Borisov told Russian television last week that Moscow would announce to its international partners that it would abandon the 2025 ISS project.What happens after leaving Russia?Russia’s deputy prime minister said in his address that the country needs a national space station to do well. However Borisov mentioned that they would consider allowing foreign crew members to visit their projects. According to Reuters, Interfax quoted an unnamed source as saying Russia plans to spend up to $ 6 billion on the ambitious project. A head of a Russian space agency said that, unlike the ISS, the Russian station would most likely not be permanently manned because its orbital path would expose it to higher radiation, Reuters reported.Future of ISS?La Scientific Journal reports, Vitaly Egorov, an industrial observer, writer and former spokesman for Dauria Aerospace, a Russian company saying that if the separation takes place, ISS partners will find it difficult to keep the station operating without Russia. However, the head of Roscosmos assured that Russia will not leave the ISS until the proposed new station becomes operational mentioning how breaks are deadly for space travel.
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