Russia calls aging space station 'dangerous' as successor plans

Russia calls aging space station ‘dangerous’ as successor plans

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  • Russia will leave the ISS after 2024 to launch its own station
  • The head of the Russian space department said that the station is suffering massive failures
  • Courting China for a Potential Mission to the Moon

September 1 (Reuters) – The International Space Station (ISS) is dangerous and unusable, Russia’s space chief said Thursday as Moscow pushes ahead with plans to exit the project and launch its own station.

Yuri Borisov, head of the Roscosmos agency, said massive equipment failures and aging parts threaten crew safety at the 24-year-old station.

The ISS has been a rare area of ​​cooperation between the United States and Russia, even as diplomatic relations have deteriorated.

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But ever since Russia invaded Ukraine in February and was subjected to a flurry of Western sanctions, it has been increasingly eager to leave and launch its own space station sometime after 2024. read more

“Technically, the ISS has exceeded all warranty periods. It’s dangerous,” Borisov said. “An avalanche-like process of equipment failure begins, cracks appear.”

He said the Russian station would orbit the Earth around the poles, allowing it to observe much more of Russia’s vast territory and collect new data on cosmic radiation.

The ISS was launched in 1998 and has been in continuous operation since November 2000 as part of a US-Russian partnership that also includes Canada, Japan and 11 European countries. The American space agency NASA wants it to function until 2030.

Last month, Borisov unveiled a model of a planned Russian station that he said would be open to cooperation with “friendly countries.” read more

Borisov, a former deputy prime minister who worked in defense, said Western sanctions on Russia’s space industry have ruined prospects for further cooperation.

He highlighted the decision of the European Space Agency to end cooperation with Russia on the ExoMars rover, which should start searching for life on Mars by the end of the decade.

“A huge effort and a lot of money was spent on this … but politics intervened, and what is the result? It shouldn’t be like this, it’s wrong,” Borisov said.

Now Moscow is eyeing China and other “friendly countries” for cooperation.

In particular, Borisov said that Russia “is looking for ways to cooperate with our closest colleagues, primarily with China,” in order to join efforts to explore the Moon and deep space.

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Reuters message; Editing by Kevin Liffey

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