ROSS: Russia reveals model of its proposed space station nearly a month after announcing ISS departure


Russia has unveiled a model of its proposed space station after it announced last month that it was leaving the International Space Station (ISS) in 2024.

Amid soaring tensions with the west over the Ukraine invasion, which Moscow calls a “special military operation”, Russia’s space agency Roscosmos said it would opt out of the project and focus on building its own version of the orbiting laboratory.

“The decision to leave the station after 2024 has been made,” Yuri Borisov, who was appointed last month to lead Roscosmos, had said.

On Monday, the Russian space agency presented a model of its planned space station, dubbed the Russian Orbital Service Station or “ROSS” at “Army-2022”, a military-industrial exhibition outside Moscow, Russian state media reported.

Russia’s decision has been in the works since May when Roscosmos said it would leave the ISS over sanctions imposed on Moscow due to the war in Ukraine.

The new space station is expected to be launched in two phases but Roscosmos has not announced any specific dates, Reuters reported.

The first stage is planned for 2025-26, and no later than 2030, with the launch of the second and final stage expected for 2030-35, Russian state media reports suggest.

Several countries, including the US, have imposed a raft of economic sanctions against Moscow with president Joe Biden stating in February that the move to pull away from the ISS would “degrade their space programme”.

But despite the rift between the west and Russia, Nasa and Roscosmos made a deal for astronauts to continue riding Russian rockets and for Russian cosmonauts to catch lifts to the ISS with SpaceX, beginning this autumn.

By this agreement, both Nasa and Roscosmos will have at least one American and one Russian on board to keep both sides of the ISS running smoothly.

Meanwhile, Nasa and other international partners, including Europe, Japan and Canada, are expected to keep the ISS running until 2030.

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