Russia’s Roskosmos chief said Russia is ready to start building its own space station with the goal of launching it into orbit by 2030 if President Vladimir Putin gives the green light.
The project will end more than two decades of close cooperation with the United States aboard the old International Space Station.
“If in 2030 we were able, according to our plans, to put it into orbit, that would be a tremendous achievement, and the will is there to take a new step in the process of space exploration,” Interfax news agency quoted Roscosmos chief Dmitry Rogozin as saying.
Russian astronauts have worked jointly with their counterparts from the United States and 16 other countries on the International Space Station project since 1998. Space is one of the closest areas of cooperation between Moscow and Washington, whose relations have been strained due to human rights issues, cyberattacks and other issues.
Russian Deputy Prime Minister Yuri Borisov said Moscow will inform its partners that it will leave the International Space Station project from 2025.
Rogozin explained that the Russian station, unlike the International Space Station, is likely not to be permanently inhabited, because its orbital trajectory will expose it to higher radiation, but astronauts will visit it, and artificial intelligence and robots will be used in it.
He added, “Russia is ready to consider allowing foreign crews to visit, but the station must be patriotic, and if you want to do a good job, do it yourself.”
Interfax quoted an unnamed source as saying that Russia plans to spend up to $ 6 billion on the project.