For over two decades, the International Space Station (ISS) has served as a collaborative research vessel for astronauts around the world. Science experiments conducted on permanently manned spacecraft are seen as integral to future exploration and have even provided the foundation for breakthroughs on Earth. More than a research laboratory, the ISS program is distinguished as a post-Cold War diplomatic victory for partners from Russia and the US, who operate spacecraft alongside Canada, Europe and Japan.
But now, geopolitics are threatening to jeopardize that work. Russia is set to launch its own orbital space station in 2025 as it argues with the ISS program to go it alone, reports AFP. The country’s space agency has reportedly begun work on the station’s first core module, according to a statement shared by Dmitry Rogozin, the Roskosmos chief on the Tailsgram. Moscow says its views are based on the age of the ISS, but it is difficult to ignore the impact of recent events on the ground.
“When we make a decision we will begin negotiations with our partners on the forms and conditions of cooperation beyond 2024,” Roskosmos said AFP in a statement.
SpaceX lost control of access to the ISS last year after performing its first operational mission at the orbiting lab for NASA. Vladimir Putin also has Warn America’s decision to launch the Space Army gives the White House “a place to see as a military theater and plans to operate there.” Meanwhile, the Biden administration’s criticism of Russia’s treatment of jailed opposition leader Alexei Navalny – and growing apprehension in a military force Ukraine – Further relations between the two parties have broken down.
Russia also has a history of operating space laboratories. It was first created Mir, A modular space station that had been in orbit for 15 years and is reportedly working with China at a planned research station on the moon.
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