Chinese news agency Xinhua said a new Russian-made space station would soon be sent to space orbiting the world in the next few years, replacing the joint mission International Space Station (ISS) that is currently in space.
Quoting Denis Lyskov, deputy chief of Roscosmos, Russia’s space agency, the report said the Russian agency is exploring ways to develop a new orbital station, though doubts persist on Russia’s capabilities to sustain the billions of dollars in cost involved.
Another report by Moscow’s Kommersant business daily said that Russia is designing a multi-function orbiting mission in the space to be positioned in a near-polar orbit, which can also servea as a stopover for future moon missions.
In addition, the new Russian space station would be monitoring up to 90% of Russia’s vast territory, in line with the Cold War days when the Big Brother wanted to keep an eye on everyone else in the world. The present ISS, a joint venture with the US, privdes similar function but monitors only a fraction of Russian territory.
The However, the Interfax news agency quoting unnamed source within Roscosmos said the funds are still not coming forth for the mega-billion project. The source was quoted to have said that the mission, if allowed, will launch the new space station not by 2017 or 2019 as reported but may take it beyond the 2020 period.
Currently, Russia has no plans to ditch the ISS until at least 2020 as it is building new orbital modules to dock with the existing ISS. If new reports on Russia re-arming its nuclear arsenal are tru, then developing its own orbiter station may come true soon.