Russian President Vladimir Putin announced on 26th October that the first segment of Russia’s new space station, which is intended to replace the International Space Station (ISS), will be in orbit by 2027. This comes despite recent setbacks in Russia’s space industry.
Russia had previously announced its plans to withdraw from the ISS, where its cosmonauts are permanently stationed and the country plays a crucial role. Instead, the main priority for Russia’s space agency Roscosmos is the creation of a new Russian orbital space station.
During a televised meeting with specialists from the sector, Putin emphasized the importance of ensuring a smooth transition from the ISS to the new space station. He stated that
“the aim is for there to be no gaps, for the work to keep pace with the depletion of the ISS’s resources.”
Putin called for everything to be done in good time and announced that the first segment of the new space station should be put into orbit by 2027.
However, Russia’s space industry has faced funding problems, corruption scandals, and other setbacks in recent years. In August, Russia’s Luna-25 module crashed on the Moon’s surface during pre-landing maneuvers, causing embarrassment for Moscow in its first mission to Earth’s natural satellite since 1976. Putin acknowledged that mistakes happen in such a complex activity but expressed his determination to continue funding missions to the Moon.
In addition to addressing these challenges, Putin also urged those overseeing the sector to resolve issues with low salaries in Russia’s space industry and to attract foreign specialists. He also emphasized the need to increase private business involvement in the space sector.
The ISS, a symbol of international cooperation primarily between the United States and Russia, began in 1988 and was initially scheduled to be decommissioned in 2024. However, NASA estimates that it can continue operating until 2030.