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MOSCOW, January 10. /ITAR-TASS/. The International Space Station (ISS) is a unique complex and international laboratory, so the extension of its operation is certainly reasonable and practicable, President of the Energia Rocket and Space Corporation (RKK) Vitaly Lopota told Itar-Tass on Friday.
The U.S. authorities on Wednesday, January 8, announced a decision to extend their participation in the ISS program at least until 2024. If necessary, the United States is ready to support the ISS, along with Russia, without the participation of other countries.
According to the RKK Energia president Russia could support the decision of the United States. “We are ready to continue the work,” said Lopota.
“The ISS is a unique complex,” he said. “Today, many experiments are conducted there, the research program is expanding.”
Japan also generally supported the U.S. proposal to extend the term of the station operation, but did not exclude that it would possibly reduce its financial contribution to support the operation of the space complex.
Currently, the ISS partners have officially extended the operation of the orbiting station until 2020, the issue of ISS operation further extension - for 5-8 years more, is also being considered.
In November last year, the ISS turned 15. The first module of the space station - Russia’s Zarya Functional Cargo Block - had been launched into orbit in 1998. That same year, Shuttle Endeavour docked the American module Unity to the Zarya module.