MOSCOW, October 10. /TASS/. The American space agency NASA has not officially offered Russia to extend the service of International Space Station (ISS) until 2024, Russia’s space agency expert Yury Makarov told TASS on Friday.
“We are now considering possible extension of the ISS operation, which is to be finished by 2020. Our American partners have not made any official claims regarding the issue yet, though they have suggested extending ISS operation during the talks”, he said.
The expert said that ISS was not needed anymore, for all its resources and functions had already been employed in all kind of experiments at the near-Earth space. “The station can still be used for other experiments in the interests of various economic sectors, but the question is whether such experiments are profitable and efficient”, Makarov said.
The expert stressed that around one third of funds allocated for Russia’s Federal Space Program 2006-2015, were spent on ISS. Earlier, Russia’s Deputy Prime Minister, Dmitry Rogozin, said that over 30% of the country’s federal budget is wasted to sustain the station; therefore, Russia does not consider it profitable to continue participating in the project after 2020.
Makarov added that the decision regarding the ISS operation would be thoroughly discussed between all participants of the project.