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ISS operation extension depends on Russian Lunar program — Roscosmos

October 15, 2014, 15:43 UTC+3 MOSCOW

Russian space agency official said it's not clear yet if Russia will need the International Space Station after 2020

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The International Space Station

The International Space Station

© RNewsFoto/Clarion

MOSCOW, October 15. /TASS/. The extension of the International Space Station (ISS) operation for the period after 2020 depends on the Russian Lunar exploration program, deputy head of the Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos), State Secretary Denis Lyskov said at the Open Innovations forum on Wednesday.

“We have obligations to fulfil until 2020 and the funding is planned for this period. As for further ISS operation, this decision cannot be made today. It is necessary to conduct certain analysis in connection with our Lunar program to decide until what year we need it [ISS],” Lyskov said.

He said no political decision exists on this matter. “Each side makes its contribution, including financial. If the state priorities change, the financing will be switched to other tasks. Nobody has so far instructed us to stop ISS operation in 2020,” the deputy head of Roscosmos said.

He recalled that the Americans “have estimated until what year they need the station” (the United States proposed to extend the ISS exploitation until 2024), but “we cannot tell yet.” Lyskov also said that the ISS would not be able to exist without the Russian segment.

Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin said previously that Russia sees no commercial sense in taking part in the ISS project after 2020, because the station consumes more than 30% of Roscosmos budget.

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