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Russia's new orbital station to have five modules — project

April 23, 2015, 16:53 UTC+3 (updates details

The programme says, development of the convertible module will begin in 2020 and works related to the energy module will get off the ground in 2021

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MOSCOW, April 23. /TASS/. A new Russian orbital station, which will likely replace the International Space Station and which is expected to consist of three modules in the initial phases of the project, will be augmented with convertible and energy modules by 2016, says a revised draft of the Federal Space Programme slanted for the years 2016 through to 2015.

The document was rolled out on Thursday by the Federal Space Agency Roscosmos.

The programme says, among other things, development of the convertible module, due to be launched in 2025, will begin in 2020 and works related to the energy module will get off the ground in 2021. The latter will get into orbit in 2025.

These modules will be incorporated in the new national orbital complex as elements of a multirole laboratory bloc, an orbital node, and an energy unit.

The previous version of the Federal Space Programme suggested that the convertible module was to be launched in 2021 and the energy module, in 2025. Its authors also hoped the station would include a laboratory module named OKA-T-2, a modernized orbital node UMM, and a slipway module MS.

An explanatory memorandum on the updated programme says the cancelation of R & D works on the basic modules for the future manned infrastructure will not make it possible for Russia to launch a lunar orbital station in the early 2030.

Earlier reports said an agreement on extending the operational life of the International Space Station through to 2024 had been reached.

In 2017, Russia will augment its segment at the ISS with a laboratory module. Other appendages to the station will come in the form of an orbital node in 2018 and a research energy unit in 2019.

No decisions on the destiny of the ISS after 2024 have been taken so far and the Russian side does not rule out it will separate its three new modules from the orbital complex to set up a national orbital station on their basis.

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