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Russian space company developing spacecraft for drowning world’s sole orbiter

November 15, 2016, 17:27 UTC+3 MOSCOW

The ISS is expected to be in operation until 2024, after which the Russian segment can be detached from it as a separate national station

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International Space Station

International Space Station

© NASA

MOSCOW, November 15. /TASS/. A new transport spacecraft with the increased carrying capacity, which Russia’s Energiya Rocket and Space Corporation is developing, is intended to deorbit the International Space Station (ISS), the corporation said in its quarterly report on Tuesday.

The ISS is expected to be in operation until 2024, after which the Russian segment can be detached from it as a separate national station.

"To ensure the ISS’ reliable deorbiting and drowning in the designated area of the World Ocean after the ISS’s service life expires," the documents on the spacecraft’s tasks say.

It was earlier reported that Energiya Rocket and Space Corporation, the developer and producer of all Russian space vehicles, had started to develop a new transport spacecraft with the increased carrying capacity. The new space freighter will be able to deliver more cargoes to the orbit than currently operational Progress MS carrier rockets that can take no more than 2,600 kilograms aboard.

Specifically, it will be required to launch a new spacecraft up to three times a year to make provisions for the ISS’s Russian crew of three while the currently operational Progress space freighters require up to four launches. The new spacecraft will also help cut the cost of delivering cargoes to the space station.

As Energiya CEO Vladimir Solntsev said earlier, the conceptual designing of the new space freighter is planned to be completed in December 2016.

The issue of developing a new space freighter has become topical after the Soyuz-2.1b carrier rocket with the increasing carrying capacity and the enlarged nose cone appeared on the market.

The Soyuz-2.1b orbits 1,200 kilograms more than the previous generations of carrier rockets. Therefore, new space vehicles will be able to deliver cargoes by that amount more to the ISS, CEO of Progress Rocket and Space Center (the manufacturer of rockets of this family) Alexander Kirilin told TASS earlier.

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