MOSCOW, July 26. /TASS/. Russia’s decision to quit the International Space Station (ISS) program after 2024 was well-grounded since cosmonauts have to spend most of their time onboard to maintain its working life instead of carrying out various scientific and research programs, President of the Russian Academy of Sciences Alexander Sergeyev told TASS on Tuesday.
"I would say that the ISS project and the station’s Russian segment are very cost-intensive. The station is currently in a state when cosmonauts have to spend most of their time in orbit to maintain the ISS’ operation to the prejudice of scientific and research programs. In such conditions, it is difficult to speak about the station’s efficiency and this is one of the key reasons for this decision," he said.
"But since the ISS is a joint project of various countries, they voiced concern after this statement that we will quit it," he noted. "Further on, I am sure, Russia will build its own space station. It has been discussed many times what this station is to be like and which orbit be placed in."
He also said that the Russian Academy of Sciences wants to continue joint work with Russia’s state space corporation Roscosmos on space programs.
"We invited Roscosmos’ new CEO [Yury Borisov] for a working meeting and hope for the continuation of comprehensive cooperation with the corporation," Sergeyev added.
Roscosmos Director General Yury Borisov said at a meeting with President Vladimir Putin earlier on Tuesday that Russia’s key priority in space exploration will be to build a Russian space station.
In April 2021, Borisov, who was Russia’s deputy prime minister at that time, said that the ISS was not in good condition and Russia may look into creating its own space station. The Energia Rocket and Space Corporation was tasked with readying the launch of the first module of a would-be Russian station by 2025. It will be a research and energy module that was originally planned to be launched to the ISS.
Roscosmos’ former CEO, Dmitry Rogozin, said in late February that it was quite difficult financially to implement these two projects: the ISS and the new station, simultaneously. He suggested that it would be expedient to ensure a certain "overlapping" period when both stations would be operating. Under the current agreement, the ISS will be operational until 2024. In the spring, the Energia corporation signed a state contract for the development of a concept design of Russia’s future station.