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Roscosmos approves design of Russia’s future orbital station

The station’s deployment, as it was previously reported, is due between 2027 and 2032

MOSCOW, April 2. /TASS/. Roscosmos has approved the preliminary design of a future Russian orbital station (ROS).

"The preliminary design of Russia’s orbital station has earned approval from the state corporation Roscosmos," the statement reads. Roscosmos and the main contractors are in the process of concluding government contracts for building the station.

Roscosmos recalled that the proposed orbital outpost would serve as the base of Russia’s national space program when the International Space Station (ISS) ended its life cycle. The station’s core module will have six docking ports for accommodating add-on modules. Each of the station's modules will be replaceable, if necessary, so the ROS’s service life is likely to last decades.

The station will stay in a polar orbit with an inclination of up to 97 degrees.

"This will give an overview of the Earth’s entire surface, including the strategically important Northern Sea Route. Currently, the cosmonauts on the ISS can see about 60% of the Earth's surface, of which only a tiny 10%-fraction is Russian territory," Roscosmos said, adding that the polar orbit would ensure guaranteed stable communication with mission control.

Heavy-duty power generating units, Roscosmos said, are one of the ROS’s major strengths. They will allow for testing and polishing to perfection the required equipment, radars and high-power antenna systems. The gyroscopic systems will keep the station in its orbit without using the engines, thus significantly reducing fuel consumption.

The station’s deployment, as it was previously reported, is due between 2027 and 2032.

"First, the research, power supply and airlock modules will be put in space. The base module will follow to assume the station's control functions. Other add-on modules will join the orbiter later," Roscosmos.

They corporation recalled that unlike the ISS, the new station will be able to stay in operation without a crew on board.

Russian Orbital Station’s profile

The idea of creating Russia's own orbital station hit the headlines in April 2021. Last October, Roscosmos CEO Yuri Borisov said that the project’s costs were estimated at 609 billion rubles (roughly $6.6 billion at the current rate of exchange) until 2032, of which amount 150 billion rubles is to be spent in the first three years. The project is open to international cooperation: African and BRICS countries have been invited to participate.