International Space Station programme:
Russia’s space agency said it hoped to launch its own orbital station in 2025 as Moscow considers withdrawing from the International Space Station program to go it alone.
- Roscosmos chief Dmitry Rogozin said work had begun on the first module of a new station, after officials warned that Russia was considering pulling out of the ISS, one of the few successful examples of cooperation with the West.
- The announcement came with tensions soaring with the West.
- Launched in 1998 and involving Russia, the United States, Canada, Japan, and the European Space Agency, the ISS is one of the most ambitious international collaborations in human history.
- Russia’s Deputy Prime Minister Yury Borisov said in recent days that Moscow was considering whether to leave the ISS programme from 2025 because of the station’s age. Roscosmos said that a decision on quitting the ISS had not yet been made.
- Russia lost its monopoly for manned flights to the ISS last year after the first successful mission of U.S. company Space X.
- Despite its much-lauded history — Russia this month marked the 60th anniversary of Yuri Gagarin becoming the first person in orbit — the country’s space programme has struggled in recent years as president Putin is more interested in military technology than space exploration.