NewsRussia wants to operate the International Space Station for...

Russia wants to operate the International Space Station for longer

For a long time Russia flirted with an early end to the International Space Station. Now you suddenly hear new notes from Moscow.

Moscow – What’s next for the International Space Station? The space station has been permanently inhabited for a good 21 years, but problems and deficiencies have been increasing recently. Sometimes holes or cracks were found in the ISS, sometimes systems on board failed or the space station spun wildly on its own axis. The Russian space organization Roskosmos, which is involved in the ISS, often flirted with wanting to stop participating in the ISS in 2025 and then build its own space station. But now you can hear different tones from Russia.

“The space station will remain in operation until at least 2027/2028, and this operation should be as beneficial as possible,” quoted the Russian news agency Tass, quoting Roskosmos director for manned spaceflight, Sergey Krikalyov. The start of the “Nauka” laboratory and the start of the “Pritschal” node planned for the end of November are not the end of the further development of the ISS, Krikalyov emphasized at an event on the 60th anniversary of Yuri Gagarin’s first space flight. “We have different projects and concepts that need to be done and we need to explore different options.”

Russia and the International Space Station ISS: Suddenly it should continue until 2027/2028

It is an option to use the current space station to create a “new generation orbital outpost,” continues Krikalyov. Roskosmos boss Dmitry Rogozin had already announced in July that there were two proposals for a new orbital space station. One possibility is to expand the Russian ISS segment, separate it from the ISS and leave it in the same orbit. The second option is to build a new space station and use the Russian ISS module “Nauka” as a base. This station would orbit the earth in a different orbit than the ISS.

International Space Station ISS: Crew-3 around Matthias Maurer is to start with SpaceX

Whatever the future fate of the ISS, the space station is currently being discussed primarily because of the crews arriving and departing. Crew-3 with the German astronaut Matthias Maurer was supposed to have been on board the space station since the end of October, but the flight was postponed more and more – first because of bad weather, then because of a health problem and later because of the return of the previous crew. Now the start of Matthias Maurer and three NASA astronauts is planned for early Thursday morning (11/11/2021) German time.

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The astronauts in Crew 2 have meanwhile returned safely to Earth. On their return flight from the ISS, they were not allowed to use the toilets and instead had to “use their underwear”, as a NASA manager explained in advance. A defect had previously been found in the toilets in the SpaceX “Crew Dragon” space capsules, but this does not affect the capsule of Matthias Maurer’s Crew-3. (tab)

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