Model of the planned Russian space station: It should enable a broad view of the earth
Photo: Maxim Shemetov / REUTERS
Russia apparently wants to further decouple itself from Western countries - even outside the Earth's atmosphere.
That is why the Russian space agency Roskosmos has presented a model for a planned space station.
With the presentation, Russia fueled speculation about an exit from the International Space Station.
The Russian space agency Roskosmos recently declared that it had terminated its cooperation with NASA and that it wanted to withdraw from the ISS after 2024.
"Of course we will fulfill all our obligations to our partners, but the decision to exit this station after 2024 has been made," said Roscosmos boss Yuri Borissov in July.
According to NASA, however, the cooperation should continue until at least 2028.
In the wake of Russia's war of aggression against Ukraine, Western countries have imposed sanctions on the country, including on the Russian space industry.
Meanwhile, the ISS is dependent on the cooperation of the countries involved.
Manned twice a year
So far, the USA and Russia have maintained their space cooperation even in times of political tension.
But the presentation of the Russian space station, referred to as "ROSS" by the Russian state media, now points in a different direction.
The model presented by the Roscosmos space agency at an armaments and industrial fair near Moscow shows that according to current planning, the station is not to be manned constantly, but only twice a year for a longer period of time.
Roskosmos previously said the station would give Russian cosmonauts a much broader view of Earth for surveillance purposes than they currently have on the ISS.
Dmitry Rogozin, the hard-line former head of Roscosmos, had hinted that the new space station could also serve a military purpose if needed.
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Rogozin had not previously ruled out decoupling the Russian module of the ISS - at the time he also hinted at a possible use of the station for military earth observation.