|Arthur Dominic Villasanta |||Jul 06, 2016 10:39 AM EDT|
(Photo : NASA) Russia's Nauka module that will form the basis of the new Russian station named ROS.
Russia's announcement it plans a new space station called the Russian Orbital Station, or ROS, to replace the International Space Station (ISS) confirms the ISS won't make it to the 30th anniversary of its existence in 2028.
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It also seems to confirm the United States will exit from the ISS consortium of countries to focus its limited funding on its deep space programs such as landing humans on Mars by 2035. The U.S.' "ISS-xit" comes despite Russia's insistence the ISS will operate until 2024 and that Roscosmos and NASA "do not rule out that the station's flight could be extended." NASA has never confirmed its support for Russia's statement, however.
RKK Energia, the major Russian contractor for the ISS and now ROS, said plans call for ROS to initially include three modules with two more probably added in the future.
Construction of ROS will begin with the separation of Russia's Multi-Purpose Module or Nauka from the rest of the ISS in mid-2020s. Nauka is scheduled for launch in December 2017. Two more modules will be added to Nauka before ROS is built, however.
One will be the Node Module that can connect to six other modules and other elements while the other will be the Science and Power Module (NEM), a new science lab. The launch of NEM, probably by 2019, will begin the construction of ROS and give the Russian segment of the ISS the capability to function as a separate space station. It will mean ROS will be in business.
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