Russia plans to launch its own space station after leaving the ISS

The project would mark a new chapter for Russian space exploration and an end to more than two decades of close cooperation with the United States on the aging International Space Station (ISS).

“If in 2030, according to our plans, we are able to put it into orbit, it will be a colossal breakthrough,” the Interfax news agency quoted Roscosmos chief Dmitry Rogozin as saying. “The will is there to take a new step in global manned space exploration.”

Russian astronauts have been working with US and 16 other counterparts on the ISS since 1998 – one of the closest areas of cooperation between Moscow and Washington, whose relations are currently in deep crisis over human rights, cyberattacks and various other issues.

Deputy Prime Minister Yuri Borisov told Russian television over the weekend that Moscow will inform its partners that it will abandon the 2025 ISS project.

Rogozin said the Russian station, unlike the ISS, will most likely not be permanently manned, as its orbital path would expose it to higher radiation.

But astronauts would visit it and it would also use artificial intelligence and robots.

He said Russia is willing to consider allowing foreign crew to visit, “but the station must be national … if you want to do well, do it yourself.”

Interfax quoted an unnamed source as saying Russia plans to spend up to $ 6 billion to launch the project.