Russia to build new ‘base’ in space with China’s help, hints at leaving International Space Station

Moscow: Russia has hinted at leaving the International Space Station(ISS) and building a new base. The space experts at the ‘Russian Academy of Cosmonautics’ have claimed so and said that Russia will develop a new space station with the help of China. It is said that Russia has taken this decision considering its increasing disagreements with the US and other western countries. It is feared that if Russia makes this decision, it would  lead to a new space race.

The International Space Station that was jointly started by the US and Russia, currently also includes participation from Europe, Japan and Canada. The space station that is a combination of a space lab and a satellite with suitable living conditions for humans, has been operational continuously for more than 16 years, since November 2000. According to the existing agreements, both Russia and the US had agreed to keep the space station operational till 2024.

However, it has now come to light that after 2024, Russia would be separating its ‘Russian Orbital Segment’ (ROS) from the ‘International Space Station’. Andrei Ionin, chief analyst of the Russian Academy of Cosmonautics, made this claim while giving information to the Russian news channel ‘Pravda’. Ionin said that the International Space Station will not be operational after the year 2024 and so the project for the new space station should commence now.

He also hinted that Russia had already begun talks with China in this regard. He said that if a space station is to be built in outer space in the future, it must be an international project and also claimed that a country that offers good international cooperation  would prove essential. Ionin said that China and Russia were very good partners and they could build an international space station with mutual cooperation.

Previously, Russia had successfully built four space stations in outer space. These include  the ‘Soviet’, ‘Mir’, ‘Salyut’ and ‘Almaz’. Apart from this, preparations have been going on since the past few years for separation of the Russian segment from the International Space Station to build an independent space station named ‘OPSEC’. On the other hand, China has completed its preliminary preparations and tests to build its space station. Also, it is taking great efforts to build an ‘independent space station’ by the year 2022 to 2023.

Under such circumstances, the information dispensed by the Russian scientists draws attention to itself. Since the past few years, the ties between Russia and China have improved and the bilateral cooperation between these countries in the sectors of fuel, security, internet and trade have strengthened. Analysts claim that the activities carried out by China in the space sector are part of its efforts to establish its superiority and the likelihood of this giving rise to a new race, cannot be denied.