Several elements of the International Space Station (ISS) are seriously damaged and cannot be replaced with new ones, Vladimir Solovyov, First Deputy General Director of Russia's Rocket and Space Corporation Energia (part of the Russian Academy of Sciences) said when speaking about Russian manned space exploration.
According to him, after 2025, ISS systems will begin to fail one after another, and it will be too expensive to maintain the station in the future.
"Further maintenance costs, which are estimated at 10-15 billion rubles, are too high," Soloviev admitted.
To replace the ISS, Energia proposed to create the Russian Orbital Service Station (ROSS), which, in particular, will provide an opportunity to conduct unmanned operations in space. Solovyov is confident that the rotational work schedule for cosmonauts will reduce their radiation exposure.
In November, cosmonauts Sergei Ryzhikov and Sergei Kud-Sverchkov failed to fulfil their task during spacewalk.
In September, a leak was recorded on the Zvezda (Star) module of the ISS, which is a Russian segment of the station. Atmospheric pressure on board the station dropped by one millimeter of mercury in eight hours.
Energia's first deputy general director Sergei Romanov also said that in November 2020 and February 2021, Russian cosmonauts would go into outer space to prepare the Pirs module of the Russian segment of the ISS to undock from the near-Earth laboratory. According to him, in 2021, the Progress spacecraft together with the Pirs module will be flooded in the Pacific Ocean. The Nauka (Science) module will be docked to the ISS instead of the Pirs. The Nauka module is to be launched to the near-earth laboratory in April 2021.
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