European Space Agency called for the extension of the work of the ISS

(ORDO NEWS) — The ESA said they are in favor of extending the operation of the International Space Station until 2030. Earlier, the United States spoke in a similar spirit.

Until recently, it seemed that the fate of the ISS was hanging in the balance. However, recent statements by Western countries indicate that the station will last at least until the end of the decade.

“We look forward to continuing the work of the ISS until 2030,” Director General of the European Space Agency (ESA) Josef Aschbacher said today.

Earlier, the United States spoke in a similar spirit. “NASA chief Bill Nelson today announced that the Biden and Harris administration is committed to extending operations on the ISS through 2030,” NASA said at the end of the year.

The ESA called the capabilities of the International Space Station “unique” when it comes to conducting scientific research in orbit. The European Space Agency highly appreciates the experiments carried out by French astronaut Thomas Pesquet during his flight to the station.

Now the West is jointly implementing another ambitious project – the near-lunar station Lunar Gateway. It is assumed that astronauts heading to the Earth’s satellite will visit it. In the future, the station could also be used to explore Mars as a transfer site.

14 countries take part in the ISS program, including the EU states, Japan, Canada, Russia and the USA. The station is funded primarily by the United States. The total cost of the program is estimated at more than $ 100 billion: it was the gigantic costs that were named among the main reasons for the abandonment of the station.

There is also the problem of equipment obsolescence – at least, this was announced in Russia last year (to be fair, the technical condition of the Russian segment of the station is really a concern ).

Moscow has signaled that it could withdraw from the program in 2025. By that time, they want to start creating a national orbital station, known as ROSS. It will be significantly smaller than the ISS and will be more similar to the Soviet Mir in terms of the size and number of modules.

Another alternative to the ISS for Russia should be a lunar base, which Moscow plans to build together with China. Despite the technical challenges and high cost, the project is moving steadily towards implementation. At least last year, China made it clear that it was ready to cooperate in this area. The initial stage can be carried out in the coming years.

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