“If we can put it into orbit in accordance with our plans by 2030, it will be a colossal breakthrough,” said Interfax Roscosmos news agency chief Dmitry Rogozin. “The will is there to take a new step in the manned world exploration of space.”
Russian cosmonauts have been working with counterparts from the United States and 16 other countries 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, cyber-attacks and a range of other issues.
Deputy Prime Minister Yuri Borisov told Russian TV last weekend that Moscow would let its partners know that it would be leaving the ISS project from 2025.
Rogozin said that unlike the ISS, the Russian station would most likely not be permanently manned as it would be exposed to higher levels of radiation due to its orbit.
But cosmonauts would visit and it would also use artificial intelligence and robots.
He said Russia was willing to consider allowing foreign crews, “but the station must be a national station … if you want to do it right, do it yourself.”
Interfax quoted an unnamed source as saying that Russia planned to spend up to $ 6 billion to get the project started.