Roscosmos Deputy Throws Cold Water on New Space Station, Chinese Visit to ISS

The Shenzhou 10 crew prior to launch. (Credit: CNSA)
The Shenzhou 10 crew prior to launch. (Credit: CNSA)

Roscosmos deputy head Sergey Savelyev said Russia has no current plans to build a successor to the International Space Station before 2025. He also characterized the possibility of the Chinese Shenzhou crewed spacecraft docking at ISS as highly improbable, the Russian news agency TASS reports.

“A possibility of creating a new Russian space station does exist in principle. Such project may be implemented in international cooperation, with China for example. But neither the current, nor the draft of a future federal space program have such provisions. Such project can be linked with the lifecycle of the International Space Station,” he said.

As for cooperation with China, the most probable projects in the immediate future, in his words, are joint experiments onboard the Russian segment of the International Space Station…..

A possibility of a Chinese spaceship docking with the International Space Station looks highly improbable, as is a possible “visit” by a Russian spacecraft to the Chinese space station, Sergei Savelyev, chief of the Russian Space Agency (Roscosmos), said in an interview with the Rossiiskaya Gazeta daily that will be published on Tuesday.

“Even if there is consent from all countries participating in the International Space Station programme, there will be a lot of outstanding technical aspects linked with both adjustment of China’s Shenzhou spacecraft and the use of a higher inclination of the International Space Station’s orbit, which the Chinese are not used to. The Chinese partners are building their own space stations and they have already announced when it will be commissioned – the year 2020,” he said.

When asked about possible docking of a Russian spaceship with the Chinese station, Savelyev said such projects, if any, “are not taken seriously.”

The Obama Administration has approved a plan by NASA to extend ISS operations from 2020 to 2024. Space agency officials are now lobbying Russia, Canada, Europe and Japan to agreed to the extension.

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