Russian President Vladimir Putin announced a bold vision on Thursday, outlining plans for Russia’s new orbital station to be operational by 2027. This station is seen as the logical progression in space exploration following the International Space Station (ISS). Despite recent setbacks, Putin affirmed Russia’s commitment to its lunar program during a meeting with space industry officials.
During discussions, Putin emphasized that Russia’s extension of its participation in the aging ISS until 2028 is a temporary measure. He stressed the need for a new Russian orbital station, stating, “As the resources of the International Space Station run out, we need not just one segment, but the entire station to be brought into service. In 2027, the first segment should be placed in orbit.”
Putin underlined the importance of timely development to avoid falling behind in manned space flight. He emphasized that the new station must incorporate the latest scientific and technological advancements to address future challenges.
Yuri Borisov, head of the Russian space agency, Roscosmos, echoed Putin’s sentiments, pointing out the ISS’s aging status and its anticipated end around 2030. He emphasized the need to initiate extensive work on the Russian orbital station by 2024 to bridge the potential gap between the ISS’s retirement and the readiness of the Russian station.
Regarding recent technical mishaps that resulted in the Luna-25 craft’s crash landing on the moon’s south pole in August, Putin expressed a commitment to rectify these issues, ensuring the continuity of the lunar program. He acknowledged that mistakes are part of space exploration and valuable learning experiences for the future.
Borisov mentioned the possibility of advancing the next moon launch to 2026 instead of the originally planned 2027.