Translated from Russian
MOSCOW (Roscosmos PR) — Dmitry Rogozin, General Director of the State Corporation Roscosmos, took part in the 71st International Astronautical Congress, which takes place from 12 to 14 October 2020. Due to the epidemiological situation, the congress is being held online for the first time in 70 years of its existence. In his opening remarks, Dmitry Rogozin emphasized the importance of international cooperation in space.
“With regard to the International Space Station, we are negotiating with partners in the program to extend the life of the station until 2028 or 2030. There are various scenarios and options for the further development of the ISS. For our part, we are ready to consider any option offered by our partners and make a joint agreed decision, “the head of Roscosmos said, stressing that the State Corporation is firmly committed to guaranteeing the preservation of Russia’s place in low Earth orbit, regardless of the decisions made regarding service life of the ISS.
In April 2021, it is planned to launch the Nauka module to the ISS, which will radically expand the target capabilities of the Russian segment in the interests of developing biotechnology, micro- and optoelectronics, laser technology and other scientific and applied areas. The ERA manipulator installed on the module is designed to automate extravehicular operations by capturing and moving objects in outer space with high accuracy. Six months after the launch of Nauka, a nodal module will be integrated into the Russian segment, which will provide the ability to dock up to five modules or spacecraft.
“In any case, the ISS is an international project, decisions within its framework should not be taken unilaterally,” the head of Roscosmos stressed. Among the promising projects for space exploration on an international basis, Dmitry Rogozin named plans for the exploration of the Moon and, in particular, the project to create the Lunar orbital platform Gateway.
“In our opinion, in its current format, this project is too ‘American-centric’, so we will most likely refrain from large-scale participation in it,” Dmitry Rogozin said, pointing out that Russia plans to implement a national lunar program.
“At the same time, I would like to emphasize that Russia remains open for cooperation in the field of manned space flights,” he added, noting that Roscosmos is interested in the design of the docking ports at the Gateway station to provide for the possibility of docking of the promising Russian manned spacecraft Orel. In turn, ‘Eagle’ could, if necessary, serve as a backup vehicle for manned space launch or descent from orbit for any space project of our partners.
“Very important for this is the harmonization of standards and the unification of interfaces for manned space systems, as well as the exchange of research data obtained during the exploration and exploration of the Moon. State Corporation Roscosmos will continue to work with its foreign partners in these areas,” continued Dmitry Rogozin.
He also highlighted the trusting nature of Roscosmos’ relations with China, the Chinese National Space Administration and its head Zhang Kejian. “And we see this as our great prospects,” concluded the head of Roscosmos.