After the International space station stops its activities, Russian researchers suggest using it as a basis for a high-latitude orbital space station.
Authors of the concept believe that such a station could be built between 2020 and 2030. New station will be located at a specific orbit, which provides more intensive research and experiments for Russia’s scientific and industrial benefit. When such station would appear in space, it can be used as a basis for an orbital assembly and experiment complex, which primary, but not the only one mission will be providing space and facilities for scientific research. Another possible application of this complex can be commercial facilities for prolonging lifetime of satellites on their orbits, as well as assembly of spaceships, heading for the Moon and Mars.
As for the Moon, Russian researchers suggest starting a 12-year-long moon exploration programme (2025-2036), which will have several stages with first being a placement of an orbital station on a near-moon orbit, and the last – construction of a permanent base on the surface of the Earth’s natural satellite.
Lunar orbital station can be built within two years of 2025 and 2026. The facility can shelter a crew of four cosmonauts. Later on a first-stage base will be built at the Moon’s surface, which is aimed at hosting two-week-long manned missions to the satellite. A second-stage lunar base is scheduled to appear in 2035-2036 – this facility will help start using lunar resources and prepare for industrial use of natural treasures of Earth’s natural satellite.
Scientists from Khrunichev centre, the major Russian enterprise of space and rocket industry, have developed preliminary suggestions on composition, technical appearance, main characteristics, and development order of launching facilities for the manned Lunar and Martian exploration missions.
The concept, developed by Russian researchers, also provides unification of space facilities, used for manned Lunar and Martian exploration missions. In other words, habitable module of lunar and Martian missions, as well as components of a living module of a Moon-orbiting station and an interplanetary habitable module of the Martian programme will be reused. Researchers also plan to build a take-off and landing spaceship for 4 crewmembers, able to carry 40 tons of useful load, a cargo landing spaceship, and a return vehicle.
A manned space vehicle, built after 2037, will deliver cosmonauts to the orbit of the Red planet.
Source: RIA Novosti