Russia’s space agency has proposed a joint research module on its forthcoming orbital space station, extending the offer to the BRICS nations – Brazil, India, China, and South Africa. This follows Russia’s decision last year to conclude its longstanding partnership with NASA and pull out from the International Space Station. The first phase of the new space station, dubbed the Russian Orbital System (ROS), is scheduled for launch in 2027.
- Yuri Borisov, the director-general of Russia’s space agency Roscosmos, extended the joint module construction offer during a meeting in Hermanus, South Africa, emphasizing their openness for cooperation with other countries.
- The new Russian Orbital System is expected to initially house two astronauts and aims to develop technologies for future space flights, including those to the moon and Mars.
- The ROS will consist of multiple modules, with the first set for launch in 2027 and an additional four modules between 2028 and 2030.
- Russia has a history of independent space station operation, including the world’s first, Salyut 1, and later the Mir station which hosted numerous astronauts from various countries before its retirement in 2001.
- Other BRICS nations, particularly China and India, have been actively advancing their space capabilities, with China having completed its own crewed space station last year and India recently launching the Chandrayaan-3 mission with aims to execute a controlled landing on the moon.