Russia may build its own space station with International Space Station (ISS) units after 2020 if the ISS partners choose not to extend the project and there is political will to do so, a source from the national space industry told Interfax-AVN on Monday.
"A new orbital station of Russia is under consideration. Apart from doing research, it will assemble interplanetary expedition complexes for missions to the Moon, Mars and Lagrangian points," he said.
The Multirole Laboratory Module (MLM) is supposed to be connected to the ISS in 2014 although "the project has been experiencing certain problems," he said. "This is a landmark module for Russia's manned program."
"We will create a node unit with a service life of 30 years in 2014-2015. The MLM, two research and power modules, the node and, possibly, the ISS service module will make up a national orbital station to operate during the period from 2020 until 2040," the source said.
"The prospective manned spaceship [on which the Energia Corporation is working] will have a trial unmanned mission by 2020," he added.
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