Amid tensions surrounding international space collaboration, Russia is planning to spend $8 billion (321 billion rubles) on the International Space Station between 2016 and 2025, according to a Russian state agency report.
Deputy prime minister Dmitry Rogozin made the announcement at the Yuri Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center in Star City, Russia. Part of the money will go to new “automatic spacecraft” and modules, said a translated version of the Russian-language ITAR-TASS report.
There was no mention in the report about Rogozin’s anger this spring concerning sanctions against Russia levied earlier this year after his nation placed soldiers inside Ukranian Crimea, which subsequently was annexed to Russia.
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As part of policy with the Obama administration, this April NASA said it would cut most space ties with Russia except for those that are deemed essential to operation of the space station. In response, Rogozin wrote a tweet pointing out the Americans’ dependence on Russian Soyuz vehicles to bring astronauts to and from the station, an arrangement that has been in place since the space shuttle retired in 2011.
“After analyzing the sanctions against our space industry, I suggest to the USA to bring their astronauts to the International Space Station using a trampoline,” Rogozin wrote in Russian at the time.
The United States wants to extend operations of the station at least four years to 2024, but has not received commitments from its international partners yet. Rogozin’s reported announcement implies Russia would use the station through at least 2024, but it’s not clear if that is the case or what form any international collaboration would take.