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Russia Announces Plans for New Space Station, Mars Mission

Mos News | August 29 2006

The International Space Station will be dismantled after 2015 to be replaced with a new orbital station, a Russian Space Agency official said Tuesday.

“It is necessary because at present we can monitor less than 10 percent of Russian territory, but with a new station the coverage will be increased tenfold,” Vitaly Davydov, deputy head of the agency, was quoted by RIA Novosti as saying.

He said the new space station would be used to produce materials that are impossible to manufacture on Earth and to improve the methods of remote monitoring of the Earth.

Davydov also said Russia would test technologies for space travel to the Moon and Mars in 2015-2025.

“And after 2025 we are planning to start the preparation for interplanetary missions,” he said, adding that international projects of such proportions should be implemented on the basis of equal participation and global partnership.

Orbiting 354 kilometers (220 miles) above Earth, the ISS allows scientists to learn the effects of long-term exposure to zero gravity on humans, information that is needed to prepare for future space exploration missions, AFP reports.

Sixteen nations are contributing to the station, including the United States, Russia, Japan, Canada, Brazil and 11 countries from the European Space Agency.

Racing at 28,000 kilometers per hour around Earth, which it circles every 90 minutes, the ISS currently weighs 197 tons.

The station’s first segment, the Zarya control module, was brought to orbit by a Russian Proton rocket in November 1998 to provide the infant station’s battery power and fuel storage.



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