Russia Looking For Partners To Keep Space Station Operating Till 2028 - Roskosmos

WASHINGTON (Pakistan Point News / Sputnik - 22nd October, 2019) Russia plans to keep the International Space Station (ISS) operational with partners for at least four years beyond its previous end date of 2024, Russian Space Agency Roscosmos Human Space Flight Executive Director Sergei Krikalev said on Monday.

"We already agreed to fly the ISS to 2024 and we are looking with partners to 2028 or even beyond: It will depend on our technical analysis," Krikalev told the annual International Astronautical Congress.

In February 2015, Roscosmos said it would remain a part of the ISS program until 2024.

Kriklaev said manned space flight remained a high priority of the Russian space program and that Roscosmos planned to send a manned expedition to the Moon by 2030.

"Our development is launch vehicles that are capable to launch satellites, humans [and] probes into deep space... We are building new human spacecraft that is capable of flying to the Moon," Kirkalev said.

In March, Krikalev said that Russia planned to start building a lunar base for cosmonauts after 2030. He said the base would be used for short- and eventually long-term stays on the Moon.

Krikalev is a veteran of six space flights and ranks third to Gennady Padalka and Yuri Malenchenko for the longest time any human being has spent in space - a total of 803 days, 9 hours, and 39 minutes.