- BBC News World
A Russian official has warned that the International Space Station (ISS) could suffer irreversible damage due to the age of the equipment and devices on which it operates.
Former astronaut Vladimir Solovyov He told state media that at least less than 80% From the flight systems of the Russian part of the International Space Station with an expiration date.
And that’s not all. Solovyov, who is the head of the flight program, said they have also been identified small cracks It can get worse over time.
This is not the first time Russia has raised concerns about the plant’s deterioration. He even went so far as to suggest Leaving the International Space Station after 2025.
station built 1998 As part of a joint venture between Russia, the United States, Canada, Japan and several European countries, it was originally designed for 15 years of validity. 23 has passed.
“Literally one day after the systems (in flight) are completely exhausted, irreparable malfunctions can begin,” said Solovyov, chief engineer of the space company Energia, the main promoter of the Russian division of the International Space Station.
Since last year he has warned that a lot of the station’s equipment is getting old and will have to be replaced soon.
Furthermore, the former astronaut also revealed that they were both discovered ‘superficial’ fissures In the Russian cargo unit Zarya, launched in 1998 and one of the oldest in the terminal that now serves as a storage room.
“This is bad He indicates that the cracks will begin to widen with time, Solovyov told RIA news agency.
Already in April, the Russian Deputy Prime Minister, Yuri BorisovHe announced on state television that the obsolescence of the plant’s metal could “lead to irreversible consequences, to disaster“.
“We must not let that happen,” he said.
For its part, the Russian space agency Roscosmos said last year that structural fatigue means the International Space Station It will not be able to work after 2030.
Less than two months ago, a malfunction caused Nauka’s prototype search engines to launch without warning, destabilizing the International Space Station.
In addition, its Zvezda service unit, which provides accommodation for station crew members, has also undergone Various air leaks since 2019.
In addition to the depletion of the station, the Russian space program in recent years has been affected by a series of Budget cutsrios and corruption scandals.
However, despite these setbacks, the country’s space agency He promised a series of ambitious projects, Such as a mission to Venus, the creation of a rocket capable of making round trips into space and a mission to the moon’s surface next year.
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