TORONTO – Did we just enter a new Cold War?
On Monday, the Russian Federal Space Agency, Roscosmos, confirmed that it is considering building its own space station.
“I confirm the information that today we are considering options for the establishment of such a station,” said Oleg Ostapenko of Roscosmos.
“This ambitious project will allow us to keep track of more than 90 per cent of the territory of Russia.”
Russia is a major partner in the International Space Station (ISS), along with Canada, Japan and the European Space Agency, which has been in orbit since 1998. But recent tensions over Russia’s policies in the Ukraine have made for a shaky relationship. The station, once a shining example of international cooperation, now looks like a child caught between two warring divorced parents.
One only needs to look at the year-long volley between the U.S. and Russia over space station relations.
In early April, NASA announced that it was cutting ties with Russia, except for anything to do with the space station. Of course, that was a no-brainer, since NASA relies solely on the Russians to ferry its astronauts to and from the orbiting science platform, with a hefty price-tag of $71 million per seat.
A few weeks after that announcement, Russia’s deputy prime minister, Dimitry Rogozin, suggested that Americans use a trampoline to get into space.
WATCH: Russian deputy PM says US can ‘use a trampoline’ to deliver astronauts to the ISS
The bickering continued in May when Rogozin tweeted that Russia planned on ending its relationship with the U.S. on the ISS in 2020.
Some — including NASA — are highlighting the U.S. Congress’s shortsightedness after cancelling the space shuttle program with nothing to replace it.
However, in September NASA announced that Boeing and SpaceX had won the rights to send astronauts back into space. It’s anticipated that the first manned launch will occur in 2017.
It is unknown how this will affect the future of the ISS which received an extension to 2024.
© 2014 Shaw Media