Chief Engineer of the Energia Rocket and Space Corporation says most inflight systems came at the end of the service.
A Russian space official on Tuesday expressed concern about the deteriorating condition of Russia’s International Space Station (ISS) segment due to outdated hardware, and warned that it could lead to “irreparable failures”.
Over the past few years, the ISS’s Russian segment has experienced a series of problems, including air leaks caused by cracks, which raises questions about the safety of the rotating crews on board.
“About 80 percent of the inflight systems in the Russian segment have reached the end of their service period,” Vladimir Solovyov, chief engineer of the Energia rocket and space corporation, told RIA Novosti news agency.
Energia – a manufacturer of spacecraft and space station components – is the leading developer of the Russian division of the ISS, a joint venture with Canada, Japan, the United States and the European Space Agency.
“This means that literally a day after the systems are completely depleted, irreparable failures can begin,” Solovyov added.
Russia has earlier indicated that it plans to leave the ISS after 2025 and start its own orbital station, citing concerns about hardware aging.
Solovyov said on Monday that small cracks were found on the Zarya cargo module in Russia. It was launched in 1998 and is one of the oldest modules of the ISS.
The Russian Zvezda service module has meanwhile experienced several air leaks, including last month and in 2019.
Also in July, the entire ISS tipped out of orbit after the propellers of a new Russian module reigned again a few hours after the plant.
Russia’s space program, inherited from the Soviet Union, has also suffered from budget cuts and corruption scandals.
Despite these problems, the country’s Roscosmos space agency is still promising ambitious ventures, including a mission to Venus and the creation of a rocket that can go back and forth into space.
It also plans to set up a joint lunar station with China and is expected to send a mission to the moon’s surface in May next year.