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Their original strategy was to launch some time between 20 carrying the Solar Power Electric Bus module to the station, followed by the Habitation Module in 2024, the Logistics Module in 2025 and finally the Airlock Module in 2026.
At this point, NASA has solicited proposals from various aerospace contractors for the development of the Power Module, and Habitation System, and they didn’t indicate that Russia’s involvement would have any impact on the construction of these modules.
Today, Russia, with its Soyuz rocket-and-capsule combination, has total control over human access to the International Space Station (ISS), and unless plans change that will remain the case until at least 2017. #ad#Carrying on without Russian cooperation is an unpleasant prospect for NASA, for our military, and for our space industry.
They’ve also provided half the support of the station, including astronauts, and provide the only way to get humans up to the station, on their Soyuz rockets.
Until recently, Russia had been threatening to pull their support of the International Space Station, before it was ready for retirement.
With the Russians announcing their involvement, we don’t really know how this’ll impact the structure of the station or its configuration of modules.
This might also be an incentive for other space agencies (like the newly announced Australian Space Agency) to come on board.