international space station ISS ILRS
The Russian Proton launcher with the European Ariane 5 rocket forms a global duopoly and has been weakened by SpaceX.
The United States has just regained its autonomy to reach the International Space Station (ISS) and space in general that it had lost since 2011 with the shutdown of the American shuttle.
The commissioning of SpaceX's Crew Dragon is to the detriment of Soyuz, which is losing its monopoly position.
The United States regains its autonomy to reach the International Space Station (ISS) and space in general that it had lost since 2011 with the shutdown of the American shuttle. Let's not forget that the funds are private and no longer public.
Russia wants to remain a great space nation, it has been forced to review its strategy with the launch of the American program on the Moon Artemis and the plans to conquer Mars.
Russia has not only taken fun initiatives: filming a film with a Russian actress in October 2021 and stay of the Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa in December 2021 in the ISS, it also announced its withdrawal from the ISS from 2025 and above all a partnership with China as part of the ILRS (International Lunar Research Station) project corresponding to the installation between 2025 and 2035 of a station around the moon and a permanent inhabited base on its surface. This project in reality for 2030 to 2050 is in direct competition with Artemis Which is the result of cooperation between Europeans, Japanese and Canadians.
The United States threw the Russians into the arms of the Chinese when it abandoned the collegiate model of the ISS similar to the round table for a hub-and-spoke model where of course the United States is at the center of bilateral cooperation, the Russians could not accept it.
It is regrettable and damaging that we find ourselves, as in the 1950s and 1960s, with exploration programs which are a space of competition, whereas these same exploration programs had become a field of international cooperation.
At the time, thanks to recovered German engineers, Russia with Sputnik had put the first satellite into orbit in 1957, other victories followed and finally the first manned flight with Yuri Gagarin in 1957. Then with the defector, the United States had gradually recovered ground. They made a short film in 1961 to upgrade themselves.
The dislocation of the USSR in 1991 destabilized the space sector, priorities were given to the military With the preservation of technical achievements and a rationalization of launch systems. It arrived within the framework of the ISS the time of the international cooperation.
Important geopolitical tensions on earth are quintupled in space, which has become a strategic environment of heightened competition and confrontation. The ILRS project aims to plant the Chinese and Russian flags on the surface of Mars before the Americans. China would like a first flyby of Mars in 2033, then the putting into orbit of a manned spacecraft in 2035 and finally the first landing in 2037.
It may seem curious that Russia wants to keep these partnerships with Europe in robotic flights to the Moon and Mars, in reality it is torn between Europe and China which is an authoritarian power and a more real competitor than the States -United. United. The Russians, for whom everything is a matter of pride, do not want to find themselves in a position of inferiority in cooperation with China on the subject of space. China is investing heavily in space.
Russia gives multiple signals for Europe to join the ILRS project.
The ILRS is open to cooperation with other countries with a collegial governance model identical to the ISS. Nothing prevents Europe from being both a partner of Artemis and ILRS. Let us remember that in the middle of the Cold War France cooperated at the same time with the Soviet Union and the United States.
In 1982, Jean-Loup Chrétien was the first French astronaut to leave on board the Salyout 7 station and in 1988 from Mir through Franco-Russian cooperation in manned flights. Whether or not to join the ILRS project is a purely political decision.
Russia wants Soyuz to stay in Guyana. Starsem is a company combining Arianespace and Roscosmos which sells and carries out launches from the bases of Vostochny in Siberia and Baikonur in Kazakhstan.
However, since 2022 the commissioning of Ariane 6, which can carry out constellation deployment missions, may sound the death knell for Soyuz in French Guiana if commercial demand does not justify a sufficient volume of missions.
Sunday, February 27, 2022, after the sanctions of the European Union which prohibit the export to Russia of parts and equipment of the space industry, Russia recalls its 87 technical employees from the Kourou space center.