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Russian cosmonauts find new cracks in the International Space Station: raises more questions about its future after 2024

History repeats itself, the International Space Station has cracks again. Fixing this as soon as possible is crucial to avoid pressure loss within the station. A new problem for the gigantic structure in space, which recently gave us a good scare with the docking of the Russian Nauka module.

According to Reuters, new fissures have been discovered in a segment of the International Space Station. Specifically, lsurface cracks are in the Zarya module. The Zarya module is the first that was launched into space to form the International Space Station, it served in the first instance to offer energy and propulsion to the station, although it is currently used mainly as a storage module.

Vladimir Solovyov, chief engineer at Roscosmos, the Russian space agency, indicated that “This is bad and suggests that the cracks will start to spread over time”. At the moment it is not known how serious these cracks are, although it is feared that over time they will appear more and more due to the age of the structure.

An uncertain future after 2024

Not once but twice it has happened in recent years. The International Space Station, with more than two decades behind it, increasingly showing signs that she is in her last years.

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This has made Russia, one of the main collaborators of the project, consider abandoning it. The year 2024 is the key dateIt is when it will be decided what happens with the International Space Station. The United States through NASA has the leading voice in this, being the largest contributor. It is therefore up to NASA to decide whether the station is worth conserving and continuing to invest money in it or whether it is not viable.

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Depending on what NASA decides, the rest of agencies such as European, Canadian or Japanese will adapt to it. Russia is the one with the most ballots to abandon the project and while it has so far been an important part of bringing astronauts and payloads to the station, now NASA can use SpaceX’s Dragon Crew to do so, as it has already begun to do. . Meanwhile, NASA and ESA are developing the Lunar Gateway Orbital Platform, China with Russia its own lunar station and China also its station orbiting the Earth, which is already operational.

Via | Reuters