Russia will launch the country's only female cosmonaut into space in 2022.
This comes as Russia announces its intention of leaving the International Space Station (ISS) to construct its own national next-generation orbital service station.
According to Sputnik News, Roscosmos General Director Dmitry Rogozin has instructed the cosmonaut training center to include Anna Kikina in one of the upcoming Soyuz crews scheduled to travel to the International Space Station in 2022.
"A decision will be made soon on whether she will be included in a spring or fall crew of next year," sources told Sputnik News.
Kikina told Sputnik in March that she was attending preliminary training while waiting to be assigned to a special ISS crew. Roscosmos announced in June of last year that Kikina would join a Russian crew on the ISS within two years.
Since September 2016, Kikina has become the only Russian woman in space. She took part in the international SIRIUS (Scientific International Research In Unique Terrestrial Station) project in November 2017, which simulates Moon missions to study the impact of isolation.
Why is Russia Quitting ISS in 2025?
Deputy Prime Minister Yuri Borisov said that Russia will abandon the International Space Station program in 2025 and focus on developing its own space station.
Prime Minister Borisov, who is in charge of Russia's space industry, announced during a television interview about the government's efforts to construct a new space station with foreign partners.
The International Space Station (ISS) is scheduled to remain in orbit until at least 2030, despite all of its modules planned to last just 15 years.
The first module was deployed in 1998, and the first astronauts of the International Space Station landed in 2000.
Russia's space agency Roscosmos said that the decision to abandon the program was not yet final, The National News quotes Russia's Interfax news agency report. Roscosmos has previously stated that it is willing to continue its involvement in the project beyond 2024.
"Lately, reports about technical malfunctions have been coming more often. [To] avoid any risks in case of accidents, it's necessary to carry out a technical inspection of the station. After this, a decision should be made," Prime Minister Borisov said in a TASS report.
"And they [partners] should be fairly notified about the withdrawal from the ISS since 2025," Borisov was quoted as saying in Moscow. Kremlin. Putin program on Rossiya-1 TV channel.
Russia has maintained its role as a significant player in space exploration thanks to its Soyuz rockets.
Soyuz rockets were the only ones qualified to fly astronauts to the International Space Station for almost a decade since the last launch of the US space shuttle fleet.
Hazza Al Mansouri, the first Emirati astronaut, launched the International Space Station in 2019 on a Soyuz spacecraft.
However, as part of Nasa's Commercial Crew Program, Elon Musk's SpaceX sent the first astronauts to the International Space Station last year, dethroning rival Boeing and ending Russia's manned launch supremacy.
A second crewed SpaceX flight to the International Space Station is scheduled to launch later this week.
Last month, Russia commemorated the 20th anniversary of the de-orbit of Mir, the Soviet Union's final national space station, which burnt up in the Earth's atmosphere after a pioneering 15-year mission.
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