The service life of the International Space Station (ISS) may be extended until 2028, a Russian space official said on Tuesday.
The service life of the ISS ends in 2015 but participants of the project – Canada, the European Union, Japan, Russia and the United States – have recently agreed to extend its operation until at least 2020.
“At present, experts have been instructed to find ways to extend the station’s service life until 2028,” Alexei Krasnov, the head of Roscosmos manned spaceflight programs, told the participants of the Space Forum 2011.
The orbital station could be used as an assembly line and a launch pad for experimental spacecraft, including small satellites, he said.
“These are going to be small-size satellites, but we will be able to launch them from the ISS to a variety of orbits,” Krasnov said.
NASA earlier called the ISS “an anchor for the future of human space exploration” and a major component of the U.S. human space program.