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Russian Space Boss Warns ISS Equipment Beyond Warranty

Roscosmos boss Yuri Borisov. Sergei Bobylev, TASS / kremlin.ru

Moscow's Roscosmos space chief warned Friday that most Russian equipment on the International Space Station (ISS) was beyond its warranty, weeks after the station's Russian segment sprang another coolant leak.

The leak, Russia's third in less than a year, raised new questions about the reliability of the country's space program, even as officials said crew members were not in danger.

"The International Space Station is approaching the finish line of its existence," Roscosmos boss Yuri Borisov said on state television.

"We extended the operation of the Russian segment by government decision until 2028, but, unfortunately, it has already exceeded all permissible periods of existence," he said.

"Eighty percent of the Russian equipment is beyond the warranty period," he warned.

Moscow's once pioneering space program has faced multiple setbacks since the collapse of the U.S.S.R., including the loss of two Mars missions and its first lunar probe in almost 50 years this August.

In the same interview, Borisov said there were "serious conclusions" to draw from the recent Luna-25 crash.

"Luna-25 was 16 years in the making," he said. "That's an unacceptably long time. It's due primarily to erratic funding."

He said that the team who worked on the probe was young, and that it would be wrong to "slap them on the wrist today."

"It is necessary to draw the right conclusions from the whole situation, work on the mistakes and certainly continue this work," he said.

The Russian space sector has faced funding problems for years as well as corruption scandals.

President Vladimir Putin in September vowed to continue Russia's lunar program, despite the setback.

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