Orbital Piloted Assembly and Experiment Complex

Orbital Piloted Assembly and Experiment Complex
CG rendering of OPSEK

The Orbital Piloted Assembly and Experiment Complex (Orbitalniy Pilotiruemyi Eksperimentalniy Kompleks[1]) (OPSEK) is the planned Russian successor to the International Space Station, with the main goal of supporting deep space exploration.[2]



Before the predicted decommissioning of the International Space Station in the late 2010's to 2020's, the Russian Federal Space Agency (Roskosmos) plans to detach some of its modules, such as the Multipurpose Laboratory Module (to be launched to the ISS in 2012), and use them as the basis for a new space station.[3] The main purpose of OPSEK would be to support eventual manned Mars missions. All the main components of such a Mars expedition would first dock at the station, before leaving for Mars. As a secondary role, the station would also support lunar expeditions.[3]

On 17 June 2009, Roskosmos officially informed its ISS partner, the United States, about its intention to "build and prepare for operation the first elements of the orbital assembly and experimental piloted space complex by the end of the ISS life cycle."[3]

According to the Russian manned spaceflight contractor RKK Energia, the new station must be able to perform the following tasks:[4]

  • Large spacecraft assembly
  • Flight tests and launches
  • Creating, servicing and completing inter-orbital tugs
  • Providing medical and biological conditions required for the rehabilitation of inter-planetary expedition crews after their return to Earth orbit.


Expected Russian Orbital Segment modules around the time of OPSEK separation (2015/2020) arranged by launch dates:

See also

  • Russian Orbital Segment
Preceded by
Russian Orbital Segment
Orbital Piloted Assembly and Experiment Complex
2015/2020 -
Succeeded by


External links

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