In the recent times, orbital travel has come a long way from extremely expensive national assets to a more viable commercial means of vacationing. Numerous space agencies and private companies have been striving to come out with the most cost effective means of providing the general public with means of traveling to earth’s orbit and back. Now, two Russian companies are working hard towards achieving a unique goal in the form of the ‘world’s first commercial space station’, that will cater to the private citizens, professional astronauts and scientists.
Orbital Technologies and RSC Energia have partnered to this promising dream into a reality, where in the Commercial Space Station (CSS) will serve as n orbital laboratory as well as a hotel, with the capability of sustaining seven people at any given time. This incredible venture is expected to be completed by the year 2016 and the price tags for the trips will depend upon the type of launch vehicle, duration and purpose of missions. Apart from being an active participant in space tourism, the proposed Commercial Space Station will also serve as a platform for medical research and earth observation purposes. The optimum operational duration of the new space station is expected to be 15 years and the station will be orbiting the earth at 62 miles from the International Space Station (ISS). Furthermore, Russian designed Soyuz space crafts will be responsible for ferrying passengers to and from the Commercial Space Station, while unmanned Progress vehicles will deliver supplies and essential tools to keep the space station running.
According to Sergey Kostenko (CEO, Orbital Technologies),
“Once launched and operational, the CSS will provide a unique destination for commercial, state and private spaceflight exploration missions. The CSS will be a valuable addition to the global base of orbital assets.”