Russian Companies Announce Space Station

MOSCOW, Sept. 29 (UPI) — Two Russian companies say they’ll build the world’s first commercial space station, open to private citizens, astronauts and scientists.

The two aerospace companies, Orbital Technologies and RSC Energia, say their Commercial Space Station will host up to seven people at a time, reported Wednesday.

The combination space laboratory/hotel could launch sometime in 2015 or 2016, company officials said.

“Once launched and operational, the CSS will provide a unique destination for commercial, state and private spaceflight exploration missions,” Orbital Technologies chief executive Sergey Kostenko said in a statement. “The CSS will be a valuable addition to the global base of orbital assets.”

Orbital Technologies is a company of engineers, scientists and space industry veterans located in Moscow.

RSC Energia has extensive experience building space station modules and spacecraft for Russia’s Federal Space Agency.

It built Russia’s Salyut space stations, the multi-module Mir Space Station and major Russian components of the International Space Station, as well as the Soyuz and Progress spacecraft that launch routinely to the ISS.

The Commercial Space Station plan has gotten Federal Space Agency’s attention.

“We consider the Commercial Space Station a very interesting project, encouraging private participation,” Vitaly Davydov, deputy chief of the agency, said. “It will attract private investment for the Russian space industry.”

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