Russian corporations plan first commercial space station

Well, it ain’t quite DS9, and it’s still only a drawing-board plan at this stage, but even so…

Called the Commercial Space Station, the orbiting space laboratory and hotel will be able to host up to seven people at a time. It is being planned under a partnership between the Russian companies Orbital Technologies and RSC Energia.

The companies announced plans for the new space station today (Sept. 29) but did not reveal an estimated cost. The space station is expected to launch sometime between 2015 and 2016. The cost of individual trips may vary based on launch vehicle, duration and purpose of missions.

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

Seven people at a time? Well, you gotta start somewhere, I guess… and frankly it’s nice to see that commercial interests outside the US haven’t become entirely immune to the seductive lure of the top of the gravity well.

And once you’ve got one stable base up there, building more becomes progressively easier, if only logistically (or at least, so I assume – corrective links and braindumps very much invited and appreciated from more space-savvy readers).

[ Internet serendipity again; today’s been something of a space riff, no? ]