Space Station - Future Developments

Future Developments

  • The People's Republic of China is expected to launch two more space labs called Tiangong 2 and Tiangong 3 before 2016. It will then launch a three module 60-ton space station by 2022. Project 921-2 is the working name given by the People's Republic of China for plans to create a manned space station. The public is being asked to submit suggestions for names and symbols to adorn the planned Chinese space station.
  • U.S. company Bigelow Aerospace is developing the Bigelow Commercial Space Station, a private orbital complex. Bigelow proposes to construct the space station using both Sundancer and BA 330 expandable spacecraft modules as well as a central docking node, propulsion, solar arrays, and attached crew capsules. Initial launch of space station components is planned for 2014, with portions of the station available for leased use as early as 2015. Bigelow began to publicly refer to the initial configuration—two Sundancer modules and one BA-330 module—of the first Bigelow station as Space Complex Alpha in October 2010. A second orbital station—Space Complex Bravo—is scheduled to begin launches in 2016. As of February 2011, the launches for Space Complex Alpha have been contracted to launch on Atlas V and Falcon 9 launch vehicles, from Cape Canaveral, starting in 2014.
  • In April 2008, the Russian space agency proposed the construction of an orbital construction yard (OPSEK) for spacecraft too heavy to launch from Earth directly. It would not begin construction or be finished until after the decommissioning of the International Space Station. This plan was described to ISS partners by Anatoly Perminov June 17, 2009.
  • The Orbital Technologies Commercial Space Station is a project of a Russian corporation (Orbital Technologies). The CSS is intended to accommodate diverse functions such as:
    • Enabling space-based microgravity research.
    • Providing a destination for commercial human spaceflight, space tourism, and state sponsored human spaceflight programs.
    • Acting as a backup and emergency safe haven for the International Space Station and its crew.
    • Enabling product development.
    • Facilitating satellite servicing and maintenance.
    • Providing a staging outpost for human space flight missions beyond low Еarth orbit.
    • Supplying a uniquely capable remote sensing platform.

The business arrangement for developing and marketing the station was recently clarified by Russian firm Orbital Technologies, who is collaborating to develop the station with the Rocket and Space Technology Corporation Energia (RSC Energia).

  • Excalibur Almaz, an international company based in the Isle of Man in the UK and headed by Arthur Dula, is developing a system integrated by a reusable space vehicle and a space station based on the technology of the Soviet military stations "Almaz". In this efforts, Excalibur-Almaz is co-working with a Russian corporation with a large tradition in aerospace technology, the military-industrial association "Mashinostroyenia".
  • In December 2011 Boeing proposed using Node 4 as the core of an Exploration Gateway Platform to be constructed at the ISS and relocated via space tug to an Earth-Moon Lagrange point (EML-1 or 2). The purpose of the platform would be to support lunar landing missions with a reusable lunar lander after the first two SLS flights. It would also bypass the need for a L1 propellant depot for lunar missions. Other hardware would include an airlock, an 'international module', and a MPLM based habitat module.
  • In February 2012 Playboy proposed an orbital "space club", in conjunction with Virgin Galactic. Their plans include a restaurant and a zero gravity dance club.

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