Buoyed by plans for commercial space taxis, a Russian company plans to build and launch a privately owned outpost in orbit for tourists, scientists and other paying visitors.RSC Energia, which designed and built the Russian modules of the International Space Station, is partnering with Russian commercial space startup Orbital Technologies to manufacture the new hub, currently known as Commercial Space Station.
Unlike the International Space Station, the CSS will be assembled on the ground and put into orbit by a single Soyuz rocket, according to Orbital Technologies CEO Sergey Kostenko.
Designs for the seven-person outpost are complete and construction is expected to begin in 2012 or 2013. Launch would take place about two years later. Prices to stay on the station have not yet been determined, Kostenko said in an interview.