MOSCOW, November 26. /TASS/. Russia may deploy its own service orbital station, manned by two to four cosmonauts, after 2024, said Vladimir Solovyov, the first deputy CEO of the Energia Rocket and Space Corporation, according to the Scientific Russia website.
"[Vladimir Solovyov] also presented the project of a Russian Orbital Service Station (ROSS), currently in development by RSC Energia," the website reads. "According to Solovyov, its deployment is planned after 2024."
The senior executive explained that the new station will be comprised of three to seven modules, and could be operated by a crew of two to four people. The station will also be able to operate autonomously.
"The cosmonauts will work on the station in shifts, in order to reduce the crew’s radiation exposure and operation costs," he said.
According to Solovyov, the ROSS will serve a number of purposes, including remote probing, research, experiments, communications, navigation, man-made disaster detection, geological survey, participation in educational projects, forestry monitoring and space tourism.
The success of Russia’s priority goals in space depends on the orbital station programs, among other things, the official said. He added that this kind of stations enjoys such advantages as open architecture and an unlimited lifespan, thanks to replaceable modules.
In May, Roscosmos CEO Dmitry Rogozin disclosed that Russia must commence the development of a new orbital station. According to the CEO, it is currently unclear whether it will be inhabited or visited, or whether it will be national or international.
Rogozin noted at the time that the need for a new station stems from the fact that the ISS will, in his view, only operate for 7 to 10 more years, due to the structure fatigue and a limited resource of the modules. The new station will somewhat resemble the Mir Space Station, decommissioned in 2001. Earlier, Solovyov revealed plans to install a module for four space tourists on the new Russian space station, which will be equipped with WiFi, among other things.