MOSCOW, January 11. /TASS/. Russia’s future orbital station, being developed at the moment, will most probably be a temporarily crewed one, and not permanently inhabited, the CEO of Roscosmos corporation, Dmitry Rogozin, said on Monday.
"Most probably the station will be temporarily crewed, and not continuously inhabited. This will reduce the operating costs," Rogozin said on his Facebook page.
He speculated that the crews would be focused on handling specific jobs, while cosmonauts’ permanent presence might be required only if the station had enough tasks to handle.
Rogozin said that a future space station would be used for assembling complex modules, refueling and repairing spacecraft, testing the endurance of new space systems and equipment in outer space, controlling orbital clusters of satellites and also carrying useful payloads, such equipment for remote sensing of the Earth, communication and signal relay.
"As far as space tourism is concerned, it will be possible, but only if a special module is created. Generally speaking, I would prefer to see an orbital station employed for purely technical purposes, while space tourism might develop as a separate line of business offering flights to near-Earth orbits but without visits to the space station," Rogozin said.
Roscosmos told TASS in November that the space rocket corporation Energia was drafting proposals for a new orbital station, to be considered by the corporation’s science and engineering council and then presented to the Russian government.