Russia ready to create commercial module for International Space Station

Russia's Khrunichev Space Center is ready to create a commercial module for the International Space Station, chief of this aerospace enterprise Alexei Medvedev reported to RIA Novosti on Monday. The module's floorspace could be leased to private research firms or converted into a tourist section of the ISS, he said. A basis for the module could be an unfinished duplicate specimen of the Zarya module, which was built for the event of abortive launch. The duplicate is 70 percent ready. Zarya is a functional cargo unit, ensuring the technical side of ISS operation. Alexei Medvedev said that his center has recently signed a protocol of intent with the American firm Boeing for use of this duplicate module in the ISS cluster. "Together with this American firm we are ready to complete the module and furnish it with the required equipment", he said. Simultaneously, "building of a commercial module will require additional coordination to be conducted between the Russian Space Agency and NASA, because there are other versions of its perspective use", reported Medvedev. For example, this module could make a capacious fuel tanker or an additional equipment and materials depot in the ISS station.

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