Commercial Space Station Activities

  • Stella Tkatchova
Part of the Space Technology Library book series (SPTL, volume 35)


At present five space agencies, NASA, Roscosmos, ESA, JAXA and CSA (e.g. ISS partners), are operating the International Space Station in low Earth orbit (LEO). They own and operate their own modules and share some of the on-board experimental racks. The space station is the result of 25 years of international cooperation between the agencies. The station is a space laboratory that could host up to six astronauts, and its size corresponds to around two football playgrounds. The space agencies have planned the operational life of the ISS to last until 2024; however, there are discussions for prolonging it by 2028. Presently the ISS partners do not have long-term plans for building a next generation of space stations although there are various ideas. One of them is that after the launch of the Russian multipurpose module in 2019, the Russian ISS segment will be fully independent from the rest of the ISS in terms of power, communications and other resources. Permitting the separation of the Russian ISS modules, a Russian space station may be created which will even be fitted with inflatable modules (Zak 2016). In addition China has been looking at launching its own Chinese large modular space station in low Earth orbit around 2022. Researchers worldwide are invited to fly their experiments on board it.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Stella Tkatchova
    • 1
  1. 1.BrusselsBelgium

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