Concept based on International Space Station designed to support Moon missions
Russia wants an Earth-orbiting test platform by 2015 for hardware for manned exploration missions to the Moon and beyond, says Anatoly Perminov, head of Russia's Federal Space Agency (FSA).
The platform, which Perminov says would not be part of the International Space Station (ISS), would aid preparations Russia wants to make for manned missions, following the completion of the ISS.
"It's a new exploration platform. It's a concept based on the ISS. This platform will be for testing interplanetary transport systems, systems for cargo transport and new descent technologies," says Perminov.
"But we must seek the agreement of partners to [also] use the ISS. I had a long discussion with NASA administrator Sean O'Keefe and I can say that for 90% of the issues that we came to mutual agreement," he adds.
Perminov also says that his country's Kliper six-man reusable spacecraft (Flight International, 28 September-4 October) could be used with the new platform.
The former ballistic missile unit commander and head of Russia's Space Forces outlined the plan at the International Astronautical Congress in Vancouver this month. At the same conference, the European Space Agency said that it is working on studies into possible co-operation with Russia on the yet-to-be developed six-man vehicle.
ROB COPPINGER / VANCOUVER
Source: Flight International