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Companies continue work on commercial ISS module
Posted: Tue, Mar 6, 2001, 11:32 AM ET (1632 GMT)
Enterprise module docked to ISS Russian aerospace company Energia and American firm SPACEHAB have completed the design for a commercial module for the International Space Agency, while Russian space agency officials seek approval to add the module to the station. Energia and SPAEHAB announced in a press release Monday that the two companies have completed the "baseline design" of the module, dubbed Enterprise, and that construction of some module components will begin shortly at Energia facilities. The companies plan to launch the module, previously estimated to cost $100 million, on a Proton rocket in 2003. The companies also said they signed an agreement last month with Rosaviakosmos, the Russian space agency, to dock the module to the Russian segment of ISS in place of a planned Docking and Stowage Module (SSM in Russian); Rosaviakosmos would pay for the Proton launch under the agreement. The RussianSpaceWeb.com web site reported Sunday that Rosaviakosmos has already asked NASA officials to evaluate proposals to replace the SSM with Enterprise. The site also said that Russia plans to rent Enterprise to NASA and other international partners as part of a package that would include a Soyuz TMA, a modified version of the Soyuz TM spacecraft that can accommodate taller people. The Soyuz TMA spacecraft would serve as a second "lifeboat" on ISS that would allow the station's crew capacity to increase from 3 to 6.
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