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Russian Firm Plans Commercial Space Station

CmdrTaco posted more than 3 years ago | from the love-to-visit-someday dept.

Space 133

astroengine writes "Buoyed by plans for commercial space taxis, a Russian company plans to build and launch a privately owned outpost in orbit for tourists, scientists and other paying visitors. RSC Energia, which designed and built the Russian modules of the International Space Station, is partnering with Russian commercial space startup Orbital Technologies to manufacture the new hub, currently known as Commercial Space Station."

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No thanks (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33750290)

I already have a CSS

Re:No thanks (1)

u17 (1730558) | more than 3 years ago | (#33754228)

It's a trick, what the C really stands for is CCCP!

Re:No thanks (0, Troll)

Simonetta (207550) | more than 3 years ago | (#33754554)

Take a ride on Air Chernobil or Aeroflot to outer space?

No thanks.

Russians are good at three things:

1) making cheap vodka.
2) dragging the local Jews out behind the outhouse and beating them to death in the snow.
3) crushing the hopes of world domination of any fool who invades their country at the beginning of the winter.

Advanced 21st technology and providing a warm holiday experience for foreigners is not on that list.

So go ahead. Mod me down to -2 hell for being a "troll, racist, etc...".
It doesn't change the truth.

There are no laws... (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33750296)

against prostitution in space.

Oh yeah, Zero-G Porn!

Re:There are no laws... (2, Insightful)

oldspewey (1303305) | more than 3 years ago | (#33750422)

Money shots will present a much greater hazard to the film crew.

Re:There are no laws... (3, Funny)

Cwix (1671282) | more than 3 years ago | (#33751124)

Your user name is strangely relevant to your post.

Re:There are no laws... (4, Funny)

geekmux (1040042) | more than 3 years ago | (#33750448)

against prostitution in space.

Oh yeah, Zero-G Porn!

"...ah yes kids, much like the drive for Internet at broadband speeds, the primary driver behind the Commercialization of Space was indeed zero-gravity porn. And thus, Zero-G-oo Productions shot out of nowhere and covered the industry like a blanket of white....snow."

Re:There are no laws... (3, Insightful)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 3 years ago | (#33750822)

Zero G porn? I don't want to watch some other guy banging her in zero G, I want to bang her in zero G myself!!

Now get off my lawn, kid. Sheesh.

tax evasion (1)

chronoss2010 (1825454) | more than 3 years ago | (#33750836)

.............[big hollow sound]innnnnnn space "Filter error: Too much repetition." seems that the periods in title after tax evasion aren't welcome funny this place keeps getting better whats next too many posters error

Re:There are no laws... (1)

ratnerstar (609443) | more than 3 years ago | (#33750906)

That's no moon!

Re:There are no laws... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33751100)

To the moon, Alice!!

Re:There are no laws... (1)

ghostoftiber (1859740) | more than 3 years ago | (#33752484)

In space, no-one can hear you scream (either in horror or pleasure).

Re:There are no laws... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33752878)

Even if there was, there's no cops!! Can you say........SPACE WEED!!!

Or in Canada... for the moment (1)

phorm (591458) | more than 3 years ago | (#33753462)

As several key prostitution laws were struck down [www.cbc.ca] recently.
However, I doubt that they'd setup a station in space to become an overprice brothel. It's still readily available on Earth (and legal in various places), and a ticket to another country is likely to be a whole lot cheaper than a trip to space for the visible future.

That being said, I wish that they could get past the "put a station in low orbit" concept and get on to building something on the moon. Having a semi-stable land-mass would eliminate a lot of issues that would crop up, and the moon at least has *some* gravity (if only a fraction of Earth's). Perhaps from there, they could figure out a way to deal with the raw materials issues, start some factories, and thus have a much more convenient launch location than from within Earth's gravity-well.

Re:There are no laws... (1)

loufoque (1400831) | more than 3 years ago | (#33754086)

Are you implying that there are some on the ground?

Will Virgin Galactic see this as a challenge? (1)

Even on Slashdot FOE (1870208) | more than 3 years ago | (#33750298)

Or will the Russians have the first Spaceport in SPAAAAACE?

Re:Will Virgin Galactic see this as a challenge? (1)

jgagnon (1663075) | more than 3 years ago | (#33750462)

I'd bring a pig with me, but Jim Henson was way ahead of me.

Re:Will Virgin Galactic see this as a challenge? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33750794)

if you have every travelled on one of Branson's trains, you will know to never, ever travel in space with this cowboy. Scenario: jam-packed train, toilets blocked to overflowing, stench permeating whole train - and you are only half way to your destination.

Tessier-Ashpool (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33750308)

It's beginning.

if wishes were fishes (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33750584)

I plan to have sex with a unicorn.

still ain't gonna happen.

At least someone is moving forward (4, Interesting)

syntap (242090) | more than 3 years ago | (#33750316)

I am glad some portion of the Earth population wants to try moving into space commercially. Tourism will be where the money is so it is a good way to start. Eventually the tourists will want to move to the moon and beyond.

Re:At least someone is moving forward (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33750384)

AAHHHHAHAHAHAAHHAAAAAAA!!! HAHAAAAAAAAA!!! Good one! Have any others? This is just a way to funnel government money into private hands. Space hasn't changed, it's still empty, humans still don't belong there. It's an amusement ride for millionaires, that's all it'll ever be.

"Eventually the tourists will want to move to the moon and beyond"

Really? Most people are too out of shape to climb a mountain, you think they're fit enough to stand a launch into space and the rigors of free-fall? We don't even have commercial supersonic flight anymore BECAUSE NO ONE CARES. You think suddenly a 40 year old dream of space will become important?

Utterly delusional, impractical, unrealistic, ignorant of physics, chemistry, biology, economics and engineering reality. Welcome to my Space Nutter list.

Re:At least someone is moving forward (5, Insightful)

jgagnon (1663075) | more than 3 years ago | (#33750516)

That's hilarious because not that long ago deep sea exploration was impractical and before that even flights through the air were impractical. Just because something is "utterly delusional, impractical, unrealistic, ignorant" now doesn't mean it will always be that way, unless your mind chooses to make it so.

Re:At least someone is moving forward (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33750690)

True, but how many people actually go on deep sea exploration, fly their own airplanes, etc (relative to the general populous)...without it being their job or being funded by some large agency that is ultimately underwritten by some tax base somewhere or some mega wealthy philanthropist? At this current juncture, how to does commercializing space benefit mankind? I'm not sure myself, maybe it's good, maybe it's bad. It's easy to talk big and think big, especially wrt space, but I think this is a lot "bigger" than most people realize....

While we're busy launching a select few into the upper exosphere and beyond, some of us think that maybe we should focus such creative energy to supporting the 'least of these' as well.

Re:At least someone is moving forward (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33750732)

It's not how many people do it, it's how many people benefit from it.

In the case of airplanes, flying your own is far less relevant than the cargo transported on them.

Re:At least someone is moving forward (2, Insightful)

Teancum (67324) | more than 3 years ago | (#33751406)

I could ask how does the ability to fly in general benefit mankind? Answer that, and you have a similar answer for spaceflight.

BTW, commercial spaceflight isn't a theory or something in the far off distant future. It is happening right now and in fact you wouldn't be reading these words at the moment if spaceflight never happened. Think about that and then tell me why you aren't trolling at the moment. Yes, I realize that IP packets typically don't go into space, but computer technology wouldn't be anywhere near what it is right now if it wasn't for trying to get into space.

By far and away the people of the Earth are living healthier, longer, and more fulfilling lives because of spaceflight and in particular commercial spaceflight (as opposed to government sponsored spaceflight) than if it never existed. I can give examples but it isn't worth my time.

Re:At least someone is moving forward (4, Insightful)

fiannaFailMan (702447) | more than 3 years ago | (#33751430)

Ah, the old "stop exploring space and spend the money on social programs instead" argument. Odd how it only gets applied to space exploration but never the much bigger military budget.

Re:At least someone is moving forward (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33751670)

well, if we shoot enough people those social programs wouldn't be needed...

Re:At least someone is moving forward (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33753152)

I seem to remember a study done a while back where people were asked to guess how much budget the Pentagon and NASA had. Most people actually thought is was about the same. Unbelievable. Here are the real numbers for 2009:

Pentagon: $685 Billion
NASA: $19 Billion

Re:At least someone is moving forward (1)

bobcat7677 (561727) | more than 3 years ago | (#33753288)

Social programs just cause the population to become stagnant, unproductive and boring. Space programs encourage new technologies, new industries, promote productivity, and can be quite interesting. The "social programs spending" arguement is bunk.

Re:At least someone is moving forward (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33754536)

Ah, the old "stop exploring space and spend the money on social programs instead" argument. Odd how it only gets applied to space exploration but never the much bigger military budget.

Odd how a lot of the same people who benefit from big military budgets also benefit from big space budgets. I never said increase funding for social programs either, but rather be just as innovative in social areas, which are areas where we don't innovate nearly as often as we do the technology that furthers space exploration. That's not to knock space exploration or even say it needs to be slowed down...it's already pretty slow now.

Re:At least someone is moving forward (3, Insightful)

khallow (566160) | more than 3 years ago | (#33751500)

At this current juncture, how to does commercializing space benefit mankind?

It's already been profound. For example, we now have the ability to instantaneously communicate from almost anywhere in the world. For example, I used a DirectInternet link back in 2003 while I was roughly 75 miles away from anywhere that had internet. While most satellite applications (outside of telecommunications and recently Earth imaging) are publicly funded, they also are mostly developed by commercial space businesses. So that means a lot of things like nuclear weapon and rocket launch detection, weather prediction, agricultural forecasts, etc have been possible due to commercial contribution.

While we're busy launching a select few into the upper exosphere and beyond, some of us think that maybe we should focus such creative energy to supporting the 'least of these' as well.

Too bad that we're unable to do more than one beneficial thing at a time. I guess we'll have to feed the children first. Then maybe fix the roads once that's done. Fix the environment next? Sure, sounds good. Maybe a few millennia from now, we'll be far enough down the list to do manned space flight. Assuming that the old problems haven't come back by then.

Re:At least someone is moving forward (1)

Chris Burke (6130) | more than 3 years ago | (#33752664)

Assuming that the old problems haven't come back by then.

Well never get past step one. The children need to be fed almost every day!

Re:At least someone is moving forward (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33751112)

Just because something is "utterly delusional, impractical, unrealistic, ignorant" now doesn't mean it will always be that way, unless your mind chooses to make it so.

I mean surely you've gotten laid by now... surely...

Re:At least someone is moving forward (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33752358)

1) How many tourists go deep sea exploring? Answer: None. Score 1-0 me.

2) Flight was impractical before we found OIL and chemical energy. We haven't found a new energy source since then. You also have no new engines, space is still as far away as ever, and still as empty. No tourists, either. Score: 2-0 me.

3) What my mind chooses has no bearing on physical reality. This is what you utter freaks need to get through your thick deluded skulls. None of your pitiful examples took 50 years to stagnate. There was commercial air flight within a decade of the Wright Brother's flight. And that's with early XXth century technology. There's still not a single practical, real, useful space vehicle for your delusions. *There never will be*. Humans are not meant for space, and the final nail in the coffin: NO ONE CARES.

4) Space is immensely, mind-bogglingly HUGE. Our lifespan is simply not suited to space, yet every single one of you nutcases is against life extension research because we don't have the resources or it's not natural. We do have the resources to burn massive amounts of energy for no benefit and rockets and life-support systems are natural, it seems.

You are confusing romantic emotional dreams with reality. My mind chooses reality, yours doesn't. And it doesn't matter, you'll be dead in 50 years. I'm trying not be. Wouldn't it suck for you anti life-extension nuts to die one day before a breakthrough in cheap, safe and practical fusion energy to help your favorite delusion become practical?

Re:At least someone is moving forward (1)

DougF (1117261) | more than 3 years ago | (#33753050)

1) Heck, you can BUY your own submarine, if you want.

2) Remember balloons and other lighter than air vehicles? They were not dependent on oil, and yes some were practical and would still be, if oil hadn't been discovered.

3) I care, in fact, lots of people care. Going to space is much harder than flying or sailing, yet it took us thousands of years to develop proper ships, thousands more to develop lighter and then heavier than air vehicles, but because we didn't conquer space in 50 years we have to give it up? No, I don't think so. There's still plenty of time to conquer space.

4) They said the same thing about oceans...too big to cross, only insane people think they can sail across one, too many monsters awaiting fragile ships, yadda, yadda. Been there, done that, next argument? Millions have died on the oceans (and people continue to die on them every year), yet here we are, still cruising about with boatloads of tourists, shipping tens of thousands of containers on cargo ships, moving oil and natural gas about the world, on those big ol' empty oceans...

5) Not sure what your worries about death and life extension have to do with commercial space travel, but if you're that afraid of dying, a) I have bad news: so far, despite numerous attempts and lots of money/power/influence, no one has escaped death, not even Christ; b)I have good news: You can have everlasting life, if you're willing to accept Christ as your lord and savior.

Re:At least someone is moving forward (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33750712)

Do you really think that it will always be so expensive? Things progress. Right now the idea for this space station is crazy. The amount of money that would need to be spent on it is astronomical. However, that may not always be the case as better rockets are developed and newer technologies emerge. I suppose for that to happen, sometimes it takes the right guys to make the right push in the right direction. Is this company made up of those right guys? I don't know, but it's at least encouraging to see people making the push, even if it isn't really feasible in the present.

Re:At least someone is moving forward (1)

amicusNYCL (1538833) | more than 3 years ago | (#33750764)

Space hasn't changed, it's still empty

Huh. Space is a static empty void. That's news to me.

Re:At least someone is moving forward (2, Funny)

djdanlib (732853) | more than 3 years ago | (#33751892)

Well, if you define 'space' as where things aren't, then most of the universe is space... except for things like stars, planets, etc etc. Kind of like saying "there's no dirt in that hole I just dug" right? ;)

I know, it's silly.

Re:At least someone is moving forward (1)

Idiomatick (976696) | more than 3 years ago | (#33753440)

Most of the atoms in your body are space.

Re:At least someone is moving forward (1)

khallow (566160) | more than 3 years ago | (#33751540)

Welcome to my Space Nutter list.

Can't even bother to post this troll under your real account? That's pretty weak.

They're "planning" it (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33750342)

I'm planning on winning the lottery ... and buying a pony. Imagine a world where all current plans panned out.

What I'd like to see (5, Interesting)

oldspewey (1303305) | more than 3 years ago | (#33750380)

I'd like to see a graph showing the total volume of pressurized, human-habitable "tin can" in orbit over time ... because I bet that graph is about to go hockey stick over the next few decades.

Re:What I'd like to see (0, Flamebait)

blair1q (305137) | more than 3 years ago | (#33750896)

tin can is mostly space. easy to launch. can even pack them inside each other. very efficient.

human being is bag of water. effing heavy and inefficient to launch. and need other effing heavy but otherwise pointless systems to get them there safe. plus several replacement weights in food to keep them there. bloody expensive.

send up a few humans to take pictures, show them in IMAX to the rest of us down here, and i'm good.

beyond that, it's a game of how much would you pay to make the other country look stupid, plus how much science can we get out of it with the few people we can afford to send on the public science nickel, plus how much would you pay to be kinda special and have something to brag about, plus how rich and gullible are you.

Re:What I'd like to see (4, Insightful)

Nyeerrmm (940927) | more than 3 years ago | (#33751148)

You're missing the point. The most important thing we can do in space is to live there. Slowly but surely we need to learn how to live away from and independent of the Earth.

At least thats what those of us who fight to do these things think. Its not about nationalism or even science -- you may disagree, but then you're making the wrong argument.

Re:What I'd like to see (1)

blair1q (305137) | more than 3 years ago | (#33751340)

I'm just being realistic.

learn how to live away from and independent of the Earth

We evolved here. Here is where we function optimally. To function even close to optimally anywhere else, we need somewhere that is nearly like here. Where we can interact with the environment as we do here. Take our food, water, air, and shelter from it and give our waste and growth to it. The similarity we need is very, very, rare, to the point we haven't found anything even close, yet, and still consider living on planets that are no better than empty space.

But to live in empty space we need to create an Earth-similar environment in a tin can. And make it work through all succeeding generations of us. Hard to do. The march of entropy says that closed systems are dead ends (which is of course the ultimate source of the notion that we have to find a way off this particular closed system).

Unless you consider that we all are born, live, and then die. We as individuals are not eternal. Why do we believe that our exponential population growth, or the line of our race, must be eternal? Is it better to fight our eventual extinction and run into it full-speed with great suffering, or to recognize the limitations on our propagation on the planet and manage our population to make ourselves comfortable as the critical resources run out, for our last citizens to live comfortably and die happy, along with the race that prepared their world for them?

So I'm not sure I'm missing the point. It's just not the only point I'm thining about.

Re:What I'd like to see (5, Insightful)

fiannaFailMan (702447) | more than 3 years ago | (#33751494)

We evolved here. Here is where we function optimally.

We evolved in Africa. As the climate changed we decided it might be a good idea to spread out a little and try to adapt to living in a different environment. Result? We're still here after all this time. I'd like to think that we won't spend the rest of our existence with all our eggs in the single basket of Earth. Until we become a space faring race, we're one asteroid away from extinction. The sooner we diversify, the better off we're going to be.

Re:What I'd like to see (0)

Chris Burke (6130) | more than 3 years ago | (#33752540)

Until we become a space faring race, we're one asteroid away from extinction. The sooner we diversify, the better off we're going to be.

Just to be clear, it's going to be a long, long time until the human race could survive without earth, and a major, major impact to make earth less hospitable to life than anywhere else in the known universe. Actually trying to "put eggs in another basket" and create a sustainable off world colony today would be premature and foolhardy.

On the other hand, the journey of a thousand light years begins with a single space station... or something like that. This space station isn't trying to be a sustainable colony. It's just another toe-dipping venture into space, and an important step on a long, long path.

Re:What I'd like to see (1)

blair1q (305137) | more than 3 years ago | (#33753060)

That sort of thing implies eugenics to force evolutionary adaptations.

That's not what we do any more.

Because now if we do it it's intentional, and considered barbaric. (That's irony, Alanis).

If we take the "we have to leave" option, then we all have to leave, no matter how unfit and inadaptable we now are.

Because if we don't, we have a population of left-behinds marooned on a dying planet, going extinct in the painful way and not the intelligent way.

Re:What I'd like to see (1)

Nyeerrmm (940927) | more than 3 years ago | (#33751580)

Now you're making the right argument. Its not a debate about whether robots and such are better at exploration than humans, which is what your first statement sounded like.

Since other reasons for manned exploration are not really sustainable, the debate over HSF should be whether or not its a worthwhile and feasible goal to learn to live off world.

Re:What I'd like to see (1)

blair1q (305137) | more than 3 years ago | (#33753110)

Oh. Well, yes. I agree that robots are much better at exploration than humans.

Because, honestly, 99.9% of the stuff we want to explore in space isn't accessible to humans at all. I mean, you can't touch an asteroid in its native environment. Might as well send a robot to grab a chunk (or a few nanogranules) and bring it back so we can touch it in ours, and do a whole university's worth of tests on it, instead of what we could stuff into a science-storage bin next to the toilet paper closet of the waste processing node in the habitation wing of the giant robot we have to use to takes us there anyway.

Re:What I'd like to see (4, Insightful)

FrozenFOXX (1048276) | more than 3 years ago | (#33751828)

No, I think you're still missing what the GP is talking about as it's all-encompassing with respect to your argument.

Yes, it's hard to do. Exactly when has that ever stopped us before? You seriously cannot look five feet from you and not see something that just a thousand years ago (and really short period of time) wasn't completely and totally impossible in every sense of the word. The only constant in our knowledge is that what we know today will someday be replaced by a greater understanding. To quote the oft-quoted line, "Imagine what you'll 'know' tomorrow."

As far as it being pointless to survive I not-so-humbly disagree. Part of the point OF being mortal is that we are supposed to survive. It's what we do. It's what we've done for centuries, millennium, and will continue to do until past the point where it would seem impossible to continue to (as we have before). We're wired that way and damned proud of it for better or for worse. The birthright of living things is to rage against the all-encompassing void. No creature and especially humans have ever achieved anything of value by sitting around and making ourselves comfortable and waiting for death. If you'd like to be the first I don't think anyone else will mind; we'll be too busy trying to make some sort of a difference for future generations, enjoy our current generation, and honor past generations.

But to summarize, yes, these things are hard. Moving off-world is a seemingly impossible task. But we were born to do impossible things. We have done impossible things. We like doing impossible things.

Re:What I'd like to see (1)

blair1q (305137) | more than 3 years ago | (#33753160)

But we were born to do impossible things.

Says the fuck who?

We were born to eat, sleep, shit, get laid, and then die. Preferably downwind.

The rest of this stuff is just something to do, because in the process of not-dying before we could get laid, we somehow developed more intellectual capacity than we'd ever need just to survive what this planet was throwing at us.

Re:What I'd like to see (1)

Lanteran (1883836) | more than 3 years ago | (#33754586)

we somehow developed more intellectual capacity than we'd ever need just to survive what this planet was throwing at us.

At least some of us..

Re:What I'd like to see (1)

HeckRuler (1369601) | more than 3 years ago | (#33751726)

In the long term, yes, I'd agree wholeheartedly. It's perhaps the most important thing that humanity will ever do. Maybe even for all life on Earth. But it ain't gonna happen any time soon. You're talking about sustainable, independent, life. You need to create an ecosystem for that. We had problems making that happen ON Earth [wikipedia.org] . So, for this decade, we aren't going to have moon colonies. Hope and dream all you want, it just ain't happening. What we can do is explore space, learn more about the universe, and maybe build a space elevator [wikipedia.org] out of carbon nanotubes [wikipedia.org] .

Learning about space can be done with probes. And until it's cheaper to escape the gravity well, every ounce counts.

Re:What I'd like to see (1)

Nyeerrmm (940927) | more than 3 years ago | (#33751838)

Well, how can we learn if we don't start sometime? Now seems as good a time as any.

I'm not saying we'll have independent moon colonies in 20 years. I'll be happy if we do in 200. Science can be done with probes, but the only way to learn how to sustain life in space is to try it.

Re:What I'd like to see (1)

david_thornley (598059) | more than 3 years ago | (#33752436)

Let's start with something easier first: self-sustaining colonies in Antarctica and in the ocean at least 100m down. Both those places are extremely hospitable and accessible, compared to any place in this solar system that's not real close to Earth's crust. If we have problems anywhere on the Earth's surface, the obstacles to space colonization will be insurmountable.

Re:What I'd like to see (2, Insightful)

Teancum (67324) | more than 3 years ago | (#33751468)

Don't let the government throw its money away if you think flying into space is a bad idea. But please just don't tell me I can't spend my own money to do that if that is something I choose to do. People throw money away to do silly things like take a submarine down to the deck of the Titanic in order to hold a wedding. If they want to do something equally silly by flying into space, why are you being such an ass by telling them or myself that I can't do that?

Re:What I'd like to see (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 3 years ago | (#33752802)

Because if they screw up, it impacts all of us.

While it sound great to commercialize earths orbit with ventures like these, earths orbit is a finite space.

These days I think it should be be pretty much reserved for science and communications.

Yes we need to get off this rock, yes I love the idea of consumer space access, but look at how many satellite are there now, and look at all the debris.

Put something on the Moon. Then if something goes wrong, it's the people that take the risk the get impacted.

Just because you have money, doesn't give you the right to do whatever you want.

Re:What I'd like to see (2, Informative)

Teancum (67324) | more than 3 years ago | (#33753168)

Space is big. Really really big. You ought to read Douglas Adams some time to see just how mind bogglingly huge space is and noting that there is a whole universe "out there" to explore that we have only just started looking at.

If you are worried about satellite debris, you ought to thank the U.S. federal government for much of that (along with the Russians and Chinese). Experiments that deliberately detonated nuclear bombs in space along with crazy schemes to spread flakes of metal in mid-Earth orbit to aid in telecommunications are still up there. Many of the problems in space are self-inflicted by the governments of this world.

Besides, LEO is the one place where orbital debris is really not a huge problem as well. The exosphere extends up to that altitude where enough air particles do eventually cause the debris to rain back down upon the Earth. It is the mid-level orbits that are the biggest problem as at those altitudes the debris doesn't come down.

As far as if "they screw it up".... I take it that you don't do much driving. You are by far and away in much more danger going down an interstate highway with 1 ton vehicles driven by teenagers lacking common sense than you are to ever be hit by debris falling from space or even being hit by a rocket made by a rank amateur. Life is dangerous, so live with it. And you want to use this as an excuse for why I can't go into space?

Re:What I'd like to see (1)

alien9 (890794) | more than 3 years ago | (#33751374)

indeed you're gonna see the skyrocketing count of orbit debris.

Re:What I'd like to see (1)

oldspewey (1303305) | more than 3 years ago | (#33751458)

"pressurized volume" - key distinction

Marketing Genius. (0, Offtopic)

geekmux (1040042) | more than 3 years ago | (#33750382)

"...currently known as Commercial Space Station."

I see Russian Marketing is about as clever and ingenious as Russian humor...

Re:Marketing Genius. (1)

sharkey (16670) | more than 3 years ago | (#33750590)

Be more visionary. Maybe tables-based web pages are not that bad, but a space station? At least they're committing to CSS up front.

Re:Marketing Genius. (1)

eriqk (1902450) | more than 3 years ago | (#33754790)

In capitalist Russia, humor laughs at you?

Saving up for a trip into orbit.... (4, Interesting)

joe2tiger (1883232) | more than 3 years ago | (#33750468)

I'm saving up money for a trip into orbit. It would be feasible for me to spend $10,000 to $20,000 dollars for space flight. I figure this will be a possibility for me in 20 years when it drops to that price, maybe sooner when we have space elevators.

Re:Saving up for a trip into orbit.... (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33751850)

doubtful. take a spot check for commercial bulk propellants -- LH2 and O2 volume alone to push your 2000lb carcass/suit/consumables/basic life support and baggage (no food/water) to LEO in bulk costs well over $200,000.
so with chemical rockets alone you have no hope. i dont see any reason why bulk LH2 and O2 refining/transport costs are going to come down anytime soon...there have been no significant breakthroughs in refining these for the last 100 years.
other propellants are even more expensive than basic LH2 and O2.

Re:Saving up for a trip into orbit.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33752710)

The amount should be $20000 + K*Age, since we are not getting any younger and I assume it will be more expensive to fly to an orbit as a senior citizens... or will they be taking AARP discounts?

Re:Saving up for a trip into orbit.... (1)

Type44Q (1233630) | more than 3 years ago | (#33752798)

I'm saving up money for a trip into orbit. It would be feasible for me to spend $10,000 to $20,000 dollars for space flight. I figure this will be a possibility for me in 20 years when it drops to that price, maybe sooner when we have space elevators.

The cost of a trip to orbit in the year 2030 may very well amount to $20k when measured in 2010 dollars but by the looks of it, you'll be if it buys you a cheese sandwich. May I suggest I putting your savings into something a little more likely than greenbacks to retain its value? :P

Re:Saving up for a trip into orbit.... (1)

Type44Q (1233630) | more than 3 years ago | (#33752812)

Arrgh... that missing word be "lucky." :P

Re:Saving up for a trip into orbit.... (1)

melted (227442) | more than 3 years ago | (#33753844)

By then a regular atmospheric plane flight will be $20K due to shortage of fuel. Spend that money on terrestrial travel now, while it is still cheap.

Catering? (0, Offtopic)

AffidavitDonda (1736752) | more than 3 years ago | (#33750476)

Who will get the catering contract? MacDonalds or BurgerKing?

Re:Catering? (2, Informative)

jgagnon (1663075) | more than 3 years ago | (#33750578)

Taco Bell, of course. :p

Re:Catering? (2, Insightful)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 3 years ago | (#33750752)

If that's a Demolition Man reference, I hereby proclaim you winner of the Internet.

Re:Catering? (2, Informative)

jgagnon (1663075) | more than 3 years ago | (#33750866)

Why yes, yes it was.

Re:Catering? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33750658)

I know what McDonald's is and what Burger King is, but WTF are MacDonalds and BurgerKing?

Re:Catering? (1)

AffidavitDonda (1736752) | more than 3 years ago | (#33751548)

In Soviet Russia Mac Donald's writes you...

Wait! The commies....? (0, Troll)

Jedi Holocron (225191) | more than 3 years ago | (#33750626)

So, a bunch of former (are they really ever "former") commies are going to build the first commercial space station?

Wow...I guess that's appropriate given what we've built...

Re:Wait! The commies....? (5, Insightful)

c6gunner (950153) | more than 3 years ago | (#33751062)

There's nobody who appreciates capitalism quite as much as those who have lived under communism.

Re:Wait! The commies....? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33751538)

And no one misses communism more than them also.

Re:Wait! The commies....? (4, Informative)

Teancum (67324) | more than 3 years ago | (#33751590)

Only a former communist would think of selling spaceflight trips to a socialist American government because that government can't pull its head out of its own behind to be able to build a working vehicle that would get its own astronauts into space. As of June 2011, the USA will be without any sort of manned spaceflight capability..... all of it will be done by flying Soyuz spacecraft out of Kazakhstan.

Yeah, there might be some American companies who are suggesting they can fly a spacecraft of their own, but leave it to Congress to screw that up royally. A nice bi-partisan effort is making sure that only the best pork will flow to the proper congressional districts even if nothing ever actually gets built and the heck with anybody else trying.

Re:Wait! The commies....? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33751896)

The government simply doesn't care. If they really wanted to have their own manned-space-flight capability, they'd extend the service life of the shuttle by another year or two, and shove enough money into NASA to have a replacement ready in a couple years. However, there's no sense in such an approach. I'm a big proponent of manned space flight but, really, the ISS at this point is a waste of time, and no other manned projects are being seriously considered. All the most interesting stuff these days is being done by remote. So why waste hundreds of billions of dollars trying to rush a new program into place, when you can just buy rides from other countries / companies, and take your time figuring out what exactly you'd like to do in the future.

Re:Wait! The commies....? (1)

c6gunner (950153) | more than 3 years ago | (#33751910)

On another note, I'd LOVE to know why /. insists on submitting half my comments as AC, these days.

Re:Wait! The commies....? (1)

Teancum (67324) | more than 3 years ago | (#33752110)

If it was purely manned vs. unmanned spaceflight that was the center of the debate, that would be fine. I find it horrible that the science budget for NASA is being cut in favor of sustaining pure pork for manned spaceflight.

Besides, travel into low-Earth orbit by astronauts is a solved engineering problem. If NASA was doing something new and original that would be a dramatic cost savings for getting that accomplished, I might support some research along those lines. About the only thing that the Constellation program was trying to prove is that they could take a shuttle SRB and fly somebody into space at the top. And that passes for innovation worth billions of dollars? If you are going to spend that kind of money, at least have something to show for it when you are done.

Re:Wait! The commies....? (1)

alen (225700) | more than 3 years ago | (#33751108)

they were never communist in practice. most people thought it was BS, stole from the system or did some black marketing

I've got a name for it. (1)

blair1q (305137) | more than 3 years ago | (#33750782)

Spamnik.

Then when it gets old... (1)

Qubit (100461) | more than 3 years ago | (#33750998)

...we'll need to build something to deconstruct the Commercial Space Station so that it doesn't pose a hazard to other orbiting items as space junk.

We could call it "Deconstructor of the Commercial Space Station", although I guess that's kind of a long name and would take a lot of effort to say it all the time.... hmmm... maybe we can come up with a shorter name....

Re:Then when it gets old... (1)

Teancum (67324) | more than 3 years ago | (#33751694)

Why worry about something huge that everybody can see in their backyard when there are going to be a couple thousand "microsatellites" all about the size of a basketball that you can't see until after it has hit you?

It is a nice sentiment to be worrying about orbital debris and I also agree that it is a problem, but insisting on applying a special and unique standard to just commercial space stations is insanity at its finest. If anything, something large of that nature is more likely to absorb impacts better and be able to survive in a harsh environment where a whole bunch of debris is present.

To insist that all orbital vehicles also include a requirement that they must have capabilities to be deorbited is a wise move. Of course it doesn't help that China, Russia, and America have deliberately blown things up in space and spewed shrapnel deliberately.

Re:Then when it gets old... (1)

Confusador (1783468) | more than 3 years ago | (#33752142)

In space, no one can hear you *woosh*

Step off the plane and get a face full of... (1)

ebystander (1810248) | more than 3 years ago | (#33751078)

Iz spece steshun. Iz good. You see. Khave rhokket ship [slashdot.org] . Of course still fly, just need poosh. Oleg!

Re:Step off the plane and get a face full of... (1)

arbitraryaardvark (845916) | more than 3 years ago | (#33753796)

How's the old joke go? In space, the hotelkeepers are Russian, the taxi drivers are British, the.. I forget the rest, anybody?

File it next to the Ark of the Covenant (1)

DerekLyons (302214) | more than 3 years ago | (#33751356)

Another set of 'firm plans' [without visible funding and with yet another maybe this year, maybe that year schedule]?
 
If the Russians ever figure out how to monetize the endless stream of plans they produce, they'll be buying China in a year or two.

Once a year (2, Insightful)

Brett Buck (811747) | more than 3 years ago | (#33751620)

The Russians announce their "plans" to build a new space station, to start a trip to Mars, create a fusion reactor, etc. periodically. It's ready to go, all the work has been done, all they need is someone to pony up money to actually finish the work. It's not a lot different from the Nigerian Scam.

If anybody could pull this off.... (1)

Teancum (67324) | more than 3 years ago | (#33751772)

It would have to be RKK Energia [wikipedia.org] . As the only commercial organization to have actually sent people into space, they certainly have the expertise, training facilities, engineers, and even the travel agents already lined up to be able to pull this thing off.

Richard Branson can claim a whole bunch of things and pretend he has his own space agency, but these guys are doing it right now. They're ramping up production of the Soyuz spacecraft anyway. In fact, I swear that this company forgot that there is a global recession going on as they are expanding production and hiring a whole bunch of people to help build their vehicles. Of course it helps if you are Russian if you want a job there.

Re:If anybody could pull this off.... (1)

Type44Q (1233630) | more than 3 years ago | (#33753004)

As the only commercial organization to have actually sent people into space, they certainly have the expertise, training facilities, engineers, and even the travel agents already lined up to be able to pull this thing off.

Richard Branson can claim a whole bunch of things and pretend he has his own space agency, but these guys are doing it right now.

Considering this "private company" was founded in 1946 by the Soviet government during the height of Communism, I'm not sure it'd be fair to compare them to recent Western startups, certainly not in terms of how much they've achieved vs the resources and sacrifices required...

Re:If anybody could pull this off.... (1)

Teancum (67324) | more than 3 years ago | (#33754170)

While Energia certainly has roots established as a government agency, it is most certainly as much of a private company as Boeing or Lockheed-Martin. In terms of comparisons, that is the proper comparison not something like Armadillo Aerospace or perhaps SpaceX.

My comparison to Richard Branson is that he is holding all of these "astronaut clinics" and acting like he is much involved with space, yet his company has yet to actually put anybody "up there", even into a sub-orbital trajectory. Eventually he is going to get there, but he hasn't done it yet.

Energia, on the other hand, has put people like Anousheh Ansari, Richard Garriot, and Charles Simonyi into orbit (to name a few that have gone up). I'm just saying that Energia is certainly going to be able to pull this one off. If Boeing announced that they were going to send people into space and dock with a commercial space station, they would be just as credible.

Oh yeah, Boeing did announce such a thing, didn't they?

I foresee a time.... (1)

ben2umbc (1090351) | more than 3 years ago | (#33752608)

When celebrities start having extreme health problems from spending too much time doing coke in zero-g. We'll just call this ship the LiLo express...

Re:I foresee a time.... (1)

Type44Q (1233630) | more than 3 years ago | (#33752894)

When celebrities start having extreme health problems from spending too much time doing coke in zero-g. We'll just call this ship the LiLo express...

That's what the black market whole-body transplants will be for...

This is only a project (1)

tokul (682258) | more than 3 years ago | (#33752640)

Make a list of RKK Energia ventures and ask yourself which ones are implemented. Parom [wikipedia.org] and Kliper are still on the drawing board. Wake me up when they do put commercial space station in space.

ISS (1)

Alcoholist (160427) | more than 3 years ago | (#33754314)

They could offer to buy the ISS. I hear it's going to up for sale in the next 10 years. I'll bet they can get it on the cheap.

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