MOSCOW, November 17 (Sputnik) – Russia will start deploying its own orbital space station in 2017, using part of the modules constructed for the International Space Station (ISS), Kommersant newspaper reported Monday, citing a space engineering source.
"The new station will be located geometrically more advantageous, allowing an extended field of view of the Earth's surface. As much as 90 percent of Russia's territory and the Arctic offshore area will be visible from the station," the source said, noting that the ISS' field of view covers no more than 5 percent of the region.
Testing of piloted spacecraft for the lunar infrastructure will be one of the projected station's principal tasks, the source said. Spacecraft will first be delivered to the station, and then continue to the Moon.
The newspaper's source added that the project's costs have not been estimated yet. At the initial stage, it will use modules and spacecraft developed for the Russian Orbital Segment of the ISS. However, early winding up of works at the ISS is not planned, according to the source.
In May, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin announced that Moscow was not planning to use the International Space Station after 2020 and would instead re-focus its funding on more promising new space projects.