One of the main trends of the modern space – a significant reduction in the cost of space flight. As it turned out, he is not new. More than 50 years ago, the former Nazi engineer and the father of the American space program, Werner von Braun suggested that instead of disposing in orbit missiles to turn them into manned space station.
It would look like. From the spaceport alternately, start manned and unmanned transport rockets. The latter delivers into orbit a module, and piloted the equipment required for the conversion of the camera the top step in the living compartment of a future space station.
Recently it became known that one of the NASA contractors company NanoRacks signed a 10 million contract for the development and construction of commercial manned station Ixion. And its Assembly will be directly in orbit on the basis of the spent stages of booster.
Project partners NanoRacks will be United Launch Alliance and Space Systems Loral that will build the launch systems and robotics. It is assumed that at the initial stage the upper part of the Centaur rocket will be transformed into a living module, docked to the ISS.