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Commercial Enterprise Module. "Enterprise" docked to the International Space Station.
Credit: NASA via Marcus Lindroos. 21,992 bytes. 440 x 268 pixels.
The Russian economic crisis provided some intriguing opportunities for private industry. Spacehab Inc. and NPO Energia announced a small commercially financed laboratory that would be launched on a Zenit rocket in 2003. The 'Enterprise' module would contain a windowed 'studio bay' giving crew members views of the Station, arriving vehicles and Earth. Loosely based on the Progress cargo spacecraft, the 'Enterprise' interior was to be divided into two sections - a 64 position equipment bay able to accommodate standardised Station Express racks, Shuttle mid-deck lockers and Spacehab module lockers - and the studio bay.
|ISS Commercial - Commercial Enterprise Module. The "Enterprise" module would contain a windowed "studio bay" giving crew members views of the Station, arriving vehicles and Earth.|
Credit: NASA via Marcus Lindroos. 22,369 bytes. 409 x 413 pixels.
Described as 'a large open space at the bottom end of the module,' the studio would be set up to generate high definition video (HDV) for broadcast and multimedia distribution. Life support in the module was designed to support an hour-long press conference by six crew members, or full-time occupation by one or two crew members. Communications would be handled through the Spacehab Universal Communications System (SHUCS), an Inmarsat-based L-band terminal and antenna. It was claimed this would give two-way Internet connectivity 'with a data rate similar to an ISDN connection.' Plans called for the Enterprise module to be mounted to the nadir port of Russia's Zarya Service Module, a site also claimed by Boeing and Russia's Khrunichev for their 'Commercial Space Module.' However, Spacehab and Energia have a signed agreement with the Russian Aerospace Agency granting them the nadir port, and Boeing has said it will let the Russian agency decide who in the end gets to use it.
Article by Marcus Lindroos
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Last update 12 March 2001.
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© Mark Wade, 2001 .