NASA Director Charles Bolden announced that such private companies as Space X and Boeing will be able to install their modules on the ISS in the near future.
For 18 years in orbit, the ISS has grown 15 separate, but interconnected modules of the participating countries of the project – the USA, Russia, Japan, as well as objects of the European Space Agency.
The working life of many modules is ending, and the financing of the Russian segment will last only until 2024. In order to prolong the life of the ISS, NASA proposed to several private aerospace companies to place their modules there, to which a positive response was received.
New modules will expand the station’s functionality to receive astronauts. It is also possible to use the ISS as a giant space hotel .
The interest of NASA in attracting private aerospace companies did not arise out of thin air. So, for example, Space X and Orbital ATK repeatedly delivered cargoes to the ISS using their own transport ships, and from next year Space X, Boeing and Sierra Nevada will take over the delivery of crews. It is possible that in a few years they will be able to acquire their own modules.