Russia's space agency, Roscosmos, has requested 16 billion rubles ($440 million) for the development of inflatable space station habitats, Interfax reported Monday, citing a copy of the proposed federal space program for 2016-2025. The program, which Russian media reports say was submitted to the government last week, contains proposals for a number of ambitious projects, including moon bases and super-heavy lift rockets. Two inflatable space station modules — which are generally made by surrounding a flexible air bladder with interwoven layers of Kevlar and Mylar, and are lighter and cheaper to launch than metal-cylinder versions — were tested by U.S.-based Bigelow Aerospace in 2006 and 2007. NASA is also looking to develop its own inflatable modules for the International Space Station and future space station projects. via The Moscow Times.
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