OREANDA-NEWS. Oleg Khimochko, the First Deputy General Director of “Gonets” company (operator of Russian state corporation “Roscosmos” for communication, broadcasting and relay systems), told to the journalists of “RIA Novosti” agency that starting next year, the Russian segment of the International Space Station (ISS) will be provided with a domestic broadband communication channel with the Earth.

“All the necessary equipment was delivered to the ISS and assembled, autonomous tests were carried out. Now, in accordance with the program, the functioning of the relay channel is being developed. We hope that regular use of the channel will begin next year,” Khimochko said.

He also explained that nowadays broadband communications of the ISS Russian segment are provided for a fee through the American Tracking and Data Relay Satellite System (TDRSS).

The Russian system named “Luch” which consists of three spacecrafts should replace this system. The cosmonauts on the ISS will receive a channel at a speed of 105 megabits per second.

“This is a good speed, and first of all, the channel will be used to transmit service, target and scientific information. It is better to ask at the Mission Control Center whether the cosmonauts will watch films and what kinds of films,” Khimochko noted.

At the moment, there are Russian cosmonauts Alexander Skvortsov and Oleg Skripochka, American astronauts Christina Koch, Andrew Morgan and Jessica Meir, as well as Italian Luca Parmitano on the space station.

On October 22, it became known that Russians on the ISS cannot use the kitchen in the American segment, therefore they have to heat food in the Russian part of the station.