Russia to reopen space tourism in 2013: company

Jan 12, 2011
The nose of a Russian Soyuz TMA-20 is seen on a launch pad at the Russian leased Baikonur cosmodrome in December 2010. Soyuz

Russia will reopen its Soyuz space ships to paying tourists in 2013 after a hiatus since 2009, the US-based company that organises the trips with Russia's space agency said Wednesday.

From 2013, three space tourists per year will be able to book seats on Soyuz flights to the (ISS), the Virginia-based company, Space Adventures, said in a statement.

The company has signed an agreement with the and Energia, the state-owned company that designs the , to offer the commercial flights, it said.

It quoted the president of Energia, Vitaly Lopota, as saying that: "We are very pleased to continue ."

Flights will become possible in 2013 when Russia plans to raise its production of Soyuz capsules from four to five per year, the company said, in a move that will allow it to increase the number of flights to five per year.

The last was the Canadian Guy Laliberte, the billionaire founder of Cirque du Soleil, who returned to Earth in October 2009 after an 11-day flight.

The first space tourist, Denis Tito, travelled to the ISS in 2001. All together, seven space tourists have taken part in missions.

Laliberte did not reveal the cost of his ticket, but his predecessor, US software pioneer Charles Simonyi, paid $35 million for his trip.

Since Laliberte's return, Russia has since limited flights on its cramped three-seater Soyuz spaceships to professionals only, as the US space agency NASA prepares to retire its own shuttles from service.

NASA plans to send its Endeavour shuttle into space for its last scheduled flight in April this year, after which Russia's Soyuz ships will be the only way to reach the ISS.

Explore further: Testing immune cells on the International Space Station

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Russia hails resumption of US space shuttle flights

Jul 02, 2005

MOSCOW, July 2 (AFP) - Russia hailed the US decision to resume the space shuttle program grounded since the Columbia disaster in February 2003 by launching the Discovery shuttle on July 13, the ITAR-TASS news agency reported ...

Russian ship with tourist docks with space station: reports

Mar 28, 2009

A Russian Soyuz capsule carrying second-time space tourist Charles Simonyi along with a US and a Russian astronaut docked Saturday at the International Space Station, media reports quoted the control centre near Moscow as ...

Recommended for you

Testing immune cells on the International Space Station

13 hours ago

The human body is fine-tuned to Earth's gravity. A team headed by Professor Oliver Ullrich from the University of Zurich's Institute of Anatomy is now conducting an experiment on the International Space Station ...

Easter morning delivery for space station

19 hours ago

Space station astronauts got a special Easter treat: a cargo ship full of supplies. The shipment arrived Sunday morning via the SpaceX company's Dragon cargo capsule.

NASA's space station Robonaut finally getting legs

Apr 19, 2014

Robonaut, the first out-of-this-world humanoid, is finally getting its space legs. For three years, Robonaut has had to manage from the waist up. This new pair of legs means the experimental robot—now stuck ...

Sun emits a mid-level solar flare

Apr 18, 2014

The sun emitted a mid-level solar flare, peaking at 9:03 a.m. EDT on April 18, 2014, and NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory captured images of the event. Solar flares are powerful bursts of radiation. Harmful ...

User comments : 3

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

Modernmystic
5 / 5 (4) Jan 12, 2011
Thank God someone still has the ability to put humans in orbit...
Nafin
not rated yet Jan 12, 2011
Thank God someone still has the ability to put humans in orbit...


via a leased cosmodrome...
El_Nose
not rated yet Jan 13, 2011
true - unfortunately the capitolist country i live in and love - it's government couldn;t figure out how to auction off seats in a space shuttle to the highest bidders. -- BUT RUSSIA GOT IT RIGHT -- how does that happen

USA - space tourism - FAIL

But unlike russia the private industry is allowed to take up the mantle

USA - CAPITALISM - GREAT

More news stories

Easter morning delivery for space station

Space station astronauts got a special Easter treat: a cargo ship full of supplies. The shipment arrived Sunday morning via the SpaceX company's Dragon cargo capsule.

Cosmologists weigh cosmic filaments and voids

(Phys.org) —Cosmologists have established that much of the stuff of the universe is made of dark matter, a mysterious, invisible substance that can't be directly detected but which exerts a gravitational ...

Finnish inventor rethinks design of the axe

(Phys.org) —Finnish inventor Heikki Kärnä is the man behind the Vipukirves Leveraxe, which is a precision tool for splitting firewood. He designed the tool to make the job easier and more efficient, with ...

Poll: Big Bang a big question for most Americans

Few Americans question that smoking causes cancer. But they have more skepticism than confidence in global warming, the age of the Earth and evolution and have the most trouble believing a Big Bang created the universe 13.8 ...