Russia: no space for space tourists

Russia: no space for space tourists (AP)
Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency astronaut Soichi Noguchi, left, Russian cosmonaut Oleg Kotov, center, and U.S. astronaut Timothy J. Creamer, right, are seen before the final test in a mock-up of the Zvezda and Zarya training module in Star City outside Moscow, Russia, Thursday, Nov. 26, 2009. The three are the next crew scheduled to blast off to the International Space Station on Dec. 21 from Baikonur cosmodrom. (AP Photo/Mikhail Metzel)

(AP) -- A top Russian space official says there is no space for tourists wishing to fly to the International Space Station.

Sergei Krikalyov said that since the stations crew has doubled to six people, there is no room for tourists in the Russian spacecraft that link the station with Earth.

Russia's will provide the only link to the station after the planned retirement of the U.S. shuttle fleet next year.

Canadian Cirque du Soleil founder Guy Laliberte returned to Earth last month after a stint as the seventh paying space tourist aboard the station.

Krikalyov, the chief of the Cosmonaut Training Center in Star City outside Moscow, spoke Thursday during a training session for a crew going to station in late December.

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