Russia plans to resume tourist flights into space
Space tourism in Russia will be resumed – quoted RIA Novosti the head of RKK “Energia” Vitaly Lopota. It is planned to start tourist flights in 2012, as the number of annual launches “Soyuz” spacecraft will be increased from four to five, allowing for one of the flights to involve tourist.
Tourist space flights were canceled in 2010, when the number of members of the ISS crew has been increased from three to six people. Then the load on the agency has increased substantially.
Two astronauts from India will fly into space on one of these ships – an agreement is almost reached between the countries. These flights will take place in 2013–2015 respectively.
The first space tourist in the world were Toyohiro Akiyama and Helen Sharman – citizens of Japan and the UK. They first made a sightseeing flight to the Soviet space station Mir on “Soyuz” ships in 1989 and 1990. The flight was sponsored within the bounds of non-state project of television company TBS and a consortium of British television.
In this century, the first space tourist was American businessman, an Italian by birth, Dennis Tito. He flew aboard Russian ship Soyuz TTM-32 on the International Space Station in April 2001.
In 2009 was the last excursion flight into space. During this time, seven tourists from around the world have already visited the International Space Station.
About Russian plans to renew tourist space flights an astronaut-blogger Maxim Suraev spoke in an interview with the Bulgarian newspaper “Noviar”: “I heard that, maybe, additional ships for tourists will be build. But it is a question to the administration of Roskosmos, and not to me” – quoted the agency Infox.