Roscosmos, Space Adventures Sign Contract to Send Two Tourists to International Space Station

MOSCOW (Roscosmos PR) — The Roscosmos State Corporation and the American company Space Adventures, Inc. have signed a contract for short-term space flights to the International Space Station (ISS) of two non-professional astronauts on one ship. The flight to the station will take place before the end of 2021.

Roscosmos and Space Adventures have been cooperating in the field of space tourism since 2001, when the first space tourist, Denis Tito, flew into orbit. In total, during this time, 7 people visited the space tourism program in space, and Charles Simoni visited the ISS two times.

The conclusion of this contract will allow additionally “loading” of the production facilities of RSC Energia, Progress RCC, TsENKI and other enterprises of the rocket and space industry. The industry has already begun to create the Soyuz transport manned spacecraft and the Soyuz-2 launch vehicle for the flight of tourists into space. The execution of all works on the creation of space technology will be carried out at the expense of space tourists.

  • savuporo

    Now, only need two tourists to agree ?

  • Jeff Smith

    Good! Glad to see a commercial space company finding customers and providing them with their services.

  • Steve Pemberton

    I am guessing that one of the tourists will have to be trained as co-pilot? Other than the Komarov flight I don’t think a Soyuz has ever flown with just one pilot.

  • Saturn1300

    Nice to see tourists on ISS again.

    BTW I was wrong. Trump is correct sometimes. Remember when he said there was wide spread fraud in the last election? There was and it was for him. In NC him or his people were making false absentee ballots. One of them has admitted it. She said she did not know she was doing anything wrong. If that happened in NC, then it happened all over the USA. It may take too long, but the FBI will prove that the absentee ballot system is a failure. Too easy to falsify. Democrats are honest. So they should all be allowed and all Republican not counted as they are tainted. Trump used it to get elected. The FBI should ask Trump where he got his information. Maybe he had 1st hand knowledge from himself. Ms. Clinton might make it to be the first woman President yet.

  • Jeff Smith

    You have to imagine there will be a point in the near future when it’s 1 professional with a load of passengers – this could be it. It’s going to be like the airlines, the last passenger is all profit.

  • ThomasLMatula

    I think you have just won the award for the most off topic post. 😄

  • ThomasLMatula

    Boy are they desperate for foreign money to replace the NASA funds they were getting…

  • ThomasLMatula

    And also be willing to Russia the $20-30 million instead of waiting for American alternatives. I understand Boeing is being allowed to take one tourist a flight to ISS once the CST-100 is operational, I imagine SpaceX will be offered the same courtesy, so I predict the Russians will then complain about their prices be undercut.

  • Steve Pemberton

    I would be surprised if either NASA or Roscosmos would allow tourists to stay for six months, which is the only way they could return on the same spacecraft that they launched on. I’m not sure the tourists would want to stay that long either. Sure I would, but I would think the type of people who can afford this aren’t looking for a six month vacation. It seems unlikely that a tourist would go up on say CST-100 then return on Soyuz or Dragon. Why would one company be willing to bring back another company’s tourist, even if they had a spare seat? Unless they have all agreed to this.

    I assumed that is why the two tourists are riding together and footing the bill for their flight, because it’s the only way currently for a tourist to make a short term visit to ISS.

  • duheagle

    And he’s giving himself some stiff competition for dumbest post too.

  • ThomasLMatula

    Why would they? The procedure for the original space tourists was to fly up on one Soyuz with the replacement crew, return with returning crew on another Soyuz. I assume the same procedure would be followed with the CST-100 and Dragon2

  • Steve Pemberton

    The situations were different back then so it’s hard to predict how it will work when the new capsules come online. During station assembly Soyuz delivered only two expedition crewmembers at a time. Shuttle handled the rest. The new Soyuz crew would arrive and there would be about a one week handover then the old Soyuz crew would depart in the same Soyuz they had arrived in six months earlier. There was a spare seat on each of the flights, typically an ESA astronaut got to ride in the extra seat, going up with the new crew, then a week later return with the outgoing crew. Eventually Russia started selling that third seat to tourists who got to hang out at the station for a week during the handover.

    Tourist flights ended almost ten years ago when station assembly was nearing completion and they went to a six-person crew, with crews of three coming up about every three months on Soyuz. Instead of having nine people on board during the handover, the outgoing three crew members depart about a week before the new crew of three arrives. Even when Russia recently went down to two crewmembers they can’t sell the extra seat to a tourist because otherwise the tourist would be stuck on the station for at least three months until the next Soyuz arrives. So the extra seat is filled by an astronaut from one of the partner agencies.

    When Dragon and CST-100 start flying I have been assuming it will work the same way, crews will arrive about every three months, each crew will return six months later in the vehicle that they came up in. Although since as far as I know CST-100 and Dragon will each carry a crew of four, that means Soyuz will start flying with an empty seat. The Russians could put tourists in that seat but then it’s back to the problem that the tourists will be stuck there for several months.

    I’m not saying this is how it will work, but if it does work this way I don’t see how tourists will fit into the picture except on “charter” flights like the one that is currently planned.

  • Cezar Enache

    The new Soyuz spacecrafts are more automated than the Soyuz spacecrafts that flown 50 years ago (ex. Soyuz 1 Komarov). So, A single professional cosmonaut is sufficient for this type of Soyuz spacecraft.

  • Steve Pemberton

    More automated yes but they have never removed the requirements for the crew because they have to be able to perform all functions manually if needed, including contingency situations. Flight Engineer 1 (basically the copilot) has to be able to assist the commander during these procedures, as well as be able to take over if needed. It’s why we still have two pilots on airliners even though so much is automated. Even Flight Engineer 2 on Soyuz has some assigned tasks and that’s why the space tourists had to go through a year of basic training and thoroughly learn the Soyuz systems because they were active crewmembers. I don’t expect any of this to change for the tourist flight, but I guess we’ll find out assuming they go through with this.

  • Cezar Enache

    Agree with you completely, but a Soyuz flight with one professional cosmonaut is entirely possible. Soyuz 4 (1969) was flown by a single cosmonaut up to docking with Soyuz 5.

  • Steve Pemberton

    Yes and a single cosmonaut returned in Soyuz 5, so putting both flights together it was the entire flight regime. That was a different era in the 1960’s when the Soviets did some risky things, like bailing out of the spacecraft in the Vostok flights, and later jamming three cosmonauts in a Voskhod capsule with no spacesuits and no launch escape system. I agree it’s much safer in the newer versions of Soyuz and definitely possible, it’s a question of whether in the current era they would take the risk to only have one trained pilot onboard. I think they will at least train the two tourists just like usual with one year of basic training, the question is whether they will give additional training to one of them so they can perform as Flight Engineer 1. If it was me I would say you bet! Even though it would probably mean a second year in Russia. If the tourists don’t like that they can wait for a ride on Dragon or CST-100, I haven’t heard lately but there was talk of letting one tourist per flight ride up to ISS when they do crew transfers.

  • Cezar Enache

    I think that the news about 2 tourists on a Soyuz spacecraft is a rumor. In 2005 it was talking about a Soyuz flight with 2 tourists around the moon by 2009 and nothing was happened.