Roscosmos: No Immediate Plans to Send Tourists to ISS

Dennis Tito

A top Russian space official has warned not to expect a resumption of space tourist flights to the International Space Station any time soon.

Russia’s Roscosmos state corporation has no plans to send space tourists to the country’s segment of the International Space Station (ISS) before 2020, Roscosmos deputy director general for international cooperation told Sputnik in an interview.

“As for sending tourists to the Russian segment of the ISS, Roscosmos has no plans to implement such flights before 2020 because of the absence of the relevant capabilities,” Sergey Savelyev said.

He added that space tourism was not limited by ISS-related projects and Russia’s corporation was interested in attracting tourists.

Seven space tourists made eight visits to ISS during the 2000’s, beginning with Dennis Tito in 2001 and ending with Guy Laliberte in 2009. The most recent attempt to send a tourist to the station fell through when British singer Sarah Brightman pulled out of a planned trip in 2015.

Not Many Billionaires Focused on Commercial Space

Richard Branson and then-Gov. Bill Richardson. (Credit: Douglas Messier)

By Douglas Messier
Parabolic Arc Managing Editor

Forbes has released its annual list of the world’s billionaires. There are a record 1,426 individuals with an aggregate net worth of $5.4 trillion in the world. The table below shows the tiny handful of this group — nine individuals — who are currently or have been previously involved in space projects.

RankNameNet Worth (Billions)AgeNationalityCompany/
Space Project(s)


Jeff Bezos$ CEO, FounderBlue Origin


Larry Page$23.039AmericanGoogle CEO, Co-founderGoogle Lunar X Prize, Planetary Resources
21Sergey Brin$22.839AmericanGoogle Co-founderGoogle Lunar X Prize
53Paul Allen$15.060AmericanMicrosoft Co-founderStratolaunch, SpaceShipOne
SETI array
138Eric Schmidt$8.257AmericanGoogle ChairmanGoogle Lunar X Prize, Planetary Resources
272Richard Branson$4.662BritishVirgin Group CEO, FounderVirgin Galactic
527Elon Musk$2.741AmericanPayPal, Tesla Motors, Solar CitySpaceX
831Guy Laliberte$1.853CanadianCirque du SoleilSpace tourist
1031H. Ross Perot, Jr.$1.454Americancomputer services, real estatePlanetary Resources


Golden Spike to Unveil Plans Next Thursday

Dr. Alan Stern
Dr. Alan Stern

The mysterious Golden Spike Company — which is said to be planning a privately-funded landing on the moon by 2020 — will hold a press conference at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., next Thursday, Dec. 6 at 2 p.m. EST.

Despite the company’s attempt to operate in stealth mode, quite a lot seems to be known about its plans., which first broke the news, reports that “the effort is led by a group of high profile individuals from the aerospace industry and backed by some big money and foreign investors.”

A Tumblr account run by an anonymous writer is providing additional details apparently swiped from’s subscription-only L-2 website. According to the information:

  • Warren Buffet, Richard Branson and Guy Laliberte are reported to be among the investors.
  • The company has signed a $120 million deal for a Falcon Heavy rocket
  • Expeditions to be moon will cost about $2 billion apiece.

UPDATE: Parabolic Arc has learned from informed sources that Richard Branson is NOT involved in the company. Further, virtually all billionaires identified in the media as being investors are not involved. Full details will be available on Thursday.


SpaceX’s Elon Musk Makes Debut on Forbes Billionaire’s List

By Douglas Messier
Parabolic Arc Managing Editor

Elon Musk has made his first appearance on the Forbes list of the world’s billionaires. The 40-year-old entrepreneur has landed at 634 on the list with an estimated net worth of $2 billion.

Musk has developed the Falcon 9 rocket and Dragon vehicle to send cargo and crew to the International Space Station. His company, SpaceX, has received money under NASA’s COTS  (for cargo) and CCDev (crew) programs. He is also reported to have invested up to $100 million of his own funds into SpaceX.

In addition to his involvement with SpaceX, Musk is a trustee of the X PRIZE Foundation, whose space competitions include the Ansari X Prize, the Google Lunar X Prize and the Northrup Grumman Lunar Lander Challenge.

The South African-born entrepreneur also runs two other companies, the electric car producer Tesla Motors and SolarCity, which provides solar energy systems.


Brin, Bezos Top Forbes’ List of New Space Billionaire Backers

Richard Branson

Forbes has put out its list of the world’s 1,210 billionaires, a half dozen of whom have ties to the New Space community.

RankNameAgeNet Worth
CompanySpace Involvement
24Sergey Brin37$19.8GoogleGoogle Lunar X Prize, Prospective billionaut
24Larry Page37$19.8GoogleGoogle Lunar X Prize
30Jeff Bezos47$18.1AmazonBlue Origin
57Paul Allen58$13.0MicrosoftSpaceShipOne, SETI telescope array
254Richard Branson60$4.2Virgin GroupVirgin Galactic
459Guy Laliberte51$2.5Cirque du SoleilBillionaut visitor to ISS

All six billionaires are males from North America and Britain with a combined net worth of $77.4 billion. The most prominent of them — Richard Branson — has the second lowest net worth of the group. His company, Virgin Galactic, is undertaking the most expensive New Space project to date at a cost of more than $400 million.


World’s First Space Clown Reaps Public Relations Bonanza

Space clown drew more news coverage than Afghan mission
CBC News

Canada’s first space clown can brag that his recent trip to the cosmos generated at least 23 times more international news coverage this year than the country’s mission in Afghanistan.

The figure comes from a media research group hired by Guy Laliberté, the Cirque du Soleil founder who recently became Canada’s first space tourist.


Queen Liz Says: Laliberte Got Rooked

"We are not amused."
"We are not amused."

The extremely wealthy Queen of England thinks that orbital space travel is a too pricey these days:

The Queen told former prime minister Jean Chretien she found the price tag for billionaire clown Guy Laliberte’s recent extra-terrestrial adventure to be excessive.

“She said she would not have done it and she found the price a bit expensive,” Chretien said Tuesday, shortly after being awarded the Order of Merit by the Queen during a private ceremony at Buckingham Palace.


Laliberte to Receive Dennis Tito Award



“Who would not be thrilled at the news that the founder of Cirque du Soleil would be honored by an award you were involved in creating?” commented Eileen Borgeson. Artist Eileen Borgeson and holographer Jeff Allen collaborated to design the Dennis Tito Award for the heroic space tourists who train as astronauts and then return from a visit to the International Space Station (ISS).


Laliberte Eager to Assess Impact of Global Show

Surrounded by medical personnel, seated from left to right are spaceflight participant Guy Laliberte, Expedition 20 Commander Gennady Padalka and Expedition 20 Flight Engineer Michael Barratt.They had landed minutes before at 12:32 a.m. EDT aboard the Soyuz capsule near the town of Arkalyk, Kazakhstan, on Sunday, Oct. 11, 2009.
Surrounded by medical personnel, seated from left to right are spaceflight participant Guy Laliberte, Expedition 20 Commander Gennady Padalka and Expedition 20 Flight Engineer Michael Barratt.They had landed minutes before at 12:32 a.m. EDT aboard the Soyuz capsule near the town of Arkalyk, Kazakhstan, on Sunday, Oct. 11, 2009.

Guy Laliberte will assess global impact of his two-hour space extravaganza
The Canadian Press

Back from his trip in space, Circus magnate Guy Laliberte said Sunday he’ll soon be ready to follow up on the outcome of the two-hour extravaganza of poetry, science and dance that he orchestrated from orbit.

“As you know, I was on a personal mission which was to create an event to talk about the situation of water in the world,” he said in an interview broadcast Sunday on NASA TV.


NASA to Rebroadcast Guy Laliberte’s Poetic Social Mission

Guy Laliberte (first row, far right) aboard the International Space Station.
Guy Laliberte (first row, far right) aboard the International Space Station.

NASA Television will rebroadcast the Oct. 9 global event International Space Station resident Guy Laliberte designed to raise awareness about the need for clean water. Laliberte, who founded Cirque du Soleil, hosts the event from aboard the station.

The re-broadcasts of “Moving Stars and Earth for Water” will occurr on Oct. 11 and 12. The schedule is:

Sunday, October 11 – 8 p.m. and 11 p.m. EDT
Monday, October 12 – 1 p.m. and 9 p.m. EDT

For NASA TV streaming video, schedule and downlink information, visit:


Laliberte, ISS Crew Prepare for Departure as ESA Astronaut Assumes Command


During a symbolic change of command ceremony Friday, Expedition 20 Commander Gennady Padalka handed control of the station over to European Space Agency astronaut Frank De Winne.

De Winne will officially become the Expedition 21 commander Saturday when Padalka and Flight Engineer Michael Barratt undock from the station aboard the Soyuz TMA-14 spacecraft to conclude a six-month stay.


Laliberte Hosts Global Event About Water From Orbit

Guy Laliberte (first row, far right) aboard the International Space Station.
Guy Laliberte (first row, far right) aboard the International Space Station.

Cirque du Soleil founder leads out of this world broadcast for water
Montreal Gazette

Canadian space tourist Guy Laliberte’s “Poetic Social Mission” into space was transmitted live to the world Friday night, with help from an international, star-studded cast preaching the value of one of our planet’s most precious resources — water.