Skip to main content
  1. News
  2. Science & Space

Russia still intends to make money on the space station with space tourism

See also

Russia may be threatening to pull out of the International Space Station program by 2020, but until then it intends to profit from it, according to a Friday story on the Voice of Moscow. Russia is selling seats on its Soyuz spacecraft with a two week stay on the ISS thrown in for $45-50 million according to President of RKK Energia Vitaly Lopota. This is more than double the $20 million that former NASA scientist and entrepreneur Dennis Tito paid for a trip to the ISS in April, 2001. But it still represents a discount from the almost $62 million per ride that NASA is paying the Russians.

Other tourists in space, according to Space Adventures, the organization that brokered the trips for the Russians include computer game millionaire Richard Garriott, the son ironically of Skylab astronaut Owen Garriott, and Iranian American business woman Anousheh Ansari. Russia halted tourist flights in 2010 when the size of the ISS crew increased to six. Flights have resumed with British music superstar Sarah Brightman scheduled to make a trip sometime in 2015.

In the meantime, Virgin Galactic is still working toward suborbital jaunts to begin perhaps by the end of 2014. The company was recently obliged to switch the fuel to be burned by its SpaceShipTwo engines from a rubber based compound to one based on a plastic called polyamides. The end of 2014 launch date is entirely dependent on how the test program proceeds.

The future of space tourism, especially to the ISS, is tempered by the current dustup between the Russian Federation and the rest of the world caused by the aggression against the Ukraine. If the ISS program is ended prematurely, Russia will lose the revenue stream it has enjoyed by turning it into an orbiting guest house for the well-heeled and adventurous. Whether that is a tradeoff ut is willing to make to poke NASA and the United States in the eye remains to be seen.

Advertisement

News

  •  Day 17
    Israel continues their ravaging bombardment on Gaza as the conflict wages on
    Video
    Video
  • MH17 victims arrive home
    40 bodies of the MH17 plane crash return to a somber homecoming in Holland
    Top News
  • Military advisers to Ukraine
    President Obama announces the deployment of military advisers to Ukraine
    Politics
  • Bubonic plague in China
    A bubonic plague outbreak in Yumen prompts China to quarantine the city
    World News
  • Air Algierie disappearance
    A flight headed from Burkina Faso to Algeria disappears from radar over Mali
    Headlines
  • Windows Phone training portal
    Microsoft launches Windows Phone training portal in attempt to woo consumers
    Tech