Perminov: ISS Space Tourism to Continue

Good news for all you would-be billionauts out there.It looks like you’ll have a taxpayer-funded home in orbit to hang out at after all. Providing, of course, that the market hasn’t wiped out your net worth.

Interfax is quoting Roskosmos head Anatoly Perminov as saying that space tourism will continue to the orbiting laboratory despite the increase of the permanent crew to six astronauts.

“There is a number of other space tourist projects. They have yet to be approved. Everything will depend on the global financial crisis. If we have a chance to fund this work, space tourists will continue to fly,” Perminov said.

To date, space tourists had been taking the third seat on Soyuz missions that swapped out return vehicles every six months. However, those seats will not be available once the crew size doubles from three to six and mission lengths increase.

Roskosmos has worked out a deal with Space Adventures to fly independent Soyuz flights to the facility. The flights – to be done once annually – will include a commander and two paying customers.

Perminov also announced that a Kazakh cosmonaut will be flying to the space station for a 10-day mission this fall.

“The Kazakh side signed the first part of documents on paying for
the flight. The second part will be signed in the second half of the
year,” Perminov said.

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