July 15, 2008

Roscosmos Plans to Launch Space Tourists in 2011

The Russian Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos) has found a sponsor to build a spacecraft that will bring space tourists to the International Space Station (ISS) in 2011, Roscosmos deputy head Vitaly Davydov said.

"We do have people willing to buy this spacecraft and to perform this flight," Davydov said at the Farnborough International Airshow.

Recently, Roscosmos has had an opportunity to launch one space tourist aboard a three-seat Soyuz spacecraft; however, after the ISS crew increases from three to six astronauts in 2009, there will be no more of this opportunity, Davydov said.

"That is why we want to build a special spacecraft in which tourists could fly to space," he said.

"There are people [in Roscosmos] who will tackle this issue in 2011," he added.