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Russia space agency won't curtail space tourism program after Brightman’s decision to quit

May 15, 2015, 12:00 UTC+3 MOSCOW
British singer Sarah Brightman postponed her flight to the ISS, due on September 1, for family reasons
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MOSCOW, May 15. /TASS/. British vocalist Sarah Brightman’s decision to give up the idea of making a flight to the International Space Station (ISS) on the expected date next autumn will not cause the Russian space agency Roscosmos close the space tourism program, the director of the Space Policies Institute, Ivan Moiseyev, believes.

"I don’t think that this situation will shatter space tourism prospects. I don’t see any reason why Roscosmos should drop the program. If the situation permits and there is a client of means, who not putting such a person in space," Moiseyev said.

At the same time he remarked that the Russian space industry’s gains from flights by space tourists are insignificant, bearing in mind the preparation and training costs. Besides, the tourists use the Russian quota, in other words, they take the place of Russian cosmonauts in training.

The director of the space cluster at the Skolkovo fund, Alexey Belyakov, too, believes that Brightman’s decision to quit will not change Roscosmos’s policies regarding space tourism.

"That’s a very private affair concerning just one individual in a concrete situation. I do not believe that Roscosmos will make any drastic changes to its policies following Brightman’s refusal," he said.

Belyakov believes that even after companies offering suborbital flight services, such as Virgin Galactic, have appeared on the market Roscosmos will keep offering deluxe space tourism services - flights to orbital stations lasting several days.

British singer Sarah Brightman postponed her flight to the ISS, due on September 1, for family reasons. She thanked Roscosmos, the space rocket corporation Energia, the Gagarin training center, the star city and NASA for support and cooperation.

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