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Russia develops reusable space shuttle for space tourism

“We plan to make first flights in 2020, first tests of a space system will be made in 2018,” Russian private company KosmoKurs head Pavel Pushkin said

MOSCOW, December 10. /TASS/. Russian private company KosmoKurs is developing a reusable space shuttle for orbital space tourist flights, company’s chief Pavel Pushkin told reporters.

“We plan to make first flights in 2020, first tests of a space system will be made in 2018,” he said.

A space ticket will cost from $200,000 to $250,000, Pushkin noted. The space tourism market is estimated at 14,000 requests in first the ten years, he said. American operators implementing similar projects have already booked more than 700 space tickets.

“We plan to take a quite large niche on this market,” the KosmoKurs chief noted. This Russian project has gained serious support by a domestic investor the name of which Pushkin did not disclose, only noting that he is “a very well-known Russian industrialist.”

Russian rocket and space industry is planned to produce this space shuttle. “We will talk to the united rocket and space corporation. If we find common language, we will manufacture produce jointly with them,” the KosmoKurs head said.

The company also pins hopes on backing of Russian Federal Space Agency and its scientific institutes.

The company has already determined possible launch sites. A space flight will last 20 minutes. A landing is planned 20 kilometers away from the launch site.

Now KosmoKurs staff numbers eight, including chief specialists who had created reusable space shuttle Buran and rocket Angara, said the chief of the company which is a resident of Russian innovative centre Skolkovo located in the Moscow Region.