MOSCOW, February 19. /TASS/. Russia’s Roscosmos and US company Space Adventures have signed a new contract on the flight of two space tourists to the International Space Station until late 2021 onboard one spacecraft, the state corporation told TASS on Tuesday.
"The Roscosmos state corporation and US company Space Adventures have signed a contract on carrying out short-term space flights to the ISS by two non-professional astronauts onboard one spacecraft. The flight to the station will take place until the end of 2021," Roscosmos said.
The Russian state corporation said that space enterprises have started manufacturing a Soyuz-MS manned spacecraft and a Soyuz-2 carrier rocket for tourists’ flight into space. All works on creating the space equipment will be sponsored by space tourists.
Russia’s Energia Space Rocket Corporation, the Progress Rocket Space Center and the Center for Operation of Space Ground Based Infrastructure will work on the new contract, Roscosmos said.
Russia and Space Adventures sent the first tourist into space in 2001. This was American multimillionaire Dennis Tito. A total of seven tourists (one of them twice) have carried out trips into space under these contracts. The latest flight as part of the program took place in September 2009.
In 2015, English soprano Sarah Brightman was expected to become the eighth space tourist and first professional singer to visit the International Space Station. Brightman arrived in Russia to begin her nine-month training program but later she had to cancel her trip due to "personal family reasons."