WASHINGTON, February 20. /TASS/. US company Space Adventures, which earlier signed a contract with Roscosmos to deliver two space tourists to the orbit, said in a statement on Tuesday it hoped to continue fruitful cooperation with the Russian space cooperation, aimed at making spaceflight more affordable.
"Over the last 18 years, our partnership has provided the opportunity for non-professionals to experience life in space. Our clients have spent in total close to three months in space and traveled over 36 million miles," said Eric Anderson, Chairman and CEO of Space Adventures, Inc. "We look forward to continuing to work with Roscosmos in the pursuit of opening the space frontier to all."
"Roscosmos and Space Adventures, Inc. signed a contract for the implementation of the short duration space flight of two spaceflight participants on board the same "Soyuz" spacecraft to the Russian segment of the International Space Station. The flight is scheduled to launch in late 2021," the company said.
Russia’s Roscosmos announced the contract earlier on Tuesday, adding that Russian space enterprises have already 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 contract.
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.".