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Russian space corporation may send its first space tourist to orbit within next 2 years

Russia will develop the project together with foreign counterparts

VLADIVOSTOK, September 3. /TASS/. Roscosmos will send to the orbit the first space tourist within next two years. 

"I believe, within next two years (the first tourist will fly)," he said. 

"The time to prepare a flight of the kind is not a week or month - it will take more than a year."

Russia will develop the project together with foreign counterparts, he said, though refusing to name them.

"I think, we shall say about it before the yearend," he said. "We have requests from very serious counterparts, the industrial counterparts - those, who work in the sphere of space and produce space equipment."

"The plan is the following: before the yearend we shall have talks, then we sign an agreement and reach detailed plans," he added.

The official said the sanctions from the western countries, led by the US, do not affect cooperation with NASA, the European Space Agency or other European and American companies in piloted programs and development of space.

In June, the official said Roscosmos may have foreign, including the US, counterparts to organize a project to take tourists to the orbit. At the St. Petersburg International Economic forum he said about the growing interest from those who can afford flights to the International Space Station (ISS) and to the orbit. As yet, only the US Space Adventures offers access to the ISS for private clients.