MOSCOW, March 6. /TASS/. CosmoCourse, a private Russian company that is designing a reusable spacecraft for suborbital flights, plans to make its first commercial launch with tourists onboard in 2025, CosmoCourse Director General Pavel Pushkin told TASS in an interview.
"The first flight of the prototype (a missile and a space vessel - TASS) is due in 2023, and the first tourist flight is expected in 2025," Pushkin said.
CosmoCourse’s director general specified that the operational testing for the missile and the launched capsule would kick off in 2022. "The hardware is to be finished in 2021, and in 2022 test operations will begin," he said.
Pushkin added that the whole program, from the launch of the project down to the first tourist mission, may cost $150-200 mln. "We haven’t got this sort of budget yet. Tens of millions of rubles have been invested in CosmoCourse so far. This money is currently enough for us to cover further development," he said, adding that the company has one investor.
He specified that the project would become viable within seven to 10 years from the start of the first tourist flights.
CosmoCourse is developing a reusable system for suborbital tourist flights - an 80-tonne missile and a 7-tonne craft. A crew of six tourists and one instructor are expected to make a 14-minute flight at an altitude of 180-220 km and spend 5.5 minutes in zero gravity. One ticket is expected to cost $250,000. CosmoCourse expects to be making up to 115 launches per year by 2030, which translates to two launches per week.