Russian space firm signs deal to send two tourists to orbital outpost in 2023

Russian space firm signs deal to send two tourists to orbital outpost in 2023

Two tourists will travel to the International Space Station (ISS) in 2023 under a contract signed between Russia’s Energia Space Rocket Corporation and the US-based Space Adventures Inc., the Russian company announced on Thursday, TASS reports.

"A contract has been signed between the Energia Space Rocket Corporation and Space Adventures Inc. (USA) on a short-term expedition of two space flight participants aboard a Soyuz MS spacecraft to the Russian segment of the International Space Station in 2023," the statement reads.

Under the contract, one of the space tourists who will travel to the ISS in 2023 will make a spacewalk together with a professional cosmonaut, the Energia announced on Thursday. "It is planned that during the expedition one of the space flight participants will make a spacewalk from the ISS’s Russian segment together with a professional cosmonaut," it said.

In 2001-2009, eight short-term flights were made to the orbital outpost’s Russian segment under contracts with Space Adventures Inc. The space tourists who visited the orbital outpost during this period included US nationals Dennis Tito (2001), Greg Olsen (2006), Anousheh Ansari (2006), Richard Garriott (2008) and Charles Simonyi (2007 and 2009), Britain’s Mark Shuttleworth (2002) and Canada’s Guy Laliberte (2009).

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