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SFS News: Russian Space Agency Predicts Death of Space Touri

Posted by: Rob Goldsmith - Sun Dec 30, 2007 1:03 pm
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SFS News: Russian Space Agency Predicts Death of Space Touri 
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Post SFS News: Russian Space Agency Predicts Death of Space Touri   Posted on: Sun Dec 30, 2007 1:03 pm
Sending space tourists to the International Space Station using Russian spaceships may become problematic after 2009, according to the head of the Russian Space Agency (RSA) of the RF Anatoly Perminov.

On April 28th Dennis Tito became humanity's first paying space tourist, launching from Baikonur aboard a Russian Soyuz bound for International Space Station Alpha. MirCorp and Space Adventures helped organize the trip with Russian Aviation and Space Agency. Tito was onboard for eight days where he did 128 orbits, he then returned home safely. Charging $20 million (USD) for a ten day trip it has become a popular means of space-travel outside of the larger Government agencies, so popular in fact that they have said the agency will not be able to grant all requests.

Closing such expensive and popular sector as space travel the RSA head explains with an agreement signed by the member countries (including Russia) of the international space programme.

According to the international agreement, since 2009, if Japan and Europe launch scientific multipurpose modules, crews of the International Space Station must consist of 6 people. In this case there will be no free places left for tourists of the Russian rockets. Along with that Anatoly Perminov notes that within the next two years something may become clear regarding the pilot-controlled spaceship that Europe and Russia work on together.

Nowadays, as Anatoly Perminov marks, Russia actively works in the sphere of space travel. When RSA sees it possible to take tourists to space, they always do it. However, the number of people willing to fly to space is so high that RSA cannot satisfy them all.

The underlying question therefore is what will happen to space tourism if this scenario plays out as suspected? Perhaps during this period of time other means of space tourism will become more readily available.

Please feel free to discuss this topic further...

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Post    Posted on: Sun Dec 30, 2007 3:22 pm
I'm afraid this is a major blow for the space tourism industry. The ISS will not have a crew of 6 next year.

Let's just hope testing with Virgin Galactic / Scaled goes much much better then this.


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Post    Posted on: Mon Dec 31, 2007 8:45 am
I'm not sure how how the loss of $20 million tourist space flights are a major blow to the tourist industry? Only a tiny amount of super wealthy people could afford such expensive trips.

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Post    Posted on: Mon Dec 31, 2007 9:02 am
Rocket Scientist wrote:
I'm not sure how how the loss of $20 million tourist space flights are a major blow to the tourist industry? Only a tiny amount of super wealthy people could afford such expensive trips.


I wouldn't call that trip for the only super-wealthy, but i guess that's a matter of definition. The reason why i think it is a blow to the spacetourism industry is among others that without that, the spaceindustry practicly doesn't exist. Sure, it's just a 'sabattical' for spacetourism in general, but for orbital tourism it is the end for the foreseeable future.

Besides, when virgin galactic will (if ever) switch to orbital, i doubt they can offer those trips for $200k. You would be extremely lucky if it would be as low as $2 million. So, in that case, it would be for the extremely wealthy and up people only. That's progress :P

I rather see 2 or 3 'super-wealthy' people fo up every year, then nobody of the 'general public' at all. Besides, i my paranoid opinion, i'm sure this is more a political reason then a practical one. Want to bet that there will be no 6-man/woman-crew on ISS in 2009? I bet they're gonna crash and burn that station before that will ever happen.

O wait, their talking about after 2008... Ah well. I still don't like it that much


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Post    Posted on: Mon Dec 31, 2007 10:10 am
I agree that $25-30m a ticket to the ISS is only for a few and that its loss will make little difference to space tourism. Perhaps it will galvanise the wealthy to get together to create another orbital destination and travel system.

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Post    Posted on: Mon Dec 31, 2007 10:21 am
An important step in my eyes would be to get the price tag down to the $1-3 million region. So spaceflight I think would get a new promotion in the public. Many gameshows today offer up to several million dollars and large companies celebrating an anniversary are often spending several millions on such campaigns.

So it would be then possible for the one or another to give a spaceflight as main price. Then I guess would be the one or other "pseudo-prominent" person sees him/herself forced to buy such a ticket as well, when even a "dumb" "normal" person flies into space.

In the consequence fans of these "pseudo-prominent" on the other side would be forced to inform themselves about spaceflight and some perhaps might even have the money to buy themselves flights.

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