Spaceflights around the moon will be soon available for space tourism lovers, according to Space Adventures.
Last May, Russia’s Energia Rocket and Space Corporation declared that special tourists will be able to travel in 2-week journey for $45-50 million, by Russian Soyuz spacecraft.
The president of RKK Energia Vitaly Lopota told Itar-Tass news agency:
“A trip to deep space is a trip for a distance of no more than 100 kilometers. Speaking about trips to the orbit, there have been a few tourists, but there are no many interested people, one seat to go to the ISS for about two weeks is about $45-50 million.”
A statement by Space Adventures posted online lately revealed some details about the expected tours, saying:
“Using flight-proven Russian space vehicles we will fly two private citizens and one professional cosmonaut on a free return trajectory around the far side of the moon. They will come to within 100km of the moon’s surface; the price of the spaceflight depends on the vehicle you choose, the timing and the exact mission profile.”
The firm expects to launch its first mission by 2018 and give the space tourists the chance to see the illuminated far side of the moon and Earth rising above its surface. The first step of this journey will start with a Soyuz spacecraft, then spending about 10 days in the International Space Station.
The next step is to launch a rocket with a lunar living module and a propulsion module, which will be meeting later with a Soyuz spacecraft in low-Earth orbit. This tour will last for 6 days.
During the time 2001–2009, Space Adventures offered 8 space flights for 7 space tourists to the International Space Station aboard a Soyuz spacecraft. The cost was $20–40 million for each tourist. Thus, we can kind of assume that since the demand hasn’t decreased: the price will very likely be within the same range.
About 4 other companies, such as Virgin Galactic and XCOR Aerospace, started to offer sales of orbital and suborbital flights, with different periods and creature comforts. Still, before we allow ourselves to be too distracted by fantasies of space, we should make sure to take care of matters on our own planet.
- Effect of spaceflight on the human body
- Russia will restore space tourism since 2012
- Fly me to the moon! Company offers lunar holidays (but it could cost you £100 million)