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Published on : Wednesday, March 9, 2016
Russia was the first to go to space and now with the world trying to take tourists to space Russia too is joining the bandwagon to add its bit to space tourism. In 2001 American Dennis Tito paid a reported $20 million to become the first space tourist, this opportunity was provided by the Russians. In the mission to launch a Soyuz TM-32 spacecraft, Tito spent eight days in orbit crew as crew member. Later six more space tourists followed before the program was cancelled.
Russian space agency Roscosmos has approved the first private project aimed at ferrying wealthy tourists to space. The license to develop reusable system for space tourism flights has been granted to the Kosmokurs Company.
The Russians have been leaders in developing space crafts and space shuttles. They had developed space shuttles for orbital tourism before Branson.
The suborbital launch vehicle and spacecraft is going to be designed to transport tourists at an altitude of 200 kilometers above Earth.
The company has planned the first 20 minute space trip for 2020 and the ticket price has been set at $200,000-$250,000. The company plans to provide flights for groups of six space tourists with an opportunity to spend 5-6 minutes in zero gravity. The capsule will be steered by one pilot.
Space tourism will give the opportunity to push reusable rocket technology. With Virgin Galactic introducing its new suborbital model called SpaceShipTwo last month which will carry six tourists to space and two pilots, the new model replaces the previous that had crashed in October 2015 killing the pilot and injuring the other. This flight at an altitude of 200 kilometers will cost about $250,000
Blue Origin is the other company deeply invested in space tourism is an America. The manufacturer flew unmanned test flight with its New Shepard launch vehicle last November and made a return trip in January. The company will provide few minutes of weightlessness in space experience from 2018 if further testing goes well.