Space Adventures will once again collaborate with RSC Energia, the largest Russian company in the space sector. As part of this new contract, a client may have to go out into space. A first.
Space Adventures is a company specializing in the space tourism industry. Between 2001 and 2009, she distinguished herself by sending seven clients to the International Space Station (ISS). One of them, Charles Simonyi, even flew twice. For each of these trips, the company rented seats in the Russian Soyuz capsules.
These flights then ended due to the lack of available seats. NASA having indeed stopped its space shuttle program, American astronauts were therefore given priority to integrate the capsules, accompanying Russian cosmonauts to the ISS.
The situation has since changed. NASA has just emancipated itself again, now offering to transport its own astronauts on American capsules. The first flight of the Crew Dragon spacecraft, signed SpaceX, took place on May 31. Boeing will also be affected with its Starliner capsule.
This means that there is again a little space available in the Russian capsules. And Space Adventures intends to benefit from it.
The company has just signed a new contract with RSC Energia with the aim of offering private clients a short-term mission, probably 14 days, on board the ISS. During this flight, two participants will be accompanied by a professional cosmonaut.
Note that Space Adventures already signed a contract with RSC Energia in February 2019, offering a private flight to the ISS from 2021. Again, two participants will be accompanied by a real cosmonaut.
On the other hand, the newly signed contract would this time include a small innovation: the possibility for one of the participants in the flight to make a spacewalk, reveals Spacenews. This exit, we can read, would then be from the Russian segment of the station.
“A private citizen on a spacewalk would be another big step forward in private space flight,” said Eric Anderson, president, and chief executive officer of Space Adventures. We congratulate our colleagues at Energia for working with us to bring incredible new adventures to space.”
Obviously, the possibility of carrying out an extravehicular trip would require the said client to undergo additional training, in addition to the mandatory standard training. On the tariff side, nothing has been communicated. However, we suspect that the price should be higher than that allowing only a “simple” trip on the ISS.
Finally, on the calendar side, the two parties aim to offer their services from 2023. Again, nothing is set in stone. At first, we will already have to find a taker.
Remember that Space Adventures also signed a contract with SpaceX last February to offer customers the opportunity to fly aboard the Crew Dragon capsule for five days. The mission, scheduled to launch between the end of 2021 and the middle of 2022, will transport up to four participants.
However, this time there will be no question of coming to dock at the station. Instead, the mission would normally come to orbit the Earth at an altitude two to three times higher than the ISS.