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Space tourism to International Space Station set to resume in 2013

The views expressed are those of the author and are not necessarily those of Scientific American.


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Guy Laliberte in spaceSpace Adventures, the private firm that sent seven paying clients on trips to the International Space Station (ISS) between 2001 and 2009, will have three more seats available for tourists to fly to the outpost starting in 2013, the company announced in a January 12 press release.

As with past Space Adventures trips to the ISS, the newly available seats will be on Russian Soyuz spacecraft. Extra space on the Soyuz had grown scarce lately—the ISS crew size doubled to six in 2009, and NASA will be reliant on Russian rockets to ferry astronauts to and from the station after the space shuttle is retired, which is expected to happen later this year. But according to the press release, an increase in Soyuz production will allow Space Adventures to offer more tourist flights in cooperation with the Russian space agency Roscosmos and Russia’s Energia Rocket and Space Corp.

"There’s no set figure" for how much the seats will cost, Stacey Tearne, vice president for communications at Virginia-based Space Adventures, told Scientific American, adding that the price will depend on the timing of the purchase and the particulars of the trip. The most recent clients have paid about $30 million to $35 million, and Tearne said new clients will probably pay somewhat more than that.

Photograph of Cirque du Soleil founder Guy Laliberté, the most recent Space Adventures client to fly to the ISS, on board the station in 2009: NASA





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  1. 1. bucketofsquid 4:03 pm 01/13/2011

    How dissapointing that all they are really doing is financing the space program of a different country.

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  2. 2. tofara 1:58 am 01/14/2011

    We are now in a global village. Some of the magazine’s audience, including me, are not from USA. For us, the science is the issue, and whether this is done or financed by USA for Russia, or vice versa, is not an issue. There will come a time when nationalism will diminish and we will think as world citizens, and not mere nationalists.

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  3. 3. Wayne Williamson 1:54 pm 01/15/2011

    Russia seems to have their launch vehicles down pat…now they just need to automate large portions of the production and bring the cost down…

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  4. 4. Mark Heinemann 12:32 pm 01/21/2011

    What this means is that our tax money built the station and it has become a hotel for multi-millionaires! Why does this seem wrong?

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