Russia to Take Space Tourists in 2013

MOSCOW, Sept. 25 (UPI) — Russia’s space agency says it plans to allow two space tourists to journey to the International Space Station on a Soyuz spacecraft in 2013.

The Roscosmos agency says a Russian professional space crew commander would join the two tourists, RIA Novosti reported.

“Such a proposal is under consideration of Roscosmos and the American Space Adventures (company),” said Alexei Krasnov, head of Roscosmos’ manned flights department.

“There are also detailed offers, which we will study in Washington at a meeting of space agencies’ heads,” he said.

Russia stopped sending tourists to space last year after the International Space Station crew increased from three to six and all places on board the Soyuz were reserved for Russian and foreign astronauts.

The first space tourists flew to the ISS in 2001.

Russia’s RSC Energia corporation recently said it had the capacity to build five Soyuz spacecraft per year instead of four, allowing at least one Soyuz spacecraft to be used for space tourism purposes in the future, RIA Novosti reported.

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