Roscosmos and Space Adventures have been cooperating in space tourism since 2001, when the first space tourist, Dennis Tito, went into orbit. Since then, a total of seven people have been in space under the space tourism programme.
The first-ever contract for a tourist walk in outer space has been signed, the Russian space corporation Energia said. The venture is set for 2023.
“RSC Energia and US company Space Adventures Inc. have signed a contract to implement a short expedition for two spaceflight participants to the Russian segment of the International Space Station in 2023, on board a Soyuz-MS”, Energia said in a statement.
During this expedition, “one of the spaceflight’s participants will perform an outer space walk with a professional Russian cosmonaut”.
The statement comes after Russian State Space Corporation Roscosmos and US-based company Space Adventures signed a contract in February 2019 to organise the flight of two space tourists to the ISS before the end of 2021. The tourists will fly to the International Space Station (ISS) on board a Russian Soyuz MS-20 spacecraft and will have a unique opportunity to celebrate New Year’s in orbit.
According to Roscosmos, the agency has already started customising the Soyuz spaceship for tourist trips so that one person could pilot it rather than a three-person crew. The ship is being built in partnership with US space tourism company Space Adventures.