Russia is planning to send paying tourists on the International Space Station out on spacewalks for the first time, said Vladimir Solntsev, the head of Russian space company Energia.
“Market analysts have confirmed this: wealthy people are ready to pay money for this,” he said.
The cost could be around USD 100 million and “possibly less for the first tourist”.
Energia was behind the launch of the first man in space Yuri Gagarin in 1961. It is currently building a new module dubbed NEM-2 to transport tourists to the International Space Station (ISS).
Solntsev said the NEM-2, the name of which is still to be confirmed, will accommodate four to six people. It will be fitted with ‘comfortable’ cabins, two toilets and internet access and is expected to be launched in 2019.
He added that American aircraft manufacturer Boeing was interested in becoming a partner in the project.
Five to six tourists a year will be able to take a space trip lasting up to 10 days, Solntsev said.
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