WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF
As the cost of accessing space falls exponentially it opens the door to a whole new era of space tourism.
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Space. The final frontier. Once home to well trained astronauts increasingly it’s being opened up to the first generation of space tourists, mega rich regular Joe’s like you and I but with a lot more money, so we too can marvel at the Earth from orbit and realise the wonder of NASA’s so called “Orbital Perspective.”
As companies around the world, from Blue Origin to SpaceX and Virgin Galactic all start selling tickets and building spacecraft and spaceports to take space tourists to orbiting space hotels and even the Moon, two other companies, RSC Energia and Space Adventures have now announced plans to fly two tourists to the Russian section of the International Space Station in 2023, with one of them embarking on what will become the world’s first tourist space walk.
The announcement comes less than a month after SpaceX’s Crew Dragon made history as the first privately built spacecraft to carry astronaut’s to the ISS, or NASA’s new space hotel as it’s also known now, and follows hot on the heels of Virgin Galactic signing a deal with NASA for private passenger trips to the orbiting laboratory.
Candidates for the brief mission in 2023 will have to complete specialised training before being transported to the ISS aboard a Soyuz MS spacecraft. One of the two passengers, who will have undergone additional simulation training, will then become the first private citizen to suit up and head outside for a space walk in the company of an experienced Russian cosmonaut.
RSC Energia and Roscosmos have previously worked with Space Adventures to shuttle tourists to the ISS on eight occasions between 2001 and 2009, but the upcoming space walk will add an exciting extra dimension to the adventure and it could quickly become one of the hottest tourist experiences in the world, or off it anyway.
“A private citizen completing a spacewalk would be another huge step forward in private spaceflight,” said Chairman and CEO of Space Adventures, Eric Anderson. “We appreciate the chance to celebrate two decades of orbital space tourism with our Russian partners by opening up another first-ever experience. We applaud our colleagues at Energia for working with us to create amazing new adventures in space.”
Sources: Energia, Space Adventures