Space tourism firm abandons Elon Musk’s SpaceX, opts for Russian Soyuz instead


According to Space Adventures president Tom Shelley, a seat on the Russian spacecraft is between $ 50 million and $ 60 million.

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In February 2020, Virginia-based space tourism company Space Adventures announced a contract with Elon Musk’s SpaceX for a joint project, the Crew Dragon mission, which would send four space tourists on a mission to “relatively high Earth orbit.”

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With experience in transporting individuals to the International Space Station (ISS), the company announced that its planned mission, scheduled for late 2021 to early 2022, would set a new “world altitude record for private space flights. “by stealing at least twice as much. high like the train station.

Earlier this month, during a visit to Moscow, however, Space Adventures chairman Tom Shelley told AFP “that in the end our reservation with SpaceX has expired and it doesn’t is not a mission that we are going to perform in the immediate future ”.

In an interview with Space News confirming the statement, company spokesperson Stacey Tearne said that “the mission has been marketed to a lot of our potential clients, but ultimately the price combination, timing and experience was not right at that time. “

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Meanwhile, Space Adventures was working on another project with Russian space agency Roscosmos. Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa, known for purchasing a SpaceX Starship flight around the moon in 2023, will be the first to visit the ISS aboard a Russian Soyuz spacecraft, which is scheduled to launch on December 8 since the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.

According to Shelley, a seat aboard the Russian spacecraft would cost between $ 50 million and $ 60 million.

The space race is not a thing of the past. This now privatized company has created a competitive industry between multi-billion dollar companies and countries. Although relations between Moscow and Washington were severed over a number of political issues, Shelley says space was an exception.

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“Cooperation in space in particular seems to transcend somewhat the political difficulties that exist between the United States and Russia,” he said.

Conflicting feelings abound regarding space tourism and exploration.

Days after Prince William, the Duke of Cambridge, told the BBC that “great brains and minds should be trying to fix this planet, not trying to find the next place to go to live,” director of the United Nations Office for Outer Space. Business Simonetta Di Pippo suggests differently.

During his visit to Expo 2020 Dubai, Di Pippo told the National that “space tourism has a lot of positives and can help inspire humanity to protect their planet. It is really the attempt to bring space closer to humanity and humanity to space.

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