Publish: 26 Jun 2020, 12:48 pm
Russia's Energia Space Corporation said Thursday that it would send the first tourist on a spacewalk in 2023, under the provisions of a revised deal with a US affiliate.
Energia has entered into a contract with Space Adventures, which promises to take two space tourists to the International Space Station that year.
“We plan that one of the participants of the expedition will do a space walk from the Russian segment, together with a professional Russian cosmonaut,” said Energia, which is part of Russia’s space agency Roscosmos.
The news came days after NASA reached an arrangement with Richard Branson's Virgin Galactic Space Tours Company to support private flights to the station through a special training plan in the United States.
This also follows the first successful flight by Elon Musk's SpaceX last month to carry astronauts to the station aboard a recycled Crew Dragon spaceship, replacing nearly a decade earlier when Russia had a monopoly aboard flying humans.
SpaceX planned its own space travel trip for three individuals next year, onboard the Crew Dragon.
Space Adventures now advertises space walk on its website as a "rare and exhilarating activity" accessible exclusively via the Russian programme.
“If you choose to fly to space on the Russian Soyuz spacecraft, you have the opportunity to… conduct a spacewalk, accompanied by a professional cosmonaut,” it says.
The company and the Russian agency had previously taken eight tourists to the ISS between 2001 and 2009.