With the number of remaining US space shuttle missions now down
to single digits, how much is it going to cost NASA to get a seat
on the Russian Soyuz craft which will become the workhorses for
crew transport to the International Space Station after next
Reuters reports Russian news agencies have announced Roskosmos
plans to charge the US 51-million dollars per seat starting in
2010. That's up from the 20-million per seat charged early space
tourists, and the 35-million paid more recently by tourinaut
Charles Simonyi (below) on his second visit to the ISS.
At first, the doubling of the size of space station crews was
thought to mark the end of private contracts for tourism flights on
Soyuz vehicles. But the Russians now say plans to send a trained
cosmonaut along on a flight this September have been cancelled,
freeing up a seat.
Roskosmos chief Anatoly Perminov now says, quote - "This form of
tourism will continue."
I suppose, for anyone who could swing 20- or 35-million, 51-million
may still be doable...