Explorer delay?

MSNBC’s Cosmic Log cites a report by the Interfax-Military News Agency (not freely available online) with some news about Explorer, the suborbital space tourism vehicle under development in Russia for Space Adventures. According to the report, the vehicle, known is Russia as the AKS-55-5, will be ready to begin test flights “as early as 2009″. That could make it difficult for Space Adventures to achieve its plan, announced in February, “to provide [the] first suborbital spaceflight tourism vehicles.” Rocketplane’s XP vehicle is scheduled to begin test flights by next year, while SpaceShipTwo should be flying by then, too. It’s not clear if there has been some sort of delay in Explorer’s development, the Interfax report is inaccurate, or if Space Adventures got a little ahead of itself in its February announcement.

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