[Apologies for the long delay in posts - I'm catching up on a lot of other work.]
Last week Flightglobal.com reported that there will be no more seats for paying passengers on Soyuz flights to the ISS after April 2009 because of the increase in the station’s crew size from three to six. The article cited ESA officials, who said that the increase in crew size means that all the seats will be filled on the taxi flights, despite the increase in flight rate needed to support the larger crew.
I happened to talk for a moment with Space Adventures CEO Eric Anderson after a speech he gave last Wednesday at the FAA’s annual Commercial Space Transportation Conference in Crystal City, VA. I asked him about the report and he said they had reservations secured for the April 2009 and were in negotiations for flight opportunities beyond that.
(Something that was later added to the Flightglobal.com report.) [As Mr. Coppinger notes below, that statement was in the original article, and I simply missed it the first time I read the piece.] Asked if he would be interested in doing business with one of the commercial ventures planning to provide crew resupply services to the ISS under NASA’s COTS program, he said that he would be happy to talk with “whoever can provide safe and effective transport” to the station.