New developments on that fall ISS opportunity

Last week Space Adventures announced that they believed that there was a chance a seat would open up on a September Soyuz flight to the ISS that may allow them to fly another tourist to the station. And indeed that seat, which was to be occupied by a Kazakh cosmonaut, does appear to be open. According to the Xinhua news agency, Kazakhstan has “indefinitely postponed” plans to send a cosmonaut to the station, citing a lack of funding.

But who will fill that seat? Last Friday Space Adventures’s Eric Anderson said the seat could be filled by either one of their customers or a Russian professional cosmonaut. A headline on the Interfax news service Thursday, though, stated: “Russian or Japanese astronauts may replace Kazakh in September flight toISS” (the text of the article, unfortunately, was not available). Unless the Japanese astronaut is a Space Adventures customer, it would seem the company may be shut out of this flight opportunity. However, Roskosmos head Anatoly Perminov did say in another Interfax article earlier this week that future tourist flight opportunities would depend on NASA’s decision on the shuttle program, with the apparent implication that a shuttle life extension might free up some seats on Soyuz flights for commercial passengers.

Leave a Reply




You can use these HTML tags

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>