Russians to Take Tourists to the ISS, Throw in Spacewalks for Kicks

Ever since the space shuttle program ended in 2011, America had to pay Russia to get its astronauts to the International Space Station (ISS). That practice, of course, ended as soon as Elon Musk’s SpaceX got the Crew Dragon ready, and now Roscosmos is without an important source of revenue.
Soyuz-2.1a rocket ready to carry tourists to space 1 photo
Photo: Glavkosmos
Presently, NASA is happily married to SpaceX, Boeing will soon join the family, and a wealth of private companies, all from the West, are planning to send people to space (some to its edge, others all the way to the ISS) in exchange for cash.

Meanwhile, Roscosmos is sulking in a corner of the planet, unhappy with everything in life, and already announced it would pack up its bags and leave the ISS to pursue a happier future with its newest BFF in space, China.

But that decision was not enough to get the agency’s spirits up, and, after all, the ISS is a place Russia helped build, so why not make some money off of it like the others do?

Through one of its many satellites, Glavkosmos, the Russian space agency announced it is planning to send tourists up to the space station. We kind of saw that coming, but what we didn’t expect was for them to throw in some activities tourists will be able to enjoy.

According to the newly-created Glavkosmos website, where wannabe space tourists can get a crash course on Russian space history and an orientation of what their adventure would entail, there are six optional activities listed. They range from a 30-day period in orbit to actually taking part in the scientific programs run onboard the ISS.

There’s one particular activity we would particularly enjoy, one no one else is offering, and that would be the chance of going on an actual spacewalk.

As said, many Western companies are promising trips to space for paying customers, but none of them has the technology ready to make good on their promises. The Russians have theirs working and tested, and they plan on using it—more precisely, the Soyuz-2.1a rocket.

For now, there is no date set for when the first flight could take place, but given how Roscosmos needs no other preparations to get things going, it could be any day.
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About the author: Daniel Patrascu
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Daniel loves writing (or so he claims), and he uses this skill to offer readers a "behind the scenes" look at the automotive industry. He also enjoys talking about space exploration and robots, because in his view the only way forward for humanity is away from this planet, in metal bodies.
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