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Sunday, November 18, 2012

2-Space Tourists on Same 2015 Soyuz Flight?

The Russian Federal Space Agency has not yet decided whether it will allow a second space tourist to visit the International Space Station (ISS) in 2015, Roscosmos manned space flight program director Alexei Krasnov told journalists, reports Interfax.
 
British soprano singer Sarah Brightman could travel as a space tourist to the ISS, taking up the second seat on board a spacecraft, due to take off in October 2015, Krasnov said. The third seat could go to a yet unmanned spaceflight participant (tourist) or a European Space Agency astronaut. A decision is expected soon.
 
IF Virginia-based Space Adventures, Ltd. brokers the second and third seat on the 2015 Soyuz flight, both seats would be expected to yield $65 to $100-million in gross sale proceeds.

Any state income tax paid on the sales by Space Adventures would be directed to the Virginia Commercial Spaceflight Authority to grow operations of the Wallops Island, Va. orbital launch facility. The Virginia state law was backed by Space Adventures in 2011 and 2012, especially since it did not increase taxation, just dedicating state tax revenue to the spaceport. Whatever amount of state revenue from Space Adventures, Virginia has dedicated nearly $50-million to the Eastern Shore spaceport over five years.
 
The Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport is slated to begin commercial cargo orbital flights to the International Space Station in 2013. The civil space NASA LADEE mission will embark from Wallops Island next year in what will be the first mission leaving Earth for the moon from Virginia.  

Talks continue on how best to advance to human spaceflight activities at the facility. Space Adventures remains interested in such future developments, as do other commercial space firms.

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