(Space Travel) The Russian space agency has sealed a deal with a private investor to build a Soyuz spacecraft specially for tourist hire and operational in 2011, a statement said Wednesday.
"We have concluded an agreement with an investor to begin financing such a Soyuz vessel with an anticipated launch date of 2011," the Roskosmos website stated.
The craft, piloted by a professional astronaut, is designed to carry two so-called space adventurers.
This is probably a smart move for Russia, as they can not depend afford to depend upon the US for financial security--especially with the US Congress getting nervous about NASA's plan to outsource to the Russians for human spaceflight.
Even though Russia is responsible for pioneering the space tourism industry (by partnering with Space Adventures), the former world power does not intend to merely launch people into space forever. Russia intends upon colonizing the Moon in the not-to-distant future, along with China and (hopefully) NASA as well.
(Image: Soyuz Spacecraft, via Wikipedia)
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