Six Russians on Virgin Galactic’s first space flightJune 24th, 2008 - 3:18 pm ICT by IANS
Moscow, June 24 (RIA Novosti) Six Russians will be on board the inaugural flight of the world’s first space travel agency, Virgin Galactic (VG), which is to launch suborbital passenger flights in 2010. Igor Kutsenko, who runs an advertising firm in Moscow, told a VG news conference in the Russian capital that he and his business partner, Sergei Tyaglov, had bought tickets 18 months ago, and that he had also reserved tickets for his parents, both in their fifties.
Founder of the Virgin Group, British billionaire Sir Richard Branson, earlier said he and some of his family members would take a flight on SpaceShipTwo a year or so before commercial flights are launched.
Tyaglov said: “I look to fulfilling my childhood dream.”
The Tyaglovs paid $200,000 each for a thrill ride to the edge of space on the SpaceShipTwo, the first commercial six-passenger space vehicle. They will blast off from a launch pad currently being built in New Mexico.
Another businessman to take part in the flight, Timur Artemyev, said: “In buying the tickets, my wife and I wanted to be the first couple to fly toward the edge of space.”
The SpaceShipTwo, scheduled to begin test flights this year, will take the passengers to an altitude of 110 km during a two-hour flight with a four-minute period of weightlessness, when passengers will be able to untie themselves from their seats and float around the cabin.
The tourists are to undergo three days of intensive training before the flight.
A total of 250 people across the world, including 11 Russians, have booked tickets for suborbital flights with VG. Another 85,000 people have filed flight applications on the agency’s website.
A host of other companies are working on commercial passenger suborbital space flights, as the infant space tourism industry looks to take off.
Virgin Galactic’s most likely competitors include EADS Astrium, Rocketplane Limited, Space Adventures, and the Benson Space Company.
Russia is currently the only country which provides space flights for tourists. Flights blast off from the Baikonur space centre in Kazakhstan. The trip, which lasts abound a week, costs around $30 million.
- Runway at world's first commercial spaceport ready - Oct 23, 2010
- Branson among 529 signed up for space trip - Jul 12, 2012
- Virgin space tourists could be launched by 2015 - Jun 14, 2010
- Virgin Galactic 'hiring world's first pilot-astronauts for private spacecrafts' - Apr 13, 2011
- Virgin Galactic's spaceship makes first solo test flight - Oct 11, 2010
- Virgin Galactic's SpaceShipTwo takes maiden flight - Mar 23, 2010
- Virgin Galactic Makes First Test Space Flight - Oct 12, 2010
- Space tourism will worsen climate change - Oct 26, 2010
- Virgin Galactic Space Craft Will Make Its Debut To The Space - Oct 12, 2010
- Russia looks for commercial space projects - Apr 13, 2012
- Runway opens at world's first spaceport in US - Oct 23, 2010
- Prince Harry wants to go to space - Aug 07, 2011
- Russia to launch ESA satellites Sunday - Dec 12, 2011
- Russia to expand commercial space services - Jun 30, 2012
- Roscosmos to make third attempt to launch Soyuz spacecraft - Jul 13, 2011
Tags: advertising firm, childhood dream, commercial flights, flight applications, inaugural flight, launch pad, minute period, passenger flights, passenger space, ria novosti, russian capital, sir richard branson, space adventures, space flights, space tourism industry, space vehicle, suborbital flights, test flights, virgin group, weightlessness