Last updated: 12:17 PM ET, Tue March 24 2015

Russia to Resume Space Tourism in 2018

Destination & Tourism | Patrick Clarke | March 24, 2015

Russia to Resume Space Tourism in 2018

Nearly a decade after trimming its space tourism program, Russia is set to send a paying customer into space in 2018, according to the Associated Press.

Plus, in a report released this week, Russian spacecraft manufacturer RKK Energia stated that it plans to resume space tourism in the coming years in order to counterbalance a projected decline in manned space flights.

For now, all eyes are on British singer Sarah Brightman, who is scheduled to blast off on Sept.1, 2015.

Brightman recently took to Twitter to express her excitement:

From 2001 to 2009, Russia sent more than half of a dozen tourists into space to visit the International Space Station before cutting back the program. And when the U.S. shut down its Space Shuttle program four years ago, launching into orbit required a Russian Soyuz rocket.

Most recently, Brightman has been studying up on the Soyuz rocket's docking system, as documented on her Twitter account: 

Despite the fascination surrounding space tourism, the industry has yet to truly take off. 

Sir Richard Branson's Virgin Galactic and Elon Musk's SpaceX are among the most notable space tourism ventures hoping to propel the industry. However, last year's fatal test crash of Virgin's SpaceShipTwo craft in the Mojave Desert was seen as a major setback.  

Nonetheless, last month Virgin Galactic CEO George Whitesides announced that the company would continue space flight testing in 2015.

As technology continues to improve and investors latch on, it appears that the future of the industry will ultimately be decided by whether the demand for commercial space tourism is strong enough. And if so, safety and affordability will likely emerge as the biggest obstacles in successfully meeting that demand. 

For more information on Russia

For more Destination & Tourism News


You may use your Facebook account to add a comment, subject to Facebook's Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your Facebook information, including your name, photo & any other personal data you make public on Facebook will appear with your comment, and may be used on Click here to learn more.

Xcaret: Experience All of Mexico in One Place

Hotels & Resorts