Russia has plans to expand into the private space tourism realm. The lead designer of NPO Aviation and Space Technologies, Aleksandr Begak explained that Russia intends to fly tourists to near-Earth orbit aboard a spacecraft that can deploy from regular airfields
Begak told Sputnik news agency the first flights could begin as soon as 2024 and tickets can be purchased for approximately $200,000 to $300,000 a person.
As per Begak, several private companies are presently working on the uncrewed spacecraft known as Selena Space Yacht. The work is being performed with help from the National Technology Initiative (NTI) AeroNet and SpaceNet working groups.
Begak added that the craft lands like a regular aeroplane giving them a chance to land on any airfield. So now they are calculating the best time for space travel and which flight paths would be most comfortable since it’s known that people shouldn’t be in zero-gravity condition for more than 10 minutes. They began working on Selena Space Yacht in 2017.
Moreover, they are working on developing three space yachts that can hold six passengers and one pilot. Even though a human will not pilot the spacecraft, a pilot will be onboard the flight for the convenience of the passengers, said Begak.
The vehicle will fly to space at a maximum speed of 2,685 miles per hour and reach an altitude of 75 to 87 miles (120-140 kilometres).
Sergey Zhukov, the co-leader of the working group of the National AeroNet Technology Initiative explained that private space tourism could begin in Russia in about five years. Space tourists will be flying for quite a few minutes to a height of 100 km before coming back down via parachute or engine-powered aircraft.