Two space tourists will be launched on a rocket to travel to the International Space Station (ISS) in late 2021, their names will be revealed early next year, the press service for the Russian space agency, Roscosmos, told TASS.
“In accordance with the agreement with [US] Space Adventures company, specializing in space tourism, a launch will take place, involving two tourists. The launch is scheduled for late 2021,” the press service said, adding that their names will be announced in the beginning of 2021.
Roscosmos also informed that the agency is in talks with a few American companies to send tourists to the ISS.
In February 2019, Roscosmos and Space Adventures signed a new contract to fly two space tourists to the ISS aboard one spacecraft before 2022.
The Russian state corporation then clarified that space industry facilities had already begun manufacturing a Soyuz-MS spacecraft and a Soyuz-2 carrier missile for the space flight. Roscosmos added that the tourists are covering all expenses to produce all the necessary equipment and hardware.
The Russian side and Space Adventures sent the first tourist, Dennis Tito, to space back in 2001. Overall, seven people travelled to space under their contracts (one did it twice). The last such flight took place in September 2009. In 2015, singer Sarah Brightman was supposed to travel to the ISS, but she later terminated her training and withdrew her application, citing family reasons.