Kosmokurs, a Russian company developing suborbital space tourism flights, has begun testing its rocket and space technology, according to its CEO, Pavel Pushkin.
“We began a strength test of the engine wall samples, they were manufactured and sent to a laboratory,” Pushkin told Sputnik news agency.
State space corporation Roscosmos issued Kosmokurs a license to carry out its space projects back in 2017. The company will offer tourists a 15-minute flight in groups of six people. The tourists will be able to stay in zero gravity for five to six minutes, moving freely inside a cabin.
According to Kosmokurs, a ticket for a space flight aboard Russia’s first reusable suborbital commercial system will cost around $200,000-$250,000.
In March of this year, the company, based at the Skolkovo Innovation Center said that it planned to complete the construction of its own space centre in Russia’s Nizhny Novgorod region in 2023.
Last year, KosmoKurs signed an agreement with the Scientific and Production Association of Automatics (part of state space agency Roscosmos) to develop an on-board control-telemetry system for commercial civil-purpose rocket launchers.
The first flight of the spacecraft with passengers onboard is scheduled for 2025, and the experimental one may take place in 2023. The annual number of space tourists may reach 700 by 2023 if the demand is high, and KosmoKurs hopes the new launch location will help.