The Director-General of Russian cosmic energy, Vladimir Solncew, said that Russia is considering carrying out a commercial flight around the moon. The flight had to be organized in cooperation with the company Space AdventuresPreviously arranged for the flight 8 customers on board the international space station (ISS). In 2001, the first “space tourist”, which took advantage of this option was American Dennis Tito.
The website “ParabolicArc” joked that on a commercial flight to moon orbit again appeared to be a “Loch Ness monster”. You can actually get the impression that in a situation of considerable economic difficulties the Russians are looking for any opportunity to find additional funding for human spaceflight program.
The planned reduction of the Russian crew of the ISS from three to two astronauts will surely release a place that can be used by tourists. Last commercial flight trained the famous soprano singer Sarah Brightman, but her flight was ultimately not held.
From the “regular” ISS flights even more ambitious to be commercial flights around the Moon without going into the orbit of our satellites. Along with the Russian commander of the expedition, in addition to paying attendees. Price list for the flight is approximately 150 million dollars from the person. Vladimir Solncew said that eight people, including “Japanese family” is interested in flight towards the moon. Previously, potential interested appeared also the name of the famous film director James Cameron.
The problem with the implementation of flight around the Moon crashes into money. Soyuz capsule you will need to adjust to the longer, two-week flight. The changes concern not only the modernization of the life-support system, but also issues such as additional protection from cosmic rays. Along with the Soyuz spacecraft on an expedition partner also additional residential module. Please note that currently, the Soyuz (Lander + orbital module) has a surface little greater than 10 cubic meters, of which the free volume is about 6 cubic meters. A further issue is the use of an additional engine and the fuel tank, which is needed for the flight beyond low Earth orbit is low.
At the moment it’s hard to say how high will the costs of modernization of Soyuz, and if customers agree to pay in advance, with no guarantee the execution of the flight. In the optimistic scenario, the flight could, however, take place within 2-3 years.