Thu, Jul 19, 2007
Competition For Space On A Soyuz For NASA Will Also Be
Blame it on the weak US dollar. The cost of a trip to the
International Space Station on board a Russian Soyuz spaceship
early this year was $25 million. Trips planned in 2008 and 2009
will cost between $30 million and $40 million.
"It's mostly because of the fallen dollar," Eric Anderson,
president and chief executive officer of Space Adventures, said
Wednesday. The company brokers trips with Russia's space
Currently the US dollar is worth about 25 Russian rubles,
reports the Associated Press, compared with 32 rubles in 2002.
There are about 12 people scheduled to go through the process of
reserving flights to the space station. So far, the company has
arranged five trips at $20 million to $25 million a pop. There are
two more seats available for 2008 and 2009.
Prospective space tourists must pass a barrage of physical
examinations and undergo extensive training at a Russian space
facility. Oh, and put down a 20 percent deposit, too.
After the shuttles are grounded in 2010, the National
Aeronautics and Space Administration will rely on the Soyuz flights
to get astronauts to the space station and the crew capacity on the
space station will grow from three to six in 2009. This will
increase the competition for the one of the three seats aboard the
"We're certainly working out ways to get more seats," Anderson
said. "With the competition at that point, it becomes more
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