|Posted by firstname.lastname@example.org on February 2, 2012 at 5:45 AM|
Space tourism pioneers Space Adventures will send its first tourist flight around The Moon by February 2017.
The five year countdown was started by CEO Eric Anderson in a YouTube video where he reveals that the first £95million seat on the mission has already been sold.
The flight will carry two private passengers, plus crew, on a circumlunar journey, hopefully making more than one orbit after a trip expected to last at least two days.
Anderson hasn’t revealed the spaceship, although a modified ‘super-Soyuz’ is the most likely craft, drawing on Space Adventures’ long association with Roscosmos, the Russian space agency.
None of the privately-built American spacecraft is likely to be ready for February 2017, although the ex-Soviet Almaz craft purchased by the UK’s Excalibur Almaz might be modified for such a journey.
In his YouTube announcement (below), Anderson also suggests that if private enterprise can get to The Moon, then state space exploration agencies should be trying to ‘push the envelope wherever possible’.