Russia to seek private space missions
August 2, 2022
Russia is quitting the International Space Station (ISS) and the country’s new head of its Roscosmos space agency, Yuri Borisov, says he will be seeking a greater slice of the world’s space missions.
Borisov says that Russia is to review its commitment to the ISS. He has rebutted previous reports that Russia would cease partnering with NASA Europe’s Space Agency and others in financing the ISS in 2024. However, he says he doubts whether Russia will be part of the ISS consortium by 2030.
Borisov emphasised that Russia would leave some time after 2024, and not 2024 itself. “We stated that we intend to do so not from 2024, but after 2024,” he said, according to a reported translation of the Russian text.
Instead Roscosmos will start looking for privately financed space tourism.
“This is tested practice in the entire world, it is a confirmed practice, and we will transition to provision of commercial services”, Borisov said during a TV interview on TASS News.
Russia has already tried to sell commercially-funded ‘seats’ on rockets to the ISS. In June 2021, Glavkosmos, a subsidiary of Roscosmos established to manage marketing and space tourism for Russia, advertised a trip to the ISS in one of its Soyuz rocket capsules.
According to Glavkosmos’s website, Toyohiro Akiyama, a Japanese journalist, was the first commercial space traveller when he made a debut ‘private’ flight to Russia’s Mir space station in 1990. However, Roscosmos launched the first space tourist to the ISS back in 2001 when it sent American engineer Dennis Tito for an eight-day mission into orbit.