Capitalism in space: Roscosmos, the government corporation that controls of all of Russia’s space industry, announced today that it will be flying two different commercial tourist flights to ISS, both occurring before the end of this year.
The first will take place in October.
Roscosmos [is] sending an actress and a director to the ISS in October with the aim of making the first feature film in space. The film, whose working title is “Challenge,” is being co-produced by the flamboyant head of Roscosmos, Dmitry Rogozin, and state-run network Channel One.
The second will take place in December, and will fly Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa (the man who has already purchased a Moon mission on SpaceX’s Starship) and his assistant Yozo Hirano in a Soyuz capsule to ISS for twelve days.
Let’s review the upcoming tourist flights now scheduled:
- July: The first suborbital tourist flight on Blue Origin’s New Shepard spacecraft.
- September: SpaceX will fly four tourists on a three-day orbital mission in its Resilience capsule.
- October: Roscosmos will fly two to ISS on its Soyuz capsule to make a movie.
- December: Roscosmos will fly two to ISS as a preliminary to Maezawa’s lunar mission on Starship.
- January: Axiom will use a SpaceX capsule to launch four to ISS.
Axiom also says it has two other tourist flights in the works. Nor does that include potential flights on Boeing’s Starliner capsule, once it becomes operational. It also doesn’t include that Maezawa flight on Starship, or future suborbital flights on New Shepard. In addition, NASA says that the demand for such tourist flights to ISS is far greater than the station’s docking ports can handle.
None of these flights will use government money. All are privately funded.
After more than a half century of all space exploration controlled and paid for entirely by governments — with little of significance getting accomplished — it now appears that private enterprise, competition, and freedom are quite successfully pushing the human race to the stars. And it is happening without one dime of government money.
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