Russia offers Soyuz capsule for tourist flights, even after it is replaced


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Capitalism in space: The Russian company that makes the Soyuz capsule has announced that it intends to continue flying the capsule, even after the new Federation replacement capsule is operational.

“I think that the Soyuz has the right to continue its life. As long as there exists a space tourism market and this spacecraft enjoys confidence, this all should be used as essential components,” the CEO said. Energiya is also considering the possibility to upgrade the Soyuz for circumlunar missions. “If we manage to do it faster, we will have a chance to perfect important systems on it, that will be further used on the Federation,” Solntsev noted.

Energiya is now part of the Russian space agency Roscosmos and is controlled by the government. Thus, for it to do this will still require government approval. Will the Russian government allow the old capsule to exist when the new one begins flying? That would be a form of competition, something Russia hasn’t really encouraged since the fall of the Soviet Union. We shall see.

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3 comments

  • LocalFluff

    There won’t be any Russian “Federation” spaceship. That’s just empty talk. Soyuz will remain their last crewed spacecraft. And I’ve heard that astronauts going to the ISS complain about being strapped down during all of the trip, so how much fun is that for a “tourist”? As fun as taking an elevator ride. All the way up, and all the way down again. Without any destination. Could you sell tickets to tourists for that?

  • Anthony Domanico

    Localfluff,

    My thoughts exactly. Do they have a service module that would allow the occupants to get out of the fetal position? I wouldn’t spend money to be strapped into that thing for a week straight. I feel for the astronauts that had to take the longer orbital maneuvers to reach the space station. I’m so claustrophobic they would have to sedate me for the whole damn trip! I’m getting anxiety just thinking about it…

  • LocalFluff

    Having a little closer look at it, Soyuz astronauts can float around in the orbital module, 2½ meter long nearly spherical. Sounds small for three, but it should be nice one at a time. They remain strapped down during the fast 6 hours trips to the ISS.

    I think that the Russians will focus on flying their Soyuz launcher and finishing their new spaceport. But they will in a few years completely lose the markets for both commercial satellite launches and for rocket engines. They will keep Proton only if the military needs it. Maybe some of their human spaceflight know how can be preserved in cooperation with foreign private companies, but that doesn’t seem to be what they are aiming for, so Russian human space flight will likely end permanently with the ISS. Any new development of launchers or spacecrafts seems unrealistic.

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