From the press release: From the moment he is handed a possibility of making the first alien contact, Saunders Maxwell decides he will do it, even if doing so takes him through hell and back.
At the moment they do not have any signed customers, but this agreement is essentially an okay from Russia to do the spacewalk, and is probably an effort by them to offer something better than SpaceX for its tourist flights. For SpaceX or Boeing to offer spacewalks will require cooperation from NASA, since neither company has spacesuits capable of doing such a thing. They need NASA’s suits, but NASA will likely not give its approval, at least in the near future. Unlike the Russian Orlan suits, the NASA spacesuits are very complex and difficult to use. Letting a tourist use one for a spacewalk is probably too risky.
Thus, don’t be surprised if SpaceX soon begins designing its own EVA spacesuit.
Either way, the next few years in space are getting more exciting by the day. SpaceX already has two contracts for tourist flights, and Russia is upping the competition by offering spacewalks. On top of that Axiom is beginning construction on its own space station habitat on ISS where tourists can live.
Expect lots of private commercial manned flights in the coming years.
Every July, to celebrate the anniversary of the start of Behind the Black in 2010, I hold a month-long fund-raising campaign to make it possible for me to continue my work here for another year.
This year's fund-raising drive however is more significant in that it is also the 10th anniversary of this website's founding. It is hard to believe, but I have been doing this for a full decade, during which I have written more than 22,000 posts, of which more than 1,000 were essays and almost 2,600 were evening pauses.
This year's fund drive is also more important because of the growing intolerance of free speech and dissent in American culture. Increasingly people who don't like what they read are blatantly acting to blackball sites like mine. I have tried to insulate myself from this tyrannical effort by not depending on Google advertising or cross-posts Facebook or Twitter. Though this prevents them from having a hold on me, it also acts to limit my exposure.
Therefore, I hope you will please consider donating to Behind the Black, by giving either a one-time contribution or a regular subscription, as outlined in the tip jar below. Your support will allow me to continue covering science and culture as I have for the past twenty years, independent and free from any outside influence.
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