From: Space Adventures
Posted: Wednesday, December 17, 2003
Continuing their Commitment to Open the Space Frontier to the Public
Arlington, Va. - December 17, 2003- On the centennial anniversary of flight,Space Adventures, Ltd. announced today that the company has secured two additional seats on the Soyuz TMA spacecraft to transport tourists to the International Space Station (ISS). The new agreement provides Space Adventures with the sole rights to transport the next four private space explorers between 2004 and 2007.
Space Adventures is the only company that has successfully assisted private citizens in achieving their dreams of space flight. Through its long-standing partnership with the RussianAviation & Space Agency (Rosaviakosmos) and Rocket and Space Corporation Energia (RSC Energia),Space Adventures brokered the flights for the world's first private space explorers, American businessman Dennis Tito in 2001, and the first African in space, Mark Shuttleworth, in 2002.
"Rosaviakosmos, like Space Adventures, believe that opening the space frontier to private citizens is not only of benefit for our program, but also benefits mankind. It's the evolution of human exploration," says Sergey Gorbunov, Press Secretary for the Director General of Rosaviakosmos.
All private space tourists will train in Star City, the cosmonaut training center outside of Moscow, familiarizing themselves with the Soyuz TMA spacecraft, experiencing weightlessness in a zero-gravity jet, and learning how to live and operate aboard the ISS. The missions are planned for liftoff from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan and seats aboard the Soyuz TMA are available for $20 million (USD) each. "Since our inception in 1998, Space Adventures has been committed to providing the opportunity for the public to experience the most unique travel destination - outer space. This latest contract furthers our commitment by establishing that the next four tourists flying to the ISS will be Space Adventures' clients," said Eric Anderson, CEO and President of Space Adventures.
"When I first entered the space program, I was one of a select few that trained to fly in space. At that time, I would not have imagined that space travel would now be accessible to the public. Space Adventures has opened the last frontier and I congratulate them," said Dr. Norm Thagard,mission specialist on STS-7 (1983), STS 51-B (1985), STS-30 (1989), payload commander on STS-42 (1992), first American astronaut to live on the Russian Mir Space Station (1995).
In addition to orbital flights to the ISS, Space Adventures, the world's leading space tourism company, offers a wide range of programs, from Zero-Gravity and Edge of Space flights, cosmonaut training and space flight qualification programs, to reservations on future sub-orbital spacecraft. Headquartered in Arlington, Va., with an office in Moscow, Russia, Space Adventures is the only company to have successfully launched private individuals to the ISS. The company's advisory board comprises Apollo 11 moonwalker Buzz Aldrin; shuttle astronauts Kathy Thornton, Robert (Hoot) Gibson, Charles Walker, Norm Thagard, Sam Durrance and Byron Lichtenberg; and Skylab astronaut Owen Garriott. For more information, please visit www.spaceadventures.com.
Rosaviakosmos was founded in 1992 to implement Russia's space research and exploration activities. For more information, please visit http://www.rosaviakosmos.ru/english/erka.html.
RSC Energia, established in 1946, pioneered many areas of rocket and space technology. Today, it serves as the prime contractor for Russian crewed space stations, crewed spacecraft and related space systems. For more information, please visit http://www.energia.ru/english/.
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