The implementation of the project to build the first space hotel will only start after a contract between Russian state-owned rocket and space corporation Energia and Moscow-based company Orbital Technologies is signed, the Energia head said.
Orbital Technologies on Wednesday announced sky-high plans to launch an orbiting hotel in space by 2015-2016.
"As of today, the company only has an agreement of intent. When we have a firm contract, there will be the terms and engineering design," Vitaly Lopota said.
The project will cost hundreds of millions of dollars, Orbital Tehcnologies' CEO Sergei Kostenko said in late September, adding that Russian and U.S. investors have already been found.
Individuals, professional crews and explorers interested in implementing their own research programs are expected to be the first clients of the commercial tourist hub, Kostenko said then.
So far, several super-rich businesspeople have been the only space tourists, traveling into space with professional cosmonauts, but if the project is implemented the space tourism market is likely to develop rapidly.
MISSION CONTROL (Korolyov, Moscow Region), October 10 (RIA Novosti)