MOSCOW (Sputnik) – First round-the-Moon flights should be possible for space tourists aboard the Soyuz spacecraft in 2021-2022, Vladimir Solntsev, the head of Russia's Korolev Rocket and Space Corporation (RSC) Energia, told Sputnik.
"We are speaking of flying around the Moon. I think that RSC Energia will be ready to be the first to offer this service on the international market by 2021-2022," Solntsev said.
The company is planning to sign a deal in March 2017 to use nine seats on the Soyuz spacecraft for flights of the so-called space tourists to the International Space Station (ISS).
"The renewal of a program implying space tourist flights on Soyuz spacecraft is possible. I think that in the near future we will sign a contact with one of the companies on provision of tourism services… In particular we are ready to sign with one of such companies an agreement in March 2017, which implies nine 'tourist' seats in Soyuz spacecraft for the flights to the ISS, which is expected to be implemented by 2021," Solntsev said, adding that there were no Russians among potential space tourists at the moment.