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    The Soyuz MS spacecraft carrying the crew of Kate Rubins of the U.S., Anatoly Ivanishin of Russia and Takuya Onishi of Japan blasts off to the International Space Station (ISS) from the launchpad at the Baikonur cosmodrome, Kazakhstan, July 7, 2016.

    No Roscosmos Plans to Send Space Tourists to ISS Before 2020 - Deputy Director

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    Russia's Roscosmos state corporation has no plans to send space tourists to the country's segment of the International Space Station (ISS) before 2020, Roscosmos deputy director general for international cooperation told Sputnik in an interview.

    RIO DE JANEIRO, April 7 (Sputnik) — Russia's Roscosmos state corporation has no plans to send space tourists to the country's segment of the International Space Station (ISS) before 2020, Roscosmos deputy director general for international cooperation told Sputnik in an interview.

    "As for sending tourists to the Russian segment of the ISS, Roscosmos has no plans to implement such flights before 2020 because of the absence of the relevant capabilities," Sergey Savelyev said.

    He added that space tourism was not limited by ISS-related projects and Russia's corporation was interested in attracting tourists.

    Savelyev also said that NASA has agreed to adopt the Russian-designed Androgynous Peripheral Attach System (APAS) as the standard international docking mechanism.

    "After long and tough discussions NASA agreed with our reasoning and decided to adopt the Russian APAS docking mechanism interface, which has been repeatedly tested in real docking, as the standard," Savelyev said on the sidelines of the LAAD Defence & Security exhibition in Rio de Janeiro.

    The decision had to be made in order to standardize various countries' docking mechanisms for universal compatibility when docking at the International Space Station (ISS), he added.

    "Russian experts offered the APAS system, which was used for docking the Buran orbiter and various US shuttles to the Mir space station and the ISS, as the basis for a standard version. NASA agreed," Savelyev explained.

    Work on an international docking adapter standard started in 2009 when NASA, Roscosmos, the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, the European and Canadian space agencies agreed to create the International Docking System Standard (IDSS) for universal compatibility. NASA's largely untested Low Impact Docking System (LIDS), which later became the NASA Docking System (NDS) and is still under development, was the original blueprint for the universal standard.

    APAS, developed decades ago by Soviet engineering with US input, has been used by the Shuttle-Mir program and later to dock the Russian and US modules of the ISS.

    Tags:
    Roscomsos, International Space Station (ISS), Russia
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