An American travel company has signed a contract with the Russian government to provide the first ever tourist spacewalk.
The trip is set for 2023, when two paying passengers will fly to the International Space Station on a Russian Soyuz capsule for a short expedition that will include one of them venturing outside the ISS airlock, accompanied by a cosmonaut. The plan was revealed this week by the Energia space corporation, which is part of Russia’s Roscosmos space agency. Russia and Space Adventures have sent several wealthy tourists into space in the past, including Dennis Tito, the first-ever tourist to visit the ISS.
“A private citizen completing a spacewalk would be another huge step forward in private spaceflight,” Eric Anderson, chairman and CEO of Space Adventures, said in a statement. Tourists will have to undergo training in Russia before the flight, with additional time needed for whoever buys the spacewalk experience. The company doesn’t list a price tag. Tito paid about US$20 million for his trip into space back in 2001. The most high-profile trip however will be SpaceX’s plans to send a tourist around the moon on its Big Falcon Rocket in 2023.