MOSCOW, Russia – A group of Russian companies are developing a spacecraft to bring tourists to orbit. The first flights could take place within the next five years, Alexander Begak, the chief builder of NPO Aerospace Technologies, told Sputnik.
The development of the unmanned suborbital spacecraft, called the Selena Space Yacht, began two years ago, but this is the first statement about it.
According to the project, the new orbital spacecraft can lift flights from airports like a plane. The vehicle must enter the space at a maximum speed of 3.5 Mach (4,320 km per hour) at an altitude of 120-140 kilometers. Next, the spacecraft begins to return to the atmosphere at the speed of 0.85 Mach.
“We can land at any airport, the aircraft landed like an airplane … We are calculating the appropriate time of stay in space, the comfortable flight path, since experience shows that people do not need to be in a position of imponderability for 10 minutes,” said the chief builder.
In total, there will be three copies of the device, each having six seats for passengers. Despite being unmanned, a pilot will be on board for safety and comfort for tourists.
The price of the trip to orbit will be about 200-300 thousand dollars.
Previously, the engineer had already built unique appliances, which were presented at the aerospace exhibitions. In 2018, Begak created, in the space of a month, a vehicle capable of traveling on land, sea and air, called Begalet HYPE.
This comes as Russia plans to launch four automatic spacecraft on the moon in 2031-2035, a source said.
“The Luna-30 landing complex will transport a 5-tonne lunar rover equipped with the necessary means to the lunar moon-31 landing complex to support the missions piloted. to extract lunar resources,” explained the source.
In addition, the Luna-32 landing complex will transport the natural satellite of the Earth modules with about 6 tons of weight to build a lunar polygon. The launch of the Luna-33 orbiter will ensure communication and navigation, he added.
Roscosmos chief Dmitry Rogozin said last week that exploring the moon is a priority task for the Russian space corporation. The goal was set by Russian President Vladimir Putin.