MOSCOW (Sputnik) — In August, Solntsev said Energia was preparing a Moon expedition on board an upgraded Soyuz spacecraft, with eight space tourists interested in a trip. Renowned Canadian filmmaker James Cameron and a Japanese family were said to be among the first to express interest in the lunar orbit trip.
In April, Energia’s head said at least four were likely space tourists and were ready to pay for the trip. Energia has also been considering the resumption of the ISS tourist program. In February, Solntsev said a contract for nine tours could be signed before 2021.
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“Crafting ISS commercial flight contracts is hard work which depends on many factors. We are discussing contract details with potential clients. The same applies to the Moon orbit trip… We have worked out various options with our partners for sending tourists to the ISS and to the Moon, but the decision is not made just by us, but jointly with the other space powers, as there are issues beyond technical and financial ones, such as legal concerns and so on,” Solntsev said.
Energia has been cooperating with the US-based Space Adventures space tourism company to secure potential clients wishing to fly around the moon. Space Adventures reportedly priced the Moon trip at $150 million, with the launch itself likely to take place by 2020.
The company has so far sent seven tourists to the ISS since 2001, with the tickets ranging between $25 and $35 million. Energia has also been in contact with other partners in the United States, according to Solntsev.