Blue Origin expects to start flying people on its New Shepard suborbital vehicle early this year, but has yet to start selling tickets or even establish a ticket price for future commercial flights.
A startup claims it will be able to place a single-module commercial space station into orbit by 2022, although the company faces multiple and significant technical and financial hurdles.
Glavkosmos Director General Denis Lyskov said at the Paris Air Show Tuesday that future missions could fly two tourists and one professional cosmonaut, possibly visiting the ISS.
In 2004, Burt Rutan predicted a vibrant future for commercial suborbital spaceflight. Thirteen years after SpaceShipOne nabbed the Ansari X Prize, suborbital space tourism has yet to take off.
Both Blue Origin and Virgin Galactic should be positioned to fly paying passengers in late 2018. How will a successful commercial flight impact the economics of space tourism? What is the demand for such flights?
About 650 customers are already holding tickets for SpaceShip Two, said Stephen Attenborough, commercial director of Virgin Galactic.
Space Nation, the Finnish startup seeking to pave the way for the transition of humanity into space, announced plans May 16 conduct experiments on the international space station.
Blue Origin founder Jeff Bezos said April 5 that his company was still hoping to start flying people on suborbital space tourism flights by the end of next year, while suggesting crewed test flights will not start this year as previously planned.
To avoid regulatory uncertainty, Congress should extend current restrictions on commercial human spaceflight regulations permanently and create a new class of license with stricter safety requirements.
A Kazakh cosmonaut, and not a Japanese businessman who had been training as a backup, will take the place of space tourist Sarah Brightman on a Soyuz flight to the International Space Station in September, the Russian space agency Roscosmos announced June 22.