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Report: Energia considering Soyuz tourist flights
Posted: Fri, May 18, 2001, 12:55 PM ET (1655 GMT)
Soyuz TM-31 docked at ISS Russian aerospace company Energia is considering selling flights on Soyuz spacecraft to would-be space tourists, CNN and SPACE.com reported Thursday. The reports said that Energia was in discussions with MirCorp, a commercial space company partially owned by Energia, to sell seats on Soyuz spacecraft to tourists. The Soyuz flights would be commercially funded and spend a week in space. The Soyuz would not dock with the International Space Station, thus escaping the criticism NASA and other ISS partners leveled at Russia for its recent flight of Dennis Tito, although CNN reported the Soyuz could dock with an unspecified orbiting module that Energia and MirCorp could build. There was no indication when such flights could begin, but MirCorp president Jeffrey Manber said that Energia could likely spare one of three Soyuz spacecraft it has under construction for a commercial flight.
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