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Second commercial passenger may fly on next Soyuz mission
Posted: Fri, Jun 29, 2001, 11:59 AM ET (1559 GMT)
Soyuz booster prepared for Soyuz 2 launch (RSC Energia) Russian company Energia may fly two commercial passengers on the next Soyuz taxi flight to the International Space Station, the web site RussianSpaceWeb.com reported Thursday. Currently, two Russian cosmonauts and French astronaut Claudie Andre-Deshays are scheduled to fly on the Soyuz TM-33 mission scheduled for this fall, Andre-Deshays as part of a commercial deal with the French space agency CNES. However, Energia is reportedly considering replacing the Russian flight engineer on the mission with a second commercial passenger. That second passenger would be a professional astronaut, possibly a Canadian, and not a tourist like Dennis Tito, because of the short amount of time before the flight. Under that scenario Andre-Deshays, who has previously flown on a Soyuz, would serve as the flight engineer. RussianSpaceWeb.com noted, though, that no deal for a second passenger has yet been made.
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