Kosmokurs on Tuesday at the forum Innoprom signed an agreement with an automation NGO (part of the Roskosmos state corporation) to develop an on-board control-telemetry system for commercial civil-purpose launchers, the Roskosmos press service reported. The management system for the Cosmocourse is planned to be manufactured within five years, this company is going to create a complex for sending tourists into space on a suborbital trajectory, the release says.
The website of Cosmocourse says that the company wants to organize excursions to the altitude of Gagarin's orbit (180-220 km) along an open trajectory. To this end, the company intends to develop a reusable launch vehicle and a reusable spacecraft for seven seats (six tourists plus an instructor). The flight will last 15-20 minutes, including in weightlessness - 5-6 minutes, and will cost each tourist $ 200 000-250 000, the company plans. The first flight "Cosmocourse" wants to be held in 2025. The rocket will take the ship into orbit and return to the jet stream, the ship will return itself with the help of engines and parachutes.
Kosmokurs was created in 2014, 30% owned by the company's CEO Pavel Pushkin, 70% by Alexander Tukatsinsky, who has been on the boards of directors of the Ural Mining and Metallurgical Company (UMMC) and its large asset Kuzbassrazrezugol for many years. The investor of the Cosmocourse is UMMC - more precisely, the co-owner of UMMC Iskander Makhmudov, says the top manager of one of Roskosmos companies. The investor is a businessman from the Forbes list, keen on space, Pushkin told this edition in 2016. Yesterday Pushkin was unavailable for journalists, a representative of UMMC did not respond to the request. In 2008-2011, Makhmudov was a partner of Roskosmos for five launches from the Baikonur cosmodrome, wrote Forbes. In the rating of 2018 the magazine estimated his fortune at $ 7.3 billion (16th place in Russia).
The most famous investors in space tourism in the world are Virgin Galactic (a member of the Virgin Group of Richard Branson) and Blue Origin (created by the founder of the Internet giant Amazon Jeff Bezos). Blue Origin plans to send tourists using the same technology as the Cosmocourse: the rocket launches a six-seater capsule into space (although, to a height of only 100 km, the company promises the largest portholes from space tourism), the capsule returns on engines and parachutes . Branson has another technology: a twin-bodied turboprop aircraft specially designed for the company takes off with a rocket-propeller, at a certain altitude the launch vehicle is undocked and makes a vertical loop on its own rocket engine with an exit to suborbital altitude, then returns to the airfield as an aircraft using folding wings. The rocketplot has already completed two test flights, although it only climbed to an altitude of about 28 km. Neither Virgin Galactic nor Blue Origin is reported on their sites when they plan to send the first tourists.
At least the cost for the tourists on the Soyuz spacecraft (produced and launched by RSC Energia) in the crew of cosmonauts on the ISS was so much. In 2001-2009, "Energy" sent to the ISS seven people, one of them flew twice, each time the tourist spent 1-2 weeks in outer space. The first four rounds were worth $ 20 million, the fifth - $ 30 million, the sixth - the eighth - for $ 35 million
"Branson planned to send tourists back 10 years ago, but his project has stuck to the security issue, which awaits other investors: we need to guarantee such a high level of security that regulators allow commercial operation of the complex, and flights were not more dangerous, for example, flight by plane" , - says the corresponding member of the Russian Academy of Astronautics Andrei Ionin. The security issue will be key for all projects, the top manager of one of Roskosmos companies agrees, and even the sources of investments are not clear in the Cosmocourse project.
All these projects are more correctly called suborbital tourism, only RSC Energia (part of Roskosmos) organized real space tourism in the 2000s, recalls the top manager of one of Roskosmos companies. "To send private tourists to space came up with Yuri Koptev (in 1992-2004, the head of the Russian Space Agency, the predecessor of Roskosmos) - the Soyuz-2v launch vehicle that displays the Soyuz spacecraft has proved its absolute reliability over the decades operation, "- says the top manager of Roskosmos. ISS was only being built, its crew consisted of two people, and the Soyuz ship was triple, so there was a place for one tourist, recalls Ionin. The tourist flew with the new crew, spent 1-2 weeks at the ISS and returned back with the old crew. Then the ISS crew grew to six people, "Soyuz" began to carry three cosmonauts and there was no place for tourists, he adds. Total for the ISS in 2001-2009. seven tourists visited, one of them flew into space twice.