Skip to main content

Russia, Space Adventures to fly 2 tourists to space station in 2023. (Spacewalk included!)

Two Russian Orlan spacesuits sit empty on the International Space Station ahead of a spacewalk in 2014. Space Adventures and Roscosmos have booked a private spacewalk for one of two space tourists flying to the station in 2023.
Two Russian Orlan spacesuits sit empty on the International Space Station ahead of a spacewalk in 2014. Space Adventures and Roscosmos have booked a private spacewalk for one of two space tourists flying to the station in 2023. (Image credit: NASA)

Space Adventures, a U.S. space tourism company, has booked two passenger seats on a Russian Soyuz capsule headed to the International Space Station in 2023, and one of those tourists will take part in a spacewalk.

The flight will launch on a Russian Soyuz rocket in a deal with the Russian space agency, Roscosmos. It is the second upcoming Soyuz flight for Space Adventures — the company has booked two Soyuz seats for passengers on a launch in 2021, also to the International Space Station (ISS).

"We have signed a contract with Energia [a subset of Roscosmos] that will allow two spaceflight participants to visit the ISS for 14 days and will move forward once we have identified and contracted with customers," Stacey Tearne, a Space Adventures spokesperson, said in an email to Space.com. "During their stay, one of the participants will have an opportunity to conduct a spacewalk."

Related: International Space Station at 20: A photo tour

Space Adventures has flown seven wealthy passengers on eight trips to the space station between 2001 and 2009. (One customer, Microsoft co-founder Charles Simonyi, flew twice.) Those flights reportedly ranged in cost from $20 million to $35 million per trip. 

In 2006, Space Adventures offered spacewalks to its spaceflight participants for an extra cost of $15 million for a 90-minute excursion. But such a flight never occurred.

Tearne and Space Adventures did not say how much the addition of a spacewalk opportunity would cost or other details surrounding that piece of the agreement. According to the Roscosmos statement, a Russian cosmonaut would accompany the tourist out of the airlock.

"A private citizen completing a spacewalk would be another huge step forward in private spaceflight," Eric Anderson, CEO of Space Adventures, said in a company statement. "We appreciate the chance to celebrate two decades of orbital space tourism with our Russian partners by opening up another first-ever experience."

Earlier this year, Space Adventures purchased four seats on a SpaceX Crew Dragon capsule into orbit around Earth for up to five days, a flight that could launch as early as late next year, company representatives said at the time.

Email Meghan Bartels at mbartels@space.com or follow her @meghanbartels. Follow us on Twitter @Spacedotcom and on Facebook. 

OFFER: Save 45% on 'All About Space' 'How it Works' and 'All About History'!

For a limited time, you can take out a digital subscription to any of our best-selling science magazines for just $2.38 per month, or 45% off the standard price for the first three months.View Deal

Meghan Bartels
SPACE.COM SENIOR WRITER — Meghan is a science journalist based in New York City. She joined Space.com in July 2018, with previous writing published in outlets including Newsweek and Audubon. Meghan earned an MA in science journalism from New York University and a BA in classics from Georgetown University, and in her free time she enjoys reading and visiting museums. Follow her on Twitter at @meghanbartels.

Join our Space Forums to keep talking space on the latest missions, night sky and more! And if you have a news tip, correction or comment, let us know at: community@space.com.