Russia's Energia Eyes Moon Ride

 @naagesh10 on August 22 2011 8:41 AM

Russia's Energia corporation is considering to take enthusiastic space tourists to the Moon on board its Soyuz spaceship.

We are holding initial negotiations (with Space Adventures) on the commercial flight around the moon. The crew makeup, partners and project budget are on the agenda, Energia President Vitaly Lopota told Interfax-AVN.

Space adventures has already sold one ticket for $150 million to an unnamed buyer whom it has described as well-known. Rumors said Titanic film maker James Cameron was the one but he denied the reports while no one has pointed out Richard Branson, another rich space enthusiast who can afford it.

Energia, the designer and manufacturer of Soyuz manned spaceships, is planning a commercial flight either directly to the moon or to dock first with the International Space Station (ISS) and later pay a visit to the moon.

The direct trip may take eight days while the second one may take up to 21 days, it said.

RKK Energia builds the Russian Soyuz spacecraft for the Russian space program. If the negotiations succeed, the flight would take place sometime in 2016 or 2017, the report said.

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