Russia, US company team for space travel

The first flight to the ISS under the new contract should happen within the next two years.
The first flight to the ISS under the new contract should happen within the next two years.

Russian space agency Roscosmos and US company Space Adventures have signed a contract to enable space tourists to vacation aboard the International Space Station two at a time, the Russian side says.

"This is the first contract for the flight of amateur cosmonauts following a decade's absence of tourists aboard the ISS," Roscosmos chief Dmitry Rogozin said on Twitter.

Space Adventures had arranged the flights of all seven previous space tourists to the ISS on Russian Soyuz spacecraft.

"Since the dawn of manned spaceflight, just over 550 people have travelled to space. We are pleased to be able to offer you the opportunity to be the next," Space Adventures says on its website.

The first flight under the new contract should happen within the next two years, Roscosmos said in a statement.

Russia is also offering space flights around Earth to emulate the route of the first human in space, Soviet cosmonaut Yury Gagarin, Rogozin said.

Gagarin completed a single orbit around Earth in 1961.

Australian Associated Press