Source Pravda.Ru

Russia to display tourist space ship at EXPO-2005

At the world exhibition EXPO-2005, Russia will display a model of a shuttle sub-orbital tourist ship C-XXI.

A spokesman for the Myasishchev experimental machine-building plant , where the ship will be built on the order from the ZAO Sub-Orbital Corporation, told RIA Novosti about it.

"The first flight of this rocket glider may take place at the beginning of 2005. A ticket for it will cost about 100,000 dollars, or 200 times less than first space tourist Dennis Tito paid for his flight on the International Space Station," the plant spokesman told the agency.

The rocket glider can rise to the height of more than 100 kilometres and will make it possible for the pilot and the two passengers to experience zero-G in the course of five-ten minutes.

The entire sub-orbital flight from the start to the landing will last about an hour. The ship will be mounted on the fuselage of the M-55 Geofizika aircraft which will raise the C-XXI to the height of 17 kilometres. At the speed of 750 kilometres per hour the rocket glider will be undocked from the aircraft, then will switch on its hypersonic engines and start its independent flight towards the lower border of space.

The tourists will rise above the stratosphere and will be able to feel zero-G. Then the ship will turn 360 degrees and roll to make it possible for the passengers to enjoy space views through the cabin windows, and then will start a controlled re-entry.

The landing will be automatic on extended undercarriage. As an alternative, the landing can be carried out on a paraglider.

The Russian Research Association Zvezda is preparing full-pressure suits and ejection seats, that is a reserve emergency rescue system for the pilot and the tourists. The C-XXI will have a protective ceramic coating, similar to the one used on the Soviet space shuttle Buran.