The Russian Space Agency (Rosaviakosmos) has confirmed the authority of the American Space Adventures company, signing on Tuesday a contract for a week-long tourist flight to the International Space Station of two Americans in 2004 and 2005.
"The company president Eric Anderson is empowered on a commercial footing to seek for likely candidates", official spokesman for Rosaviakosmos Vyacheslav Mikhailichenko said to RIA Novosti on Wednesday.
To him, both the claimants to free seats in the Russian Soyuz spacecraft have enough money to pay they way. Simultaneously, he specified that "nobody has officially introduced them and Rosaviakosmos views them only as likely candidates for a tourist flight".
The first space tourist was Dennis Tito. For his flight to the International Space Station in 2001 he paid 20 million dollars. Since then, the space fees have not been cut. Of the many dreamers of a week-long space trip, those not only having fat purses and good health but also the best research programmes to offer are selected.