Rocket launch from Earth as seen by the Space Station 😍 @elonmusk pic.twitter.com/G9ytX2JMkJ— Pranay Pathole (@PPathole) December 15, 2021 ">
On Dec. 8, Russia resumed space tourism with the dispatch of Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa and his assistant Yozo Hirano to the International Space Station.
On Thursday, the director of the Russian space agency Roscosmos Dmitri Rogozin announced that his country will manufacture up to four Soyuz manned spacecraft per year in order to develop the space tourism industry.
He also indicated that Energuía Corporation, Russia's leading manufacturer of rockets and spacecraft, will present a plan to increase production.
After the cancellation of the NASA shuttle program in 2011, Russian Soyuz spacecraft were used to carry U.S. astronauts to the International Space Station (ISS).
In 2020, however, the United States regained its ability to use its own spacecraft to bring its astronauts to the ISS, which meant a loss of a significant source of revenue for Roscosmos. To make up for this financial loss, the Russians are looking to boost their space tourism industry.
In the past 20 years, Russia has sent eight tourists into space aboard its Soyuz spacecraft. However, the tourism business was paralyzed for twelve years due to Roscosmos's contractual commitments to NASA.
On Dec. 8, Russia resumed space tourism with the dispatch of Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa and his assistant Yozo Hirano to the ISS aboard a ship commanded by cosmonaut Alexandr Misurkin.
This flight marked a milestone in space tourism, since for the first time two tourists traveled to the orbital platform in the same Russian spacecraft. Japan's 30th richest man and his assistant will return to Earth on Dec. 20 after spending 12 days on the ISS.