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Space Transportation

No More Space Tourists After 2009, Russia Says 105

mknewman writes with disappointing news for anyone with the money that it would have cost to fly as a space tourist, excerpting a story that says "Russia's space chief says there won't be any more tourists headed to the international space station after this year. Anatoly Perminov told the government newspaper Rossiiskaya Gazeta that there will be no room for paying tourists because the space station's crew is expanding from three members to six."
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No More Space Tourists After 2009, Russia Says

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  • Re:I don't get it. (Score:5, Informative)

    by oodaloop ( 1229816 ) on Wednesday January 21, 2009 @03:51PM (#26550661)
    With rising gas and oil prices, Russia has a lot more money now than it did when it started the space tourism business. Maybe that's curtailed a little recently, but I think it will pick up again when OPEC cuts production. They could probably swing this on their own now.
  • Re:I don't get it. (Score:5, Informative)

    by Futile Rhetoric ( 1105323 ) on Wednesday January 21, 2009 @03:57PM (#26550771)

    OPEC has been cutting production, and the oil prices are still less than 30% of what they were half a year ago. Its stock market has lost 80% of its value. Russia has some reserves built up, but anticipates a budget deficit for next year (and possibly the years after that). They have a lot of spending to do, like the announced plans to raise pensions, retool the military, etc. Will the oil prices bounce up? Maybe -- it depends on how quickly we're heading towards recovery (and it doesn't look like we're in any hurry), and whether or not last year's high oil prices had been a bubble in the first place.

    In light of this, it seems absolutely mad to cut off a pretty reliable source of funding. The only thing I can think of to explain the decision is that (as someone remarked above), they're simply playing hard-to-get, or that space tourism is not that profitable for them in the first place (which I frankly cannot imagine).

Adding manpower to a late software project makes it later. -- F. Brooks, "The Mythical Man-Month"