Space tourism company Space Adventures has signed a contract with RSC Energia for a Soyuz flight to the International Space Station that will include an opportunity for one customer to perform a spacewalk.
Under the contract announced June 25, a Soyuz spacecraft will fly a “short duration” mission, which Space Adventures described in a statement as lasting 14 days, to the ISS with two spaceflight participants and one professional cosmonaut on board. The contract is similar to an agreement announced in February 2019 for a 2021 Soyuz flight to the station, also with two spaceflight participants and one professional cosmonaut on board.
The new contract, though, would include the opportunity for one of the spaceflight participants to walk in space. According to a Roscosmos statement, that person, along with a Russian cosmonaut, would perform a spacewalk from the station’s Russian segment.
“A private citizen completing a spacewalk would be another huge step forward in private spaceflight,” Eric Anderson, chairman and chief executive of Space Adventures, said in a company statement. “We applaud our colleagues at Energia for working with us to create amazing new adventures in space.”
The idea of a spacewalk by a private astronaut has been floated for years as an add-on to an orbital space tourism flight. Space Adventures has promoted spacewalks from the ISS on its website for several years as a unique experience. Every person who has done a spacewalk to date has been a professional astronaut.