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First Russian space tourist to leave Earth in 2012

10-12-2010 09:34 BJT

MOSCOW, Oct. 11 (Xinhua) -- The first Russian space tourist will fly to the orbit in 2012, said the Russian office of U.S. space tourism company Space Adventures on Monday.

Eugeni Kovalev, a St. Petersburg resident, was to tour the outer space for free as winner of a contest sponsored by a Russian beer company, the RBC news agency quoted Sergei Kostenko from the office as saying.

The tourist spaceship designed by U.S. Armadillo Aerospace will made five or six test flights before welcoming the first real tourist aboard.

According to Kostenko, his company has received 200 applications for a space travel. Flight conditions during a leisure trip would be much softer than during Soyuz space flights, he said.

The Space Adventures was negotiating with Russia's federal space agency Roscosmos on the possibility to use Soyuz spacecraft for leisure trips.

Roscosmos confirmed that the agency has been approached by both the tourism company and India's space agency over purchasing Russian spaceships.

Editor:Zheng Limin |Source: Xinhua

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