Multiple private space companies want to operate commercial businesses taking tourists into space. One of those companies is called Space Adventures, and it planned to launch a mission sometime between late-2021 and mid-2022. Space Adventures had a reservation with SpaceX using Crew Dragon for its tourist mission.
However, Space Adventures has announced that it has canceled plans to fly tourists on a high-altitude Crew Dragon mission. Space Adventures says it has canceled its plans with SpaceX because its reservation expired, and the mission will be unable to launch in the near future. However, Space Adventures hasn’t ruled out the possibility of going back to SpaceX for a launch date at a later time.
The planned mission would have put four crew members into an orbit above the Earth at an altitude twice as high as the ISS. Once at altitude, the civilian crew would spend five days orbiting the Earth. The company did confirm that the mission had been marketed to a large number of prospective customers.
While the expired reservation with SpaceX is mainly to blame, a company spokesperson says it was a mix of price, timing, and the experience not being right for the time and contract it had in place with SpaceX. One thing that remains a mystery for most private space missions is exactly how much they cost.
Space Adventures may not be a name most people recognize, but it’s already taken visitors to the ISS as far back as 2001. Previously, the company would buy up unused seats on Soyuz missions launching from Russia. The last private astronaut company flew to the ISS in 2009.
However, Space Adventures has a dedicated mission, Soyuz MS-20, set to launch on December 8. That mission will take three passengers, including a Japanese billionaire, his assistant, and a professional astronaut, to the ISS to spend 12 days on the station before returning home in the same spacecraft.