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One lucky space tourist could get a shot at an ISS spacewalk in 2023

Space Adventures and Russia's Energia have signed a contract to put a tourist outside the ISS.

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NASA astronaut Drew Morgan on his first spacewalk in 2019. A space tourist may be doing the same thing in 2023.


Space tourism company Space Adventures announced a deal on Thursday with the S.P. Korolev Rocket and Space Corporation to fly two space tourists to the International Space Station. What makes this contract an eye-opener is that it would give one of the tourists an opportunity to go for a spacewalk outside the ISS.

Space Adventures said this person would become "the first private citizen in history to experience open space."

The S.P. Korolev Rocket and Space Corporation (known as Energia) makes the Soyuz equipment for Russia's space agency Roscosmos, which confirmed the Space Adventures agreement on Thursday. Roscosmos is targeting the flight for 2023.  

The spacewalking tourist won't be sent out of the air hatch alone. A professional cosmonaut will go along. The spacewalk will also call for quite a bit of prep work. "Accepted and secured candidates will be required to complete specialized training and additional simulations in preparation for the spacewalk attempt," Space Adventures said.

The flight will take place using a Russian Soyuz spacecraft, and the spacewalk participant will stay at the Russian segment of the station for 14 days. 

Space Adventures has been busy inking deals to send private citizens into space, including a deal with SpaceX for seats on the Crew Dragon.

A previous agreement with Roscosmos from early 2019 included plans to launch two tourists to the ISS in 2021, but it didn't feature a spacewalk option. Space Adventures told CNET the new contract is for a separate mission from the 2021 flight.

Space Adventures has a history with Roscosmos dating back to the launch of the first space tourist, Dennis Tito in 2001. The last space tourist visited the station in 2009, but the ISS could soon become a hot spot for wealthy vacationers if Space Adventures' rocket-powered plans pan out. 

Space Adventures hasn't released pricing details for its tourist flights, but you can bet they'll cost a bundle.