|Quoting BaylorAirBear (Thread starter):|
For a cool $100 million, it doesn't sound so bad. I know it's apples and oranges, but it seems like a better deal than $20 million to visit the ISS. Trips will be made in a modified Soyuz, and the are to be the precursors to eventual lunar landings. I think I would like to join the 238,328 Miles High Club.
This will be essentially a revival of the Zond flights that were the Soviet precursors to their planned lunar landing in the 1960s. The Soviets never debugged the system enough to trust it to cosmonauts, back then, and Soyuz now is a very different bird than the lunar-era Soyuz (aka Zond) was, so I don't think I'd want to be the first to take the $100 million trip...
I doubt this program will ever fly. The lunar Soyuz won't be useable as a Space Station lifeboat, so the Russians can't just bump a cosmonaut and sell his seat to a tourist. That means the lunar tour will have to pay pretty much the full cost of the mission. The Russians do things cheap, but $100 million even for them is too low for two launchers (remember, it will need a Proton-launched upper stage for the moon burn) and a heavily upgraded Soyuz.
In other words, I'll believe it when I see it.
It's good to see the space tourism industry really trying to expand, but this program is hopelessly unrealistic.