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Russia plans to resume space tourism

Moscow -- Russia says its could offer more seats than ever to space tourists when the program begins again in two to three years.

Russian halted the program last year because all seats aboard its spacecraft were needed to ferry crew to the International Space Station.

The nation's RSC Energia now has the capability to build five Soyuz spacecraft per year instead of four, which means one spacecraft could be designated for space tourists after 2012, RIA Novosti reported Friday.

Roscosmos, the Russian federal space agency, began ferrying wealthy tourists in 2001 with the flight of Dennis Tito, an U.S. businessman.

In all, seven space tourists have made the journey, the latest, Canadian Guy Laliberte, founder of Cirque du Soleil, who flew to the space station in October.

Copyright 2010 United Press International.

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