The Russian Federal Space Agency (Roscomos) has said in an 8 April report on its website that the third seat for the September flight of the Soyuz spacecraft TMA-16 will be for a space tourist or a Russian cosmonaut. As reported by Space Adventures in its 3 April press conference the arrangement for the Kazakhstan cosmonaut to go to the International Space Station (ISS) on TMA-16 appears to have fallen through

The 8 April statement also holds out the prospects of more space tourists depending upon the retirement date of NASA’s Space Shuttle, it qoutes Roscosmos head Anatoly Perminov as saying. Good news for Space Adventures but I am not aware of any future Shuttle flights, even under the extension studies, being used for crew rotations after this year, every Soyuz seat is going to be for an ISS crew member

In another Roscosmos website report, dated 11 April, dealing with the worldwide financial crisis and the future of the Russian space industry, it is stated that the new Advanced Crew Vehicle that S P Korolev Rocket and Space Corporation Energia has been contracted for is going by the name “Rus”