Mr Dula, a long-time space enthusiast, bought the kit from Russia after working as a patent lawyer in the industry. He and his business partner are the only investors in the company, which started in 2005.
The entrepreneur says this should help the company take passengers deeper into space than competitors such as Virgin Galactic. Sir Richard Branson’s venture will only allow tourists to orbit the earth, though its price is also less stellar, at £200,000.
James Oberg, a space flight consultant, said there were other companies exploring lunar missions, including as yet anonymous players but that none could start sending people as early as 2015.
However, Ken Pound, a professor of space physics at the University of Leicester, said the company would have to make remarkable progress to fly around the moon by then.
“I would put my money on China getting there sooner,” he said, adding that as the original Soviet designs are old, safety will be an especially key issue for a commercial enterprise.
Assuming wealthy passengers are keen to blast off, the Soviet spacecraft could also help the company break even quickly, Mr Dula said. The start-up costs should be covered between the first and second flight, he said, after which it targets a 50 per cent return on investment in three years.Page 2 of 3 | Prev Page | Next Page