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Adventures in Space

Got a spare $100 million and a hankering for travel? We may have the solution. Check out our coverage on commercial space travel, drawn from the 2008 Summer issue of ASEE’s Prism magazine.

Luring Wealthy thrill-seekers into space, an expanding group of companies offers out-of-this-world adventures price from $100,000 to $100 million.

con-fea-03-imageEADS ASTRIUM

Resembling a corporate jet but powered by rocket engines, the space plane of this European Aeronautic Defense and Space Co. subsidiary will hurtle passengers 60 miles into space for several minutes of weightlessness and spectacular views of Earth, the company promises. The first flight is set for 2012 at a reported cost of $240,000 or more per tourist. The company projects a total market of 20,000 space travelers by the year 2020.

con-fea-03-image-02

VIRGIN GALACTIC

As entrepreneur Richard Branson’s latest venture, Virgin Galactic aims to launch tourists on its six-passenger SpaceShipTwo by 2010. Already, more than 250 people have paid $200,000 upfront for the privilege. Virgin is teaming with the New Mexico government, Foster + Partners architects and URS Corporation engineers to construct an eco-friendly desert spaceport, right

con-fea-03-image-03SPACE ADVENTURES

An early entry in high-end space tourism, this company has already sent four civilians to the International Space Station, including telecom entrepreneur Anousheh Ansari, right. A suborbital flight 62 miles up will cost $102,000. Voyagers can join a future ISS mission for $30 million, or go to the far side of the moon for $100 million.

con-fea-03-image-04XCOR

For the traveler on a budget, the Lynx rocket plane, right, is designed to take off by itself and carry a pilot and one passenger 200,000 feet skyward, allowing them to experience 90 seconds of weightlessness. Cost per trip: $100,000. Test flights start in 2010.

4 Responses to “Adventures in Space”

  1. […] a vacation and a hotel stay in outer space may sound exciting, you might not want to hop on that rocket ship […]

  2. […] people hear NASA and think of rocket ships and outer […]

  3. […] announcing the creation of one of the world’s first commercial spaceflight ventures, Virgin is now moving to explore more uncharted […]

  4. […] announcing the creation of one of the world’s first commercial spaceflight ventures, Virgin is now moving to explore more uncharted […]

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