Wired has a cool article in the new issue about commercial space travel. "The first private launches could happen next year for up to $250,000 a ticket," they say. So let's see... the down payment on my new home, or the trip to space? Hmmm. That's a tough call. Unfortunately, Wired didn't reprint the article online, so I can't give you a link. But check it out on newstands. They've also got a nice, two-page map of the world with all the commercial spaceports marked.
Thankfully, Trendhunter has an interesting story on their blog this week about space tourism, which I can reprint.
Washington, July 24 (DPA) Bored with just the flight to the International Space Station (ISS)? Soon, wealthy space tourists can take advantage of a new thrill, a space walk while orbiting 400 kilometres above the Earth, offered by the Russian Federal Space Agency (RFSA) and its booking agent, "˜Space Adventures'. The price has been set at $35 million, according to the website of "˜Space Adventures', a company outside Washington D.C. that arranges the trips. The travel brochure on the "˜Space Adventures' website describes the basic journey like this: "˜Orbital (Price: $20,000,000). Spend one week at the International Space Station orbiting the Earth. Includes six months of intense training, roundtrip transportation to the ISS, and a week's lodging in space.' That's the basic 10-day trip that Daisuke Enomoto, the Japanese businessman, has purchased for a September flight on a Russian Soyuz craft to the space station. He'll be the fourth paying customer to ride into space with the Russians.
$35 mil a pop? Not bad.