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.
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.
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.
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.