Subscribe free to our newsletters via your
. 24/7 Space News .

Subscribe free to our newsletters via your

Space Tourism Companies Reaching For The Stars

Anjelina "are you sure my lips fit in this space suit?" Jolie.
by Sophie Estienne
Berlin (AFP) Mar 13, 2006
Will our grandchildren spend their vacations on the moon, or their honeymoons in a hotel orbiting Mars? A few dreamers at the International Tourism Fair say space tours for average travelers could come sooner than we think.

Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt are rumored to have booked tickets on Richard Branson's Virgin Galactic Spaceship which is due for lift-off in 2010. But experts at the ITB in Berlin said space travel may also one day be within reach for mere mortals.

"If you have 20 million dollars lying around, there is a spot available in April next year," Dieter Isakeit of the manned flight division of the European Space Agency said, noting the still astronomical cost for amateur astronauts.

US millionaire Dennis Tito laid down that amount in 2001 to become the first galactic tourist, spending a week on the International Space Station (ISS).

But few are able to pay such princely sums to realize their dream -- a Japanese man became only the fourth holidaymaker in space last September.

But more modest -- and radically cheaper -- trips could become available in the foreseeable future.

Professor Robert Goehlich of Keio University in Yokohama, Japan said that short suborbital flights, which would make it possible to experience a few weightless minutes, could be a reality within 15 years.

Flights that take passengers into spatial orbit for a few hours could be a niche market in 25 years, he added.

However the next step, a true holiday in space, is a more distant fantasy, not only for financial reasons.

A model space hotel on display in Berlin shows that comfort when travelers are afloat in the Milky Way will be hard to find.

The module, designed for use on the ISS, is comprised of four tiny cabins with berths for couples, a common room and a very basic bathroom.

Its developer, Dirk Schumann, said the package could be had at a price of two million dollars per person per week.

The other concern is safety.

"The Achilles' heel of the shuttles today is that they do not allow the crew to be ejected in case of major damage," German astronaut Ulf Merbold said.

"The space station is not like a plane in which the cockpit is separate from the passengers' cabin. It is as if people in a hospital could walk in and out of the operating room during a heart operation," Isakeit added.

And it will also take some time before Mars and Saturn start appearing as destinations in tour catalogues. The length of the journey is so prohibitive that it would take new propulsion technology to make manned travel to the major planets even a remote possibility.

But for those too impatient to wait, there are options.

The travel group European Space Tourist is offering four-day trips to the Cosmonaut Training Center at Star City east of Moscow with zero-gravity simulation flights. The experience can be yours for just 5,000 euros (6,000 dollars).

"The demand is growing all the time," proprietor Thomas Kraus said, saying that companies seeking a unique gift were particularly intrigued.

Certain inconveniences associated with space, however, will probably never improve.

European Space Tourist sells food developed by NASA on the Internet including packets of dried fruits.

The rest, "sounds good on the menu but on the plate it has a gelatinous consistency that is much less appetizing," Goehlich said.

"This artificial colony on the space station is incredibly lacking compared to the quality of life on earth," Merbold said.

"There are much more comfortable places than a shuttle to spend a honeymoon" or hold a wedding. "You cannot kiss the bride with a space-suit helmet on."

Source: Agence France-Presse

Related Links
Learn about Space Tourism at

Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News

SPACEHAB Joins List of NASA COTS Proposals
Houston, Texas (SPX) March 8, 2006
SPACEHAB said it has joined the ranks of companies proposing commercial cargo transport services to and from the International Space Station under NASA's Commercial Orbital Transportation Service solicitation.

  • Space Tourism Companies Reaching For The Stars
  • Kinesix Selected By Bigelow For Launch of First Inflatable Space Module
  • SPACEHAB Joins List of NASA COTS Proposals
  • SpaceX Plans Reusable Seven-Person Capsule

  • Mars Rover Update: Opportunity Captures Panorama At Payson
  • Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter Safely In Orbit
  • Earth Sends Most Advanced Observation Orbiter To Mars Yet
  • Mars Express Takes A Slice Of Olympus Mons

  • Fourth Time Is The Charm For Ariane 5
  • NASA ST5 Mission On Target For Tuesday Launch
  • Ariane 5 Launch Scrubbed Again
  • Ariane 5 Given Dress Rehearsal For Thursday Launch

  • Goodrich Delivers True Color Images On Japanese EO Satellite
  • International Symposium On Radar Altimetry To Meet In Venice
  • Satellites Ensure Safe Passage Through Treacherous Waters In Ocean Race
  • ESA Satellite Program Monitors Dangerous Ocean Eddies

  • To Pluto And Beyond
  • New Horizons Update: 'Boulder' and 'Baltimore'
  • New Horizons Set For A Comfortable Cruise Out To Jupiter And Pluto Transfer
  • Questioning Pluto

  • Record-Breaking Luminosity Boosts Potential Of Tevatron Collider
  • 'Tricorder' Could ID Alien Gems and Minerals
  • Arecibo Detector Is Discovering Thousands Of Galaxies
  • Astronomers Find Origin Of Extreme-Helium Stars

  • SMART-1 Tracks Crater Lichtenberg And Young Lunar Basalts
  • Quantum Technique Can Foil Hackers
  • Noah's Ark On The Moon
  • X PRIZE Foundation And The $2M Lunar Lander Challenge

  • Getting Lost May Soon Become A Thing Of The Past
  • GIOVE A Transmits Loud And Clear
  • Lockheed Martin Flight Tests Paveway II Dual Mode Laser Guided Bomb
  • GPS Test Uses Situational Laboratories To Reduce Costs

  • The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2006 - SpaceDaily.AFP and UPI Wire Stories are copyright Agence France-Presse and United Press International. ESA PortalReports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additionalcopyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by SpaceDaily on any Web page published or hosted by SpaceDaily. Privacy Statement