Space Adventures Exhibits At WAI
Space Tourism once seemed like an
oxymoron. Now, what was once considered science fiction is big
business, thanks to Space Adventures and the Russian Space
Founded in 1998, CO Eric Anderson knew there were people that
wanted to go into space who weren't astronauts or cosmonauts and
could pay for the opportunity. Dennis Tito, Mark Shuttleworth, Greg
Olsen and most recently the first female tourinaut, Anousheh Ansari
have all been into space at a cool $20 million per ticket.
With all the sensitive equipment and language barrier you don't
just pony up your $20M and hop on board the Soyuz. No sir, you
spend six months and 900 hours training in Star City alongside the
cosmonaut and/or astronauts who will be piloting your ride. Soyuz
systems, the International Space Station (ISS), learning the
Russian language and physical training are all part of your lesson
plan. All this training will prepare you for 10 days on the
In training right now for the next launch in early April is Dr.
During the eight day trip the tourinauts lend a hand and perform
experiments, sometimes using their own bodies as the experiment.
Ansari helped with a lower back pain study and a microbe study,
according to Space Adventures' Pat Hoar (below.)
Spacewalking is a recently added option at an additional cost of
$15M for about 1.5 hours. The view is unmatched. Additional
training is, of course, necessary to the tune of about 600 hours,
but six-to-eight days is also added to the trip.
For the ultimate in getting away from it all, Deep Space
Expeditions-Alpha cost $100M. Two tourinauts and one cosmonaut will
spend six days going around the moon and returning safely to the
Earth. Bring lots of memory cards for the camera!
What if you don't have $100M or even $20M, there are trips for
the "budget conscious." Suborbital flights are tagged at just over
$100K. Enjoy the Earth view from 62 miles up. The five-place
vehicle is in the development stage, and no liftoff date has been
announced just yet.
Training is over four
days covering safety procedures, vehicle systems, flight ops,
weightlessness and more. Two spaceports will be built in
conjunction with the program, Spaceport Singapore and Spaceport
Suborbital flight still a little pricey? A Zero-G flight may be
within the right price range. The nearly full-day adventure is
priced just above $3K. Mission briefing and several parabolic
flights in a modified 727-200 are on the agenda.
One thing that has not been eliminated with space tourism is
losing your luggage. Tourinauts are allowed 10kg of personal items,
and the scientific experiments they will be conducting while on the
ISS. Sometimes the experiments are sent up to the ISS on the supply
ship Progress -- and all the boxes look the same, as there is no
marking system and it is difficult to locate the correct boxes.
Space tourism gives a whole new definition to the space race. In
this race, maybe we all win.