Says Lower Price Is Proof Competition Is Lowering Cost Of Space
A travel entrepreneur who introduced hundreds of thousands of
Americans to European travel in the 1960's announced Tuesday he
wants to take luxury travel to new heights -- the edge of space --
and for a pricetag less than half of what competitors plan to
Jules Klar, founder of Phoenix, AZ-based RocketShip Tours,
announced Tuesday his company will immediately begin selling rides
to the edge of space for $95,000 per flight. Participants will fly
aboard the Lynx, a two-seat suborbital vehicle being built by
California-based XCOR Aerospace.
"Years ago, my dream was to introduce the world to new travel
opportunities at prices that were consistent with a unique
experience," said Klar. "In 1961 I created $5-A-Day Tours in
partnership with Arthur Frommer that enabled thousands of Americans
to see Europe at affordable prices."
After moving to Arizona, Klar created Great American Travel, a
high-end boutique operation specializing in luxury cruises and
tours. "We've helped thousands of sophisticated adventurous
travelers visit exotic destinations all over the world including
Antarctica, where they developed a deeper appreciation for its
beautiful, pristine and fragile environment. Today, I am very proud
to announce this partnership with XCOR Aerospace to offer
participants an out of this world experience -- a front row seat to
the edge of Space.
"The natural evolution of human exploration knows no bounds.
RocketShip Tours and XCOR have come together to usher in the
private sector's role in space exploration. There is no doubt that
a new era of pioneering space enthusiasts is emerging. In fact,
prior to signing this agreement with RocketShip Tours, XCOR had
already taken paid reservations for approximately 20 flights," said
The total cost of the Lynx flight experience will be $95,000. A
deposit of $20,000 begins the process of assigning the participant
to the qualification program. Klar said one does not have to be an
athlete to fly aboard the Lynx, but the procedure will include a
medical questionnaire and a screening performed by qualified
Instruction regarding life support systems, flight physiology,
and other aspects of the Lynx suborbital flight will also be
provided. "We want to ensure the experience is as safe as possible
and that people are adequately trained and prepared."
XCOR Chief Test Pilot and three-time Space Shuttle Pilot and
Commander, Rick Searfoss said the Lynx will carry people or
payloads to the edges of space up to four times a day. Seated next
to him in the co-pilot seat, participants will undoubtedly
experience the thrill of a lifetime. The awe-inspiring view of the
curvature of Earth, the thin blue mantle of the atmosphere below,
and inky blackness of space above will provide participants with
unforgettable memories beyond description.
XCOR officials discussed the
technology used on the two-seat, fully reusable launch vehicle that
takes off like an airplane, and lands the same way, while Chris
Gilman of Orbital Outfitters, a NASA spacesuit contractor,
demonstrated the spacesuit technology that will be worn by those
flying in the Lynx. Gilman, winner of an Academy Award for special
effects, said the suit is both lighter and safer than older NASA
Klar said he was inspired by the revolutionary Lynx suborbital
vehicle because it offers participants a unique and intimately
personal experience. "You're sitting in a cockpit in the co-pilot's
seat beside your astronaut pilot, with a panoramic view of the
stars above and Earth below. It is the ride of your life!"
"I am going to fly aboard the Lynx because I want to experience
space from a front row seat," said Danish investment banker Per
Wimmer, who will take the first commercial flight aboard the Lynx.
"My goal is to place the Dannebrog, the Danish flag, on the Moon
one day. Flying to the edge of space aboard the Lynx will make me
the first Dane to experience suborbital space flight and takes me
one step closer to my ultimate goal."