Commercial Space Travel

Push the boundaries of conventional travel with an extraordinary vacation experience beyond Earth.

By: Jennifer Plum Auvil
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Virgin Galactic's VSS Enterprise

Photo by: Reuters

Reuters

Who says the sky has to be the limit when it comes to travel? Push the boundaries of conventional travel with an extraordinary vacation experience beyond Earth. A new kind of space race is on as private companies seek to be the first to launch private Citizens into outer space in the elusive space tourism sector.

Virgin Galactic
Sir Richard Branson invites you to book your place in space aboard a Virgin Galactic VSS Enterprise. Passengers must pay a steep $200,000 to don a modern spacesuit and join a crew on a manned journey beyond the outer edges of our atmosphere. After crossing the threshold into space, travelers can experience the weightlessness of zero-gravity while gazing back down to Earth. And while flights aren’t ready for take-off immediately, travelers may add their name to a waiting list along with a $20,000 deposit. In October 2010, Virgin Galactic made great strides in space tourism when completing a successful free flight from a mother ship at an altitude of 45,000 feet and landing in Mojave, CA.

Space Adventures
Space Adventures team up with Boeing to offer commercial spaceflight options to private citizens seeking to reach Earth’s orbit. This forward-thinking company plans to bring along private citizens for a lunar mission to circumnavigate the moon and the opportunity to train for a combined spaceflight and spacewalk, a unique celebration of history that most of us can only ever experience in film, books, museums, games or simulators. Space Adventures has already sent 7 private citizens to the International Space Station for a steep cost (nearly $40 million a person), but if all goes as planned, Space Adventures and Boeing will be ready to shuttle the starry-eyed masses aboard a space taxi as early as 2016.

Galactic Suite
The space capsules at the Galactic Suite will give new meaning to a room as all of the accommodations will promise stellar views of planet Earth. If things go as planned, this Spanish company will be booking guests into the world’s first space resort in 2012. After a brief training period on a tropical island, guests will be shuttled into space and settled into the orbiting space resort, which will travel around the Earth 15 times a day. Every 45 minutes, you can watch the sun rise or set in a different spot on the planet, making the world seem just a bit smaller. While some critics are skeptical about the launch date and progress, other earthlings patiently wait for their chance to sleep in a stellar space suite.

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