Space > Tourism
John Spencer/Space Tourism Society
No Free Doughnuts, Even In Space:
PayPal is announcing a project with SETI,
aiming to solve issues
around taking regular people — and commerce — into space.
Here, an artist's rendering of a space hotel,
from the Space
As People Head Into Space,
PayPal Says It Will Follow Them
NPR June 27, 2013 12:01 AM
22 June 2004
Scaled composites The
space tourism / private space flight / space
private space company
founded by the chief
executive of Amazon.com, Jeff Bezos
Virgin Galactic's VSS Unity
Virgin Galactic's SpaceShipTwo
one of several private
trying to kick-start the space tourism industry
plans more spaceships
Thu Feb 21, 2008
By Melanie Lee
SINGAPORE (Reuters) - Virgin Galactic, billionaire Richard
Branson's space travel venture, plans to order five more spaceships and aims to
turn a profit in five years from its commercial launch in 2010, an official told
Reuters on Thursday.
Prospective space travelers have so far placed deposits totaling more than $31
million for tickets that cost $200,000 each and would give them five minutes in
space, said Alex Tai, the firm's group director.
"In the short term, we have firm orders for five spaceships and options for
seven ... We believe there is a very strong market," Tai said in an interview at
the Singapore Airshow.
About 80,000 people from 120 countries have shown interest in these commercial
space flights that are likely to start in 2010. Seriously interested travelers
are asked to deposit at least $20,000, according to Virgin Galactic's Web site
"It's silly to divide the $200,000 by that 5 minutes. It really is a life-time
experience," Tai said.
Virgin, which aims to be the first to take paying passengers into space on a
regular basis, will invest $250 million in the space program, Tai said.
He declined to give the cost of each craft or the maker, though some parts will
come from Pratt & Whitney, the jet engine unit of United Technologies Corp
Asked when the company would become profitable, Tai said: "I imagine it will be
inside the first five years."
Virgin's SpaceShipTwo, unveiled last month and to be tested later this year,
will be able to carry 8 people into sub-orbital space. Virgin aims to start with
one flight a week before ramping it up to 14 flights a week, Tai said.
For $200,000, Virgin will prepare space travelers over three days for their
2-hour flight beyond Earth's atmosphere that will culminate in five minutes in
space. The three-day program will include simulating a zero-gravity environment,
showing travelers what it means to accelerate and decelerate quickly, as well as
what the Earth looks like from space, Tai said. The spaceship will initially be
launched from Mojave, California, but will eventually take off from a space port
in New Mexico.
Virgin Galactic is one of several high-profile contenders in the new commercial
Others include Astrium, the space arm of European aerospace firm EADS, Blue
Origin, started by Amazon.com Inc founder Jeff Bezos, Space Exploration
Technologies Corp (SpaceX), created by PayPal founder Elon Musk, and Bigelow
Aerospace, a venture aimed at creating space hotels, started by hotelier Robert
The leader in the budding sector is Virginia-based Space Adventures, which
started the space tourism phenomenon in 2001 when it put U.S. businessman Dennis
Tito on a Russian Soyuz craft for a reported $20 million.
(Additional reporting by Koh Gui Qing,
editing by Neil Chatterjee, Valerie Lee)
Virgin Galactic plans
more spaceships, R, 21.2.2008,
Star Trek's Scotty
in final space voyage
Sun Apr 29, 2007
By Steve Shoup
TRUTH OR CONSEQUENCES, New Mexico (Reuters) - Actor James
Doohan, who played the starship Enterprise's chief engineer Scotty on "Star
Trek," finally made it to space on Saturday as a rocket with some of his ashes
was launched in New Mexico.
Remains of the Canadian-born actor, who died two years ago at the age of 85,
hurtled to the edge of space aboard a telephone pole-size rocket that blasted
off from a desert launching grounds near Truth or Consequences.
Doohan inspired the legendary catch phrase "Beam me up, Scotty" -- even though
it was never actually uttered on the popular television show.
Hundreds of spectators clapped, cheered and cried as his ashes roared aloft
along with the remains of some 200 other people, including astronaut Gordon
Cooper, who first went into space in 1963. Cooper died in 2004 at age 77.
"It was great, it was fun and we want to go again," said Doohan's widow, Wende
Doohan, who pressed the launch button with Cooper's widow, Susan Cooper.
The flight was arranged by Houston-based company Space Services Inc. The company
charges $495 to send a portion of a person's ashes into suborbital space.
The firm had originally planned to blast Doohan's remains into space two years
ago. But the flight was delayed by tests, then by a misfire during a practice
launch last year.
During a 15-minute flight, the rocket separated into two parts and returned to
Earth on parachutes with the capsules holding the remains. The maximum height
reached was 384,000 feet or 72 miles.
Capsules containing the ashes are retrieved, mounted on plaques and given back
In 1997, the company blasted the remains of "Star Trek" creator Gene Roddenberry
Crystal Warren saw the remains of her space enthusiast brother-in-law take
flight. "He's going home. He's there now. He has wanted to be up there forever,"
The brief flight by the Spaceloft XL rocket was the first commercial launch from
Spaceport America, the world's first commercial spaceport, a $225 million
project developed with support from the New Mexico state government.
British tycoon Richard Branson said last year he would use the site as a base
for his space tours firm, Virgin Galactic, which plans to blast tourists into
space by the end of the decade.
Star Trek's Scotty
beamed up in final space voyage,
Related > Anglonautes >