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Blast Off to Space

October 26, 2010

Space travelers, your ship has arrived…well almost. The Aerospace Corporation, which provides information on launch vehicles, satellite systems and space technology, announced its plans to enter the space tourism industry. According to a Boeing news release, Aerospace and a company called Space Adventures Ltd. reached an agreement last week to sell seats on Boeing spacecrafts to space tourists.

Space Adventures Ltd. is a Virginia-based company that currently works with the Russian Space Agency to fly tourists to the International Space Station. Since 2001 they have brokered flights for seven people, three of whom were Americans. The International Space Station is a stay of seven to fourteen days. Space tourists often agree to be part of research studies, which cut down on the cost of their ticket.

Vice president and general manager of Boeing’s Space Exploration division, Brewster Shaw, acknowledged the success of its new partner saying, “By combining our talents, we can better offer safe, affordable transportation to commercial spaceflight customers.”

The CST-100 can fly on multiple launch vehicles including Boeing airplanes. The Spacecraft seats four astronauts who will fly the ship, and the remaining three seats will be sold to those who can afford the ticket price.

Boeing is not the only Aerospace company looking to enter the space tourism market. Sir Richard Branson founded Virgin Galactic in 2003, part of his Virgin group empire. The company built Spaceship One, which was the first privately funded spaceship to be constructed.

Virgin Galactic already has over 80,000 individuals making down payments on future spaceflights. Virgin will sell seats on its spaceships for $200,000, however the price is predicted to fall to $20,000 by 2015 when they expect to launch their first commercial flight to space.

Boeing and Space Adventures are trying to combine with NASA and other international space agencies, but needs NASA permission due to governmental air space.

As of now Boeing is planning their first civilian passenger flight for 2015. The price of these flights used to range from $20-30 million. Fight prices now, will depend on astronaut crew rotation schedules.

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