Onward and Upward with Space Tourism

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Two more rich civilians have inked a deal to fly to the space station on a rocket from Russia, via the Virginia-based company Space Adventures. It still costs $20 million, but the budget-conscious should remember that complimentary meals are included in that price.

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  1. It’s not just the 20 extra large, passengers have to accept the risks of handing their lives over to the cash-strapped, failure-prone, Russian space program. Oddly enough, the same bureaucratic forces have corrupted the US space program, with similar high-risk acceptance consequences, despite far greater budgets.

    The commercial market is of course where the space program, including adventure tourism, belongs. Still, in spite of the elegant simplicity of astrophysics, it’s remains a costly proposition to lift 100 kilograms a 100 kilometers off the ground. (With every additional kilogram driving the cost increasingly higher). Robust and reliable life support also comes at a price. There would need to be quite a lot of folks willing to shell out $20M a pop to make it an attractive entrepreneurial investment. Perhaps they could offer frequent flyer miles to lure customers.

  2. I hear the tube of Salmon Wellington is well worth the cost of the trip.

  3. $20 Million. What’s the in-flight movie?

  4. Only in an extremely robust, reason-based world-wide free-market economy can private space tourism become a reality. That’s a lot of compound modifiers to overcome. It will remain a fantasy so long as people think Marxism “looks good on paper” and Americans are afraid of free trade with Canada.

  5. Warren,

    Space flight involving humans would remain risky whether it was government mandated or not. Where it is not risky is the launching of sattelites; the only profitable wing of space flight – that is low to medium orbit launches of commercial sattelites.

  6. GO HERE.

    http://www.rocketmanblog.com/

    I would reference specific relavent posts but they are too many. Go, read them all, and learn.

  7. Sorry, I scewed up the link.

    GO HERE

    that preview button is cool!

  8. I still think it’s pie in the sky. Or is that spam in the sky?

  9. It always drives me nuts to see the government-dependent space tourism story trump the privately-funded space tourism- particularly in libertarian media. Here’s the real story of the day:

    SpaceShipOne Breaks the Sound Barrier
    http://www.scaled.com/projects/tierone/index.htm

    Kirsten

  10. $20 million would buy a lot of Tang.

  11. The US space pen vs. Russian pencil is an ubran legend. See Snopes:

    http://www.snopes.com/business/genius/spacepen.asp

    “$20 million would buy a lot of Tang.”

    That’s some funny shit.

  12. Damn, I hate getting fooled by something like that. Still, a friend of mine was present at Baikonur several years ago to witness a space launch. I think it might have been the first one that carried an American astronaut on board. He came away very impressed, not only by how much they accomplish on a shoestring, but by how much is just left to rot. Remnants of their N-1 program, for example, are left in what amounts to a junkyard.

  13. The Russian space program may be cash poor, but it is technologically sound. They do not believe in replacement of technology for it’s own sake, but that can be an advantage. After all, NASA spent tens of thousands of dollars developing a pen, with a gel-type ink, that would function in a zero ‘g’ environment. The Russians just used pencils.

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