Space Tourism Update


Come for the weightlessness, stay for the opportunity to take a spacewalk:

It may be the pinnacle of travel perks, but the only firm arranging private trips to the International Space Station (ISS) is now offering a bonus spacewalk for clients willing to pay for more than a standard $20 million trip.

The Vienna, Virginia-based firm Space Adventures announced Friday that future paying visitors the space station can take a 90-minute spacewalk, or extravehicular activity (EVA) and extend their orbital trip by up to eight days for an added cost of about $15 million.

A Japanese businessman is set to become the fourth space tourist (that's not counting Jonathan Harris, who really was more of a stowaway). More here.

In March 2005, Reason talked with Ansari X Prize winner Burt Rutan, the Elvis of aerospace, who told us that space tourism is "mainly just for fun." His great NASA-bashing Q&A is here.