Space Tourism Update

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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.

jonathan harris.jpg

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.

NEXT: Open Letter to Sen. Hatch: Do a Dubai Here, Dude

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  1. I’ll wait for zero gee space sex tourism.

  2. Jeff,

    Somehow I don’t think that would work so well. Mostly, it would involve a lot of velcro, and maybe some elastic.

  3. Jason:

    So basically it will be just like it is on Earth, except without the goats?

  4. I think several dozen gay couples going at it in zero gee, all facing the same direction, might be capable of propelling a spaceship. Like an indian tugging a rope at the head of his canoe.

    What such a drive might be called is open for discussion.

  5. Who the hell is going to clean this sex ship of yours? Remember: in zero gravity icky stuff doesn’t fall to the ground; it just floats.

    I’m still psychologically traumatized thinking about what might have happened the time I went into the bathroom and found a spider dangling from his web exactly at mouth-level for me. One extra step from me . . . eeeeeew. Yet I can think of worse things than spiders floating in mid-air.

  6. (that’s not counting Jonathan Harris,)

    Gillespie, you Libetarian Lump, you Annoying Anarcho-Capitalist, you Counter-Culture Clod

    How dare you dismiss my brave and courageous journey to the stars as nothing more than a stowayay’s attempt to hitch a free ride.

    Indeed!

  7. What would such a drive be called?

    The Libedo, of course!

  8. Ugh. This thread frightens and confuses me.

  9. Just think how I feel, Pro Libertate. For all the talk about gender equality and sexual liberation you’ll find here, when it comes time to clean the damn ship you just know everybody’s going to turn to the woman to get it done.

    Screw you guys. Clean up your own damned space spooge.

  10. A piece at Terrestrial Musings on spacefucking:

    http://www.transterrestrial.com/archives/007423.html#007423

  11. “Screw you guys. Clean up your own damned space spooge.”

    You say that Jennifer, but any man worth his salt has the perfect response; try to clean and fuck it up so badly that the woman goes and does it herself to keep you from fucking it up more.

  12. That, John, is why a smart woman insists on having sex on the man’s side of the bed. Which is why I distrust the idea of sex in zero gravity; there’s no “his side” or “her side” when there’s no “up” or “down.”

  13. Jeff and Jenn may be able to try this debate out for real sooner rather than later. A hotel company CEO has launched the first test cube for a space hotel

    Oh, and it’s inflatable.

  14. J & J,

    Y’all have too many opinions and too much knowledge about this topic. . .fess up, you’ve already booked a room at the Bigelow Space Hotel. With convenient hourly rentals. No, no, it’s okay. I’m just bitter than Jeff beat me to the Transterrestrial Musings entry on this topic.

    In other news, I’m pretty excited by all of the promising developments in space tourism over the last couple of years. The Bigelow effort seems to be going somewhere, this latest news on space walks sounds really cool (if I had millions to burn, I’d do it), and we have companies trying to get a suborbital transportation industry going, with, I hope, private orbital transportation not far behind. Once we can get into orbit on a cost-effective basis, the solar system will really open up. I’m buying a ranch on Mars.

  15. Hey, y’all are overlooking something – it’s been done.

  16. “Who the hell is going to clean this sex ship of yours? ”

    Illegal aliens.

    And is blasting members of boy bands off into space on the table again?

  17. Clean Hands,

    Those darned Russians! Yet another first for them. When will we ever learn? At least we’re more likely to have the first sex on the moon (“That’s one small thrust for a man. . .”).

  18. Actually, I’ve, ahem, seen the film, and it appears to be of European manufacture. Medium-high production values for the genre, which translates to laughably low by the standards of normal film, but it’s watchable.

    I’ll be in my bunk.

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