space tourism

Enlarge picture
The curvature of Earth seen from orbit provides one of the main attractions for tourists paying to go into space

Space tourism is the recent phenomenon of individuals paying for space travel, primarily for personal satisfaction.

As of 2007, space tourism opportunities are limited and expensive, with only the Russian Space Agency providing transport. The price for a flight brokered by Space Adventures to the International Space Station aboard a Soyuz spacecraft is now $30 million. Flights are fully booked until 2009.

Among the primary attractions of space tourism are the uniqueness of the experience, the thrill and awe of looking at Earth from space (described by astronauts as extremely intense and mind-boggling), the experience's notion as an exclusive status symbol, and various advantages of weightlessness. The space tourism industry is being targeted by spaceports in numerous locations, including California, Oklahoma, New Mexico, Florida, Virginia, Alaska, Esrange in Sweden and Wisconsin, as well as Singapore and the United Arab Emirates. Some use the term "personal spaceflight" as in the case of the Personal Spaceflight Federation.

Early dreams

After initial successes in space, many people saw intensive space exploration as inevitable. In the minds of many people, such exploration was symbolized by wide public access to space, mostly in the form of space tourism. Those aspirations are best remembered in science fiction works (and one children's book), such as Arthur C. Clarke's A Fall of Moondust and also , Roald Dahl's Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator, Joanna Russ's 1968 novel Picnic on Paradise, and Larry Niven's Known Space stories. Lucian in 2 A.D. in his book True History examines the idea of a crew of men whose ship travels to the Moon during a storm. Jules Verne also took up the theme of lunar visits in his books, From the Earth to the Moon and Around the Moon. Robert A. Heinlein’s short story The Menace from Earth, published in 1957, was one of the first to incorporate elements of a developed space tourism industry within its framework. During the 1960s and 1970s, it was common belief that space hotels would be launched by 2000. Many futurologists around the middle of the 20th century speculated that the average family of the early 21st century would be able to enjoy a holiday on the Moon.

The end of the space race, however, signified by the Moon landing, decreased the importance of space exploration and led to decreased importance of manned space flight.[1]


The Soviet space program was aggressive in broadening the pool of cosmonauts from the very beginning. Many Westerners believed that Valentina Tereshkova was less qualified than other cosmonauts of the era and as such was a kind of space tourist. The Soviet Intercosmos program also included cosmonauts selected from Warsaw Pact members and later from allies of the USSR and non-aligned countries. Most of these cosmonauts received full training for their missions and were treated as equals, but especially after the Mir program began, were generally given shorter flights than Soviet cosmonauts. The European Space Agency took advantage of the program as well.

The U.S. Space Shuttle program included payload specialist positions which were usually filled by representatives of companies or institutions managing a specific payload on that mission. These payload specialists did not receive the same training as professional NASA astronauts and were not employed by NASA, so they were essentially private astronauts. NASA was also eager to prove its capability to Congressional sponsors, and Senator Jake Garn and (then-Representative, now Senator) Bill Nelson were both given opportunities to fly on board a shuttle. As the Shuttle program expanded, the Teacher in Space program was developed as a way to expand publicity and educational opportunities for NASA. Christa McAuliffe would have been the first Teacher in Space, but she was killed in the Challenger disaster and the program was canceled. During the same period a Journalist in Space program was frequently discussed, with individuals such as Walter Cronkite and Miles O'Brien considered front-runners, but no formal program was ever developed. Eventually, McAuliffe's backup in the Teacher in Space Program, Barbara Morgan, would train and fly as a full-fledged NASA astronaut. She launched aboard STS-118 as a payload specialist and spoke to many students as an educator during the trip.

With the realities of the post-Perestroika economy in Russia, its space industry was especially starved for cash. The Tokyo Broadcasting System (TBS) offered to pay for one of its reporters to fly on a mission. For $28 million, Toyohiro Akiyama, was flown in 1990 to Mir with the eighth crew and returned a week later with the seventh crew. Akiyama gave a daily TV-broadcast from orbit and also performed scientific experiments for Russian and Japanese companies. However, since the cost of the flight was paid by his employer, Akiyama could be considered a business traveler rather than a tourist.

In 1991, British chemist Helen Sharman was selected from a pool of public applicants to be the first Briton in space.[2] As the United Kingdom had no space program, the arrangement was by a consortium of private companies who contracted with the Russian space program. Sharman was also in a sense a private space traveler, but she was a working cosmonaut with a full training regimen.

Private space tourism

Enlarge picture
The FAA's commercial astronaut wings for those involved in the space tourism industry who went beyond 62 miles; only 2 people have been awarded it
While it is sometimes jokingly argued that John Glenn was essentially a tourist on his 1998 shuttle flight (STS-95), space tourism did not resume for another three years. MirCorp, a private venture by then in charge of the space station, began seeking potential space tourists to visit Mir in order to offset some of its maintenance costs. Dennis Tito, an American businessman and former JPL scientist, became their first candidate. When the decision to dismantle Mir was made, Tito opted to book a trip to the International Space Station through U.S.-based Space Adventures, Ltd., which remains the only company to have sent paying passengers to space.[3][4][5]

In conjunction with the Federal Space Agency of the Russian Federation and Rocket and Space Corporation Energia, Space Adventures facilitated the flights for the world's first private space explorers: Dennis Tito, Mark Shuttleworth, Gregory Olsen, Anousheh Ansari and Charles Simonyi. The first three participants paid in excess of $20 million (USD) each for their 10-day visit to the ISS.

On April 28, 2001, Dennis Tito became the first "fee-paying" space tourist when he visited the International Space Station (ISS) for seven days. He was followed in 2002 by South African computer millionaire Mark Shuttleworth. The third was Gregory Olsen in 2005, who is trained as a scientist and whose company produces specialist high-sensitivity cameras. Olsen planned to use his time on the ISS to conduct a number of experiments, in part to test his company's products. Olsen had planned an earlier flight, but had to cancel for health reasons.

After the Columbia disaster, space tourism on the Russian Soyuz program was temporarily put on hold, because Soyuz vehicles became the only available transport to the ISS. However, in 2006, space tourism was resumed. On September 18, 2006, Anousheh Ansari, an Iranian American (Soyuz TMA-9) became the fourth space tourist (she prefers spaceflight participant). On April 7, 2007, Charles Simonyi, an American billionaire of Hungarian descent, joined their ranks (Soyuz TMA-10).

In 2010 space tourism to the ISS could become much more common as NASA hopes to rely on COTS (commercial orbital transportation systems) to send both astronauts and cargo to the ISS. Furthermore it is quite likely other vehicles will be ready by then.

In 2003, NASA and the Russian Space Agency has agreed to use the term 'Spaceflight Participant' to distinguish those space travelers from astronauts on missions coordinated by those two agencies. Tito, Shuttleworth, Olsen, Ansari, Simonyi, and Muszaphar were designated as such during their respective space flights.[6] lists Christa McAuliffe as a "Space Flight Participant" (although she did not pay a fee), apparently due to her non-technical duties aboard the STS-51-L flight.

The X Prize

Enlarge picture
The X-Prize being awarded to the Scaled Composites team
On October 4, 2004, the SpaceShipOne, designed by Burt Rutan of Scaled Composites and funded by Virgin Galactic, won the $10,000,000 X Prize, which was designed to be won by the first private company who could reach and surpass an altitude of 62 miles (beyond the Karman line, the arbitrarily defined boundary of space).[7] The first flight was flown by Michael Melvill on June 21, 2004 to a height of 62 miles, making him the first commercial astronaut.[8] The prize-winning flight was flown by Brian Binnie, which reached a height of 69.6 miles, breaking the X-15 record.[7]

List of flown space tourists

Enlarge picture
Space tourist Mark Shuttleworth
All six tourists flew to and from the International Space Station on Soyuz spacecraft:[10]
  1. Dennis Tito (American): April 28 - May 6, 2001
  2. Mark Shuttleworth (South African / British): April 25 - May 5, 2002
  3. Gregory Olsen (American): October 1 - October 11, 2005
  4. Anousheh Ansari (Iranian / American): September 18 - September 29, 2006
  5. Charles Simonyi (Hungarian / American): April 7 - April 21, 2007[11]

Future space tourist candidates

The following people have been named as possible future commercial passengers on Soyuz spacecraft to the ISS: First Russian space tourist will not lift off until 2009. RIA Novosti (2007-10-05).
14. ^ TALIS Institute. Retrieved on 2007-05-20.
15. ^ (2006-10-12) "Scotland 2040: Spaceships head for Moon with lunar golfers and crater ramblers aboard". 
16. ^ (2004-09-28) "British tycoon wants to fly you to space: Virgin Galactic plans to sell $200,000 rides". 
17. ^ X PRIZE Foundation.
18. ^ Space Adventures.
19. ^ Zero Gravity Corporation.
20. ^ The Last Frontier Of Tourism (article by Stefan Tiron, published by monochrom)
21. ^ Article on Civilians in Space.
22. ^ The New Space Race Chad Vander Veen, January 2007, Government Technology
23. ^ Space tourism:
24. ^ "Electronic Code of Federal Regulations". 
25. ^ (2004-12-09) "Congress Passes Space Tourism Bill". 
26. ^ Virgin Galactic - Virgin Galactic
27. ^ (2004-12-09) "Flight to Orbit". 
28. ^ Doligosa, Felix, Jr.. "[ Query into tragic test begins: But finding the cause of the deadly blast may take up to six months, officials say>]", Kern County news, 2007-07-27. Retrieved on 2007-07-29. 
29. ^ Europe joins space tourism race, Times online, June 10, 2007
30. ^ An interview with Michael Gold about Bigelow Aerospace.
31. ^ (2005-08-10) "$100 Million Moon Trip: Space Tourism's Hot Ticket?". 
32. ^ Space Tourism Society The Space Tourism Society (STS) is a California 501(c)3 nonprofit organization whose mission is to encourage as many people to travel into Earth orbit as soon as possible for the space experience. STS aims to provide the vision and voice for the evolution of humanity off-world in a humane, fun, and beautiful direction. STS was created to inspire people to build real products for future use in space.
33. ^ Space Future Journal.
34. ^ (2007) "Space Tourism: Personal Spaceflight for you ...". 
35. ^ Space hotels.
36. ^ (2006-10-06) "A Room with a View of Mars, Please". 
37. ^ Hilton to back space hotel (1999-03-09). Retrieved on 2007-05-20.
38. ^ The Space Island Group's Mission (2006). Retrieved on 2007-05-20.
39. ^ "[2] 
40. ^ "Space Future - Prospects of Space Tourism] |date=1996=05-15 |url=[3] | year =". 
41. ^ "[4] 
42. ^ Retrieved on 2006-09-22.

External links

For travel through space, see space travel.

Space Travel was an early computer game that simulated travel in the solar system. It was the development of this game that spurred the development of the Unix operating system.
..... Click the link for more information.
20th century - 21st century - 22nd century
1970s  1980s  1990s  - 2000s -  2010s  2020s  2030s
2004 2005 2006 - 2007 - 2008 2009 2010

2007 by topic:
News by month
Jan - Feb - Mar - Apr - May - Jun
..... Click the link for more information.
The Russian Federal Space Agency (Russian: Федеральное космическое агентство
..... Click the link for more information.
Space Adventures, Ltd.

Founded 1997
Headquarters Vienna, Virginia, USA

Industry Commercial Spaceflight
Products space tourism
Space Adventures, Ltd.
..... Click the link for more information.
International Space Station (ISS) is a research facility currently being assembled in space. The building of ISS started in 1998. The station is in a low Earth orbit and can be seen from Earth with the naked eye: its altitude varies from 319.6 km to 346.
..... Click the link for more information.
Soyuz (Russian: Союз, IPA: [sa.'jus]); English: Union) is a series of spacecraft designed by Sergey Korolyov for the Soviet Union's space program.
..... Click the link for more information.
This article or section contains information about scheduled or expected future events.
It may contain tentative information; the content may change as the event approaches and more information becomes available.
..... Click the link for more information.
EARTH was a short-lived Japanese vocal trio which released 6 singles and 1 album between 2000 and 2001. Their greatest hit, their debut single "time after time", peaked at #13 in the Oricon singles chart.
..... Click the link for more information.
astronaut or cosmonaut (Russian: космона́вт IPA: [kəsmʌˈnaft]
..... Click the link for more information.
status symbol is something, usually an expensive or rare object, that indicates a high social status for its owner.


The expression "status symbol" was first recorded in 1955 [1] but gained wide currency through the 1959 best selling book
..... Click the link for more information.
Weightlessness is experienced by people during free-fall. Although the term 'zero gravity' is often used as a synonym, weightlessness in orbit is not the result of gravity itself being eliminated or even reduced significantly (in fact, the acceleration towards earth due to gravity
..... Click the link for more information.
spaceport or space launch facility is a site for launching spacecraft, by analogy with seaport for ships or airport for aircraft. In rocketry, major spaceports (such as Cape Canaveral Air Force Station) often include more than one launch complex, each of which may have more
..... Click the link for more information.
Editing of this page by unregistered or newly registered users is currently disabled due to vandalism.
If you are prevented from editing this page, and you wish to make a change, please discuss changes on the talk page, request unprotection, log in, or .
..... Click the link for more information.
State of Oklahoma

Flag of Oklahoma Seal
Nickname(s): Sooner State
Motto(s): Labor omnia vincit (Latin: Labor conquers all things)

Official language(s) None

Capital Oklahoma City

..... Click the link for more information.
State of New Mexico

Flag of New Mexico Seal
Nickname(s): Land of Enchantment / Tierra del Encanto
Motto(s): Crescit eundo

Capital Santa Fe
Largest city Albuquerque
Largest metro area
..... Click the link for more information.
Editing of this page by unregistered or newly registered users is currently disabled due to vandalism.
If you are prevented from editing this page, and you wish to make a change, please discuss changes on the talk page, request unprotection, log in, or .
..... Click the link for more information.
Commonwealth of Virginia

Flag of Virginia Seal
Nickname(s): Old Dominion, Mother of Presidents
Motto(s): Sic semper tyrannis

Official language(s) English

Capital Richmond
Largest city
..... Click the link for more information.

Flag of Alaska Seal
Nickname(s): The Last Frontier
Motto(s): "North to the Future"

Official language(s) None[1]
Spoken language(s) English 85.7%,
Native North American 5.
..... Click the link for more information.
Esrange, the European Space and Sounding Rocket Range, is a rocket range and research centre located outside the town of Kiruna in northern Sweden. It is a base for scientific research with high altitude balloons, investigation of the aurora borealis, sounding
..... Click the link for more information.
(Royal) "För Sverige - I tiden" 1
"For Sweden – With the Times" ²

Du gamla, Du fria
..... Click the link for more information.
State of Wisconsin

Flag of Wisconsin Seal of Wisconsin
Nickname(s): Badger State, America's Dairyland
Motto(s): Forward

Official language(s) None

Capital Madison
Largest city
..... Click the link for more information.

..... Click the link for more information.
"God, Nation, President"
Ishy Bilady

(and largest city) Abu Dhabi

..... Click the link for more information.
The Personal Spaceflight Federation is a private spaceflight industry group, incorporated as an industry association for the purposes of establishing ever higher levels of safety for the commercial human spaceflight industry, sharing best practices and expertise, and promoting the
..... Click the link for more information.
    Space exploration is the use of space technology to physically explore outer space, with both human spaceflight and robotic spacecraft.


    While the observation of objects in space—known as astronomy—pre-dates reliable recorded history, it was
    ..... Click the link for more information.
    Sir Arthur C. Clarke

    Arthur C. Clarke meeting with fans, at his home office in Colombo, Sri Lanka.
    Born: 16 November 1917 (1917--) (age 91)
    Minehead, Somerset, England
    ..... Click the link for more information.
    A Fall of Moondust

    cover -- S.F.Masterworks S.
    Author Arthur C. Clarke
    Country United Kingdom
    Language English
    Genre(s) Science fiction novel
    Publisher Orion Publishing Group
    Publication date 1961
    ..... Click the link for more information.
    Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator

    Original book cover of Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator with illustrations by Joseph Schindelman
    Author Roald Dahl
    Illustrator Joseph Schindelman
    Country United States
    Language English
    ..... Click the link for more information.
    19th century - 20th century - 21st century
    1930s  1940s  1950s  - 1960s -  1970s  1980s  1990s
    1965 1966 1967 - 1968 - 1969 1970 1971

    Year 1968 (MCMLXVIII
    ..... Click the link for more information.
    Larry Niven

    Larry Niven at Stanford University in May 2006
    Born: March 30 1938 (1938--) (age 69)
    Los Angeles, California
    Occupation: Novelist
    Nationality: American
    ..... Click the link for more information.

    This article is copied from an article on - the free encyclopedia created and edited by online user community. The text was not checked or edited by anyone on our staff. Although the vast majority of the wikipedia encyclopedia articles provide accurate and timely information please do not assume the accuracy of any particular article. This article is distributed under the terms of GNU Free Documentation License.