space tourism

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Space Plane Takes First Test Flight

Mothership and spaceship flew for 3 hours in 'captive carry' test

(Newser) - Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo took to the skies for the first time yesterday over the Mojave Desert, an important step toward passenger flights in space in 2011. “This is a momentous day,” says Burt Rutan, who built the craft and its mothership for Richard Branson’s company. The... More »

Moon Trash Declared National Treasure

Calif. aims to preserve Apollo urine containers, space boots

(Newser) - California has named the remains of the Apollo 11 mission—including urine containers and space boots—a state historical resource. Experts in the nascent field of space archeology worry that, without preservation, what they call a "sacred site of world history" might be looted by future missions or space... More »

On the Horizon: Space Flights for $475

Cheap, sub-orbital trips could be reality in a decade

(Newser) - Need a vacation? Aerospace engineer Burt Rutan says in the next 10 years a flight to space may be as cheap as $475. In an interview with BigThink , the space pioneer who famously designed the first plane to fly around the world without stopping explains how he, under the auspices... More »

Branson Unveils SpaceShipTwo

Billionaire unveils first tourist spacecraft

(Newser) - Virgin Galactic chief Richard Branson yesterday rolled out the vessel he hopes will soon take thousands of people into space. Some 300 clients who already paid a deposit on the entrepreneur's $200,000 space travel tickets were on hand as SpaceShipTwo was unveiled at a hangar in Mojave, Calif., CNN... More »

1st Clown in Space Blasts Off

Billionaire Cirque founder will 'tickle astros' feet,' highlight water crisis

(Newser) - Canadian billionaire Guy LaLiberte became the 7th paying tourist—and the first clown—in space when he blasted off early today to the International Space Station on a Soyuz spacecraft. LaLiberte, founder of Cirque de Soliel, says he plans to crack jokes and tickle the other astronauts' feet as well... More »

First Repeat Space Tourist Arrives at ISS

(Newser) - A Russian spacecraft carrying a cosmonaut, an astronaut, and the first two-time space tourist has docked with the International Space Station, the CBC reports. The Soyuz capsule will soon offload the two crew members and US billionaire Charles Simonyi. Simonyi will return to Earth in the same capsule on April... More »

Space Tourism Blasting Off in 2011

Trips will cost $200k

(Newser) - For those bored with mere earthly trips, help is on the way. The first space tourist flights will take off in 2011 from New Mexico, reports AFP. For $200,000, an outfit run by British tycoon Richard Branson will fly tourists 70 miles above earth and then, presumably, back. Flights... More »

Tourist, Crew Dock at Space Station

Garriott will perform experiments, take photos from space

(Newser) - American space tourist Richard Garriott arrived safely at the International Space Station today for a 10-day visit, Space.com reports. “I can fly!” Garriott told Russia’s command center, where former NASA astronaut and dad Owen watched his son become the first second-generation space-traveler. Also aboard the Soyuz... More »

Space Tourist Video Gamer Blasts Off

Son of NASA astronaut hitches ride on Russian rocket for $35M

(Newser) - US video game magnate Richard Garriott blasted off into space today aboard a Russian rocket—and all it cost him was $35 million. The "space tourist" was cheered on by his father, a one-time NASA astronaut, Reuters reports. "I can see he is really enjoying it like a... More »

Private Firms Hope to Haul NASA's Space Cargo

And US agency wants their help

(Newser) - Hauling crew and equipment between earth and the international space station is expensive work, and NASA is looking to private entrepreneurs to pick up some of the slack, the Washington Post reports. Among the front-runners is Elon Musk, a founder of Paypal, who has seen his three prototype shuttles crash... More »

Branson's Aircraft: Beyond Space Tourism

Applications include satelites, drones and studying climate change

(Newser) - Though space tourism is an exciting feat in itself, it’s just the beginning of the possibilities for Virgin Galactic’s White Knight Two, the Economist notes. The carbon-composite plane doubles as a spaceship’s first stage, and is capable of launching satellites, transporting replacement engines, and facilitating the study... More »

Branson Rolls Out Space Plane

Craft could make first commercial flight—at $200K per ticket—by decade's end

(Newser) - At a remote airfield in the Mojave Desert today, Virgin Galactic founder Richard Branson unveiled the flagship of his new venture, an aircraft that will carry the first passenger space rocket to its launch height of 48,000 feet, the Los Angeles Times reports. Tickets are going for $200,000-plus,... More »

Google's Brin Books Flight to Space Station

Company co-founder puts $5M deposit on 2011 launch

(Newser) - Google co-founder Sergey Brin is turning space tourist, plunking down a $5 million deposit with Space Adventures for passage to the International Space Station aboard a Russian Soyuz rocket in 2011, reports the New York Times. Space Adventures is planning to buy two of the three seats aboard the mission,... More »

Space Tourism Gets New 2-Seater

Calif. company is second aiming to take passengers to new heights

(Newser) - California's XCor Aerospace is jumping aboard the space-tourism bandwagon with a new rocket plane, the Los Angeles Times reports. For $100,000, one passenger at a time will be able to ride the Lynx to 200,000 feet and feel about 90 seconds of weightlessness. With flight tests beginning in... More »

Space Tours to Northern Lights

Virgin Galactic to offer flights into heart of aurora borealis

(Newser) - Virgin Galactic plans to launch sightseeing tours into the heart of the northern lights—a first for humans—within three years. If all goes to plan, passengers willing to pay $200,000 a ticket will board spacecraft from north of the Arctic Circle to head for the edge of space,... More »

Mojave Spaceport Blast Kills 2

Four others hurt at company behind first manned rocket

(Newser) - An explosion killed at least two people at a remote desert plant attempting to develop billionaire Richard Branson's space tourism program. The blast at Mojave Air and Space Port was in part of the facility where SpaceShipTwo is being built for Virgin Galactic—to be used for $200,000 trips... More »

Citizens Book Tickets to Moon

Would-be astronauts fund growth industry

(Newser) - A citizen spaceflight company has two passengers willing to pay $100 million each for a flight around the moon. Tickets aboard Virgin’s future suborbital flights are flying out the door. The civilian aeronautics industry finds itself better funded every day, as would-be astronauts and  backers alike are rushing to... More »

Stephen Hawking Test-Drives Zero Gravity

(Newser) - Paralyzed super-physicist Stephen Hawking completed a zero-gravity flight off the Florida coast yesterday—floating weightless and free of his wheelchair for 25-second busts. "It was amazing,"  Hawking said after the flight. "Space, here I come!" The American firm normally charges $3,750 for the experience,... More »

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