For this Tourism Tuesday, we’ll talk about the company that actually started the space tourism industry. Space Adventures, founded all the way back in 1998, started off by selling private tickets on the Russian spacecraft, the Soyuz, to the International Space Station. While there are other private space companies working to provide private citizens access to space, Space Adventures is the only company who has actually done that. They have sent seven private citizens into orbital space. No, one of them wasn’t Lance Bass.
But Space Adventures has their eyes set on a larger goal: sending tourists on a trip around the Moon.
What have they done?
They have sent seven very rich private citizens to the International Space Station. The most recent tourist, Cirque du Soleil founder Guy Laliberté, paid $35 million for this adventure. But it takes more than deep pockets to get on this rocketship. Space Adventures puts every tourist through several months of astronaut training.
In their words, the training itself “is not space camp.” It is a demanding process that includes:
- Using a simulator to learn how to fly the Russian Soyuz spacecraft. ($16,000 test
- Experiencing a high-G environment by riding in a human centrifuge. This will make sure you are prepared for the rocket launch to space. ($10,000 test)
- Training for a spacewalk in an underwater neutral buoyancy pool. ($34,000 for 2 people)
And you may have heard a long time ago that our lovely boy-band star Lance Bass was taking a trip to space? Well, he was. He went through the training and everything. Ultimately, however, his sponsors backed out and he didn't want to put up the money himself. Not cool sponsors, not cool.
What else are they planning?
Space Adventures' next big goal is to send two private citizens on a trip around the moon. They apparently have one person who has signed up and are simply waiting on the second to move forward. Check out their video about it below. As they said “there is only ONE first private mission to the moon.”
The trip will last seventeen days and you will allegedly be able to get within 100 kilometers of the lunar surface. Want to take that coveted second spot? You’re going to need $150 million to pay for the ticket. But for that price you’ll get a trip to the International Space Station and a trip around the moon! A steal, amirte?