Friday, March 31, 2006

Space Tourism Update

The ticket prices are already dropping for space travel and you'll be able to lift off much sooner than you might expect.

The space tourism industry's revenues are expected to top $1 billion by 2021, according to Futron, a Maryland-based aerospace consultancy. And it's a measure of how fast things are moving in this nascent market that Space Adventures barely got a single mention in Business 2.0's recent cover story about business opportunities in space. We told you about Richard Branson and Burt Rutan's plans to launch Virgin Galactic flights from spaceports under construction in New Mexico and California, also starting in 2008. And we told you that Amazon.com's (Research) Jeff Bezos, Mr. Get-Big-Fast himself, is building a spaceport in West Texas for the space vehicles that his mysterious new startup, Blue Origin, is constructing.

But now Space Adventures has vaulted over all three famous names in the new space race, the goal of which is to part wealthy would-be astronauts from their money. (Space Adventures' tickets from the UAE and Singapore to sub-orbit will cost $100,000, half the price of a ride on Virgin Galactic's SpaceShipTwo.)

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