Summer Vacations With An Edge: Go To Mother-effing Space
If you're very rich, very bored, and have a very deep need to one-up your shark diving and sandboarding friends, space tourism company Space Adventures will train you, put you on the back of a Russian rocket, and shoot you into outer space. They've been doing it for over a decade and they've become pretty good at it, sending several tourists into orbit to the tune of over $170 million.
The company offers all kinds of packages, from a lunar mission and orbital spaceflights to zero gravity walks on the International Space Station. This is usually where we'd give you the pricing for each separate package, but after the first dozen or so million dollars we lose track. Suffice it to say that the lunar mission, which takes tourists around but not onto the surface of the moon, clocks in at a cool $100 million. No one has taken them up on the offer yet so there's still a chance for you to become the world's first private lunar explorer.
Apparently the Earthrise as seen from the dark side of the Moon is quite stunning this time of year. Or any time of year.
A nontrivial note of warning: Space Adventures is the company that wouldn't return $21 million to a Japanese space tourist who got bumped by the Russians for medical reasons. Since the contract said something like "it's not the problem of Space Adventures if you pay us and end up getting bumped by the Russians for medical reasons," the case ended up in court.
On the other hand, this is the only company currently sending private citizens to space. Richard Branson's Swedish spaceport won't be good to go for another few years at best, so if you need to get to space right now, you don't have many other options.
[Photo: THEBLITZ1 / Wiki Commons]
· Space Adventures [Official Site]
· Space Tourism Coverage [Jaunted]
· Space Travel Coverage [Jaunted]