Boeing Signs Up to Explore Space Tourism as Early as 2015
Another day, another small reason to be optimistic that space tourism will (someday) become as affordable as any other once-in-a-lifetime vacation. We've written about commercial space travel company Space Adventures a bunch, from their extreme summer vacations to their just-over-six-figures per trip sub orbiters. Now they've passed another major milestone, inking a deal with Boeing to put passengers on board "Crew Space Transportation"100 vehicles to be made by Boeing, with the intention of sending them very speedily into a low Earth orbit.
Prices for the rides haven't been published yet, and Space Adventures has a little bit of time before that becomes an issue. Boeing hasn't even started manufacturing the crafts yet, and no flights are expected until some time around 2015. We're not exactly holding our breath on the price tag either. It's not like these are going to be LCC-level prices, which is closer to our usual wheelhouse.
That said, we continue to hold out hope that the ongoing competition between Space Adventures and Virgin Galactic will push down prices just a little bit. Commercial space travel won't be a reality for many, many years obviously. But people forget that what we know as modern civil aviation is just over six decades old, which is well within one lifetime these days. Airplanes themselves are just a bit over 100 years old.
Now space shuttles have been around for decades, so the technology is at least somewhat there. All that remains is to push costs low enough for the "experience packages" to become luxury items. After that the tickets should sell themselves, on account of how we're talking about mother effing space.
[Photo: Boeing via Seattle PI]
· Boeing Moves into Space Tourism [SeattlePI]
· Science Travel [Jaunted]
· Virgin Galactic [Jaunted]