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We've spent the last few years tracking how private space tourism is becoming a capital-T Thingand of course now that the space shuttle program is dead, private space flight is for better or worse the only game in town.
You might also remember a post from last year about commercial space travel company Space Adventures, which inked a deal with Boeing for vehicles that could be shot into low-earth orbit. We speculated at the time that the world was still many years from regular launches, both because it takes time to build spaceships and because we still don't really have the infrastructure to launch them.
All of that aside, we're certainly getting closer. There are now contests springing up promising to send lucky winners into space, with the latest coming from the team behind the Seattle Space Needle. The iconic tourist attraction was built for the 1962 World's Fair and, as its 50th anniversary celebration approaches, organizers want to recapture some of that futuristic magic.
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.