How space tourism is skyrocketing

Sales in the space tourism space, Mr. Curran acknowledges, “are reasonably hard to come by,” and mostly come from peer-to-peer networks. “You can imagine that the people who spend $450,000 to go into space are probably operating in circles that are not the same as yours and mine,” he said.

Some of Mr. Curran’s most popular offerings include flights in which you can experience the same sense of zero-gravity weightlessness felt by astronauts in space, which he arranges for clients via specialized, chartered Boeing 727s that fly in parabolic arcs to imitate being in space. Carriers including Zero G also offer the service; the cost is around $8,200.

You can almost count the number of completed space tour launches on the fingers of one hand: Blue Origin has had four; SpaceX, two. Meanwhile, Virgin Galactic announced Thursday that the launch of its commercial passenger service, previously scheduled for late 2022, has been pushed back to early 2023. Many of those on standby lists are biding their time before liftoff by signing up for receive training. Axiom Space, which is under contract to SpaceX, currently offers training in partnership with NASA at the Johnson Space Center in Houston. Virgin Galactic, which already offers a “customized future astronaut preparation program” at its Spaceport America facility in New Mexico, is also partnering with NASA to create a training program for private astronauts.

Aspiring space tourists shouldn’t expect the rigor that NASA astronauts face. Training for Virgin Galactic’s three-hour voyages is included in the cost of the ticket and lasts a few days; includes pilot briefings and being “fitted for your custom Under Armor spacesuit and boots,” according to its website.

Not ready for a rocket? Balloon rides offer a less spooky celestial experience.

“We’re going into space at 12 miles per hour, which means it’s very smooth and very smooth. You are not moving away from Earth,” said Jane Poynter, co-founder and co-CEO of Space Perspective, which is preparing its own balloon tourist spaceship, Spaceship Neptune. If all goes according to plan, the trips are scheduled to start from Florida in 2024, at a cost of $125,000 per person. That’s a fraction of the price of Blue Origin and Virgin Galactic, but still more than double the average annual salary of an American worker.

Neither Space Perspective nor World View yet have the required FAA approval to operate flights.

Whether your transport is a capsule or a rocket, travel insurance company Battleface launched a civil space insurance plan in late 2021, a direct response, CEO Sasha Gainullin said, to a surge in interest and demand. space tourism infrastructure. Benefits include accidental death and permanent disability in space and are valid for space flights on carriers like SpaceX, Blue Origin and Virgin Galactic, as well as stratospheric balloon rides. They’ve had a lot of inquiries, Gainullin said, but no purchases yet.

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