Space Adventures plans tourism missions around the Moon (for just $150 million!)

Illustration for article titled Space Adventures plans tourism missions around the Moon (for just $150 million!)

If you've got a lust for space travel, a desire to go where only a couple of dozen people have gone before, and $150 million to spare, Space Adventures needs you.

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The space tourism company—it's the one that organizes the ISS trips via the Russian Soyuz—has mapped a potential tour around the moon that could lift off within five years. But until it sells the second seat, the mission will remain grounded.

That's right, the second seat. The company has already secured a nine-digit commitment from one customer for a potential lunar sightseeing tour. And the logistics are already in place as well: aboard a three-seat Russian Soyuz spacecraft (the third seat is for a Russian mission commander), the tourists would launch into orbit where they would rendezvous with a separately-launched unmanned rocket, which would jet them the rest of the way to the moon.

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Alternatively, the Soyuz might stop at the ISS before making its rocket rendezvous, depending on a variety of factors (like how much money you're willing to shell out, for one). Round trip: eight or nine days.

The Soyuz wouldn't land tourists on the moon obviously, but it would circle it at an altitude of just 62 miles at minimum, providing that up-close view of the cratered lunar surface and that storied Earthrise that thus far has only been witnessed by 24 people.

Of course, first you have to get the money together. Space tourists to the ISS have paid between $20 million and $35 million for the privilege. That $150 million price tag mentioned above isn't absolutely fixed, but even as a ballpark figure it dwarfs the already astronomically high price of previous space tourism. But if you're the kind of person that can reasonably drop $150 million on vacation, you're probably not going to quibble over a few million more.

[SPACE. Illustration via Space Adventures.]

This post originally appeared on Popular Science.

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DISCUSSION

graviton1066-old
Graviton1066

I am so sick of Space Adventures Inc. They are nothing but a bunch of do-nothing-themselves leeches ... build your own damn spacecraft and rockets and space stations to do things with ... don't mooch off the achievements of the taxpayers (of Russia, the United States, European Space Agency, and Japan)

And I'm also sick of Russia too ... you wanna sell tourism packages to unjustly wealthy people? Don't hide behind sleazy American twits. MAKE YOUR OWN DAMN TOURISM COMPANY AND GET IT OVER WITH!

I think space exploration is something that should ALWAYS be done BY the people FOR the people in a publicly funded space program that gives the benefits of space exploration back to the people at no charge.

Space is no place for shareholder profit, except maybe in terms of building the rockets and spacecraft and probes that the government buys to implement its space program.

The people that get to go into space should deserve to go there based on their achievements OTHER THAN THEIR BANK BALANCE!!!

Astronauts are talented enough to be PAID to go into space. I don't respect anyone that just buys their way into orbit.