Thursday, September 16, 2010

Start Saving Now: Boeing to Offer Space Tourism in 2015

As a kid, I wasn’t as into space and the solar system as a lot of my peers, but taking a tour outside earth’s atmosphere was somewhere on my to-do list. When I grew up and opted not to go the astronaut route, I thought the “space travel” box on my list would remain unchecked. Now, I’m reconsidering.

Boeing, the world's leading aerospace company and the largest manufacturer of military and commercial airplanes in the world, has announced a partnership with marketing firm Space Adventures, and plans to send tourists into orbit in a new space capsule by early 2015.

Space Adventures has already sent seven well-to-do folks to space, but with the Boeing partnership, the number of space tourists should take a drastic jump. Take a look at this quote in the Ottawa Citizen today from Brewster Shaw, the VP and GM of Boeing’s Space Exploration Division:

"By combining our talents, we can better offer safe, affordable transportation to commercial spaceflight customers."

The definition of “affordable” certainly changes from person to person. And are “commercial spaceflight customers” really a consumer group? Previous trips way up to the International Space Station have run about $40 million, and though prices for the Boeing capsule haven’t yet been released, I can’t see them dropping too significantly. If prices come down $39,999,500 or so, I’m going to suggest a quick trip for a 2015 MB staff outing.