June 16, 2011
1 Tourist Trip to the Moon
2 Tourist Trip to the Moon
A trip to the moon is becoming within reach for everyday people, with a space tourism study suggesting that 140 private citizens could reach orbit by 2020.
A Virginia-based firm, Space Adventures, is promoting a 17-day excursion that includes orbiting the moon. There is just one seat left on this trip around the moon and back, but it will cost you $150 million.
The voyage is due to take place in 2015, and includes a stop at the International Space Station, before orbiting the moon and then travelling back to Earth. Space Adventures has emerged as the world’s first true space-travel agency and has been working with Russia’s Space Agency to devise this once in a life time opportunity.
The trip is an example of how Space Adventures expects space tourism to take off (literally!) in the next 10 years.
It’s been a decade since investment manager Dennis Tito travelled to the International Space Station in April 2001 for $20 million. Only 8 private citizens have made this trip before, but the firm expects that number to significantly increase by 2020.
Their forecast suggests that 140 private citizens will have reached orbit within the next 10 years, thanks to new, privately funded rockets and capsules that are expected to be in action towards the end of the decade. Jeff Foust, senior analyst at Futron – an aerospace and technology consulting firm, describes this aim as “optimistic, but not unrealistic”.
This space excursion will allow you to rotate around the moon at a distance of about 62 miles, and is close enough to have a good look at the moon’s craters. You will be unable to land on the moon, but this close proximity to the moon’s surface has only been experienced by just 24 people to date.