No more low-orbit fly-bys for SpaceX – they want to take you into orbit (for what’s expected to be a massive sum).
SpaceX, the private space transport company owned by PayPal billionaire Elon Musk, says it will someday soon offer the public to take trips to orbiting space stations. The announcement marks a significant development in the world of private space travel, as other such ventures, such as Virgin Galactic, have only promised to take paying customers on sub-orbital flights without actually leaving the Earth’s atmosphere. SpaceX has joined up with Bigelow Aerospace, which builds space station modules, to bring the dreams of a many a star-struck youth to reality. Right now, the two companies are about to embark on a worldwide tour to determine just how much interest there is in this type of space tourism. But assuming that there is enough interest out there from wealthy individuals, other companies, and institutions such as governments or universities looking to perform research in zero-gravity, Bigelow Aerospace will set up a handful of their six-person BA 330 habitats in Earth’s orbit. To get there, customers will hop aboard SpaceX’s Dragon spacecrafts – but not before going through a mini astronaut training course so that the visitors can make it to space without vomiting up their guts or passing out. Meanwhile, SpaceX is set to launch its first trip to the International Space Station on May 19.