In the latest development of space travel, U.S. aerospace and defense corporation Boeing has formed an alliance with the Virginia-based space tourism company Space Adventures to set tourists out into space by early 2015. Prices will be set once full-scale development of the spacecraft has begun.
Up until now, only seven individuals have visited the International Space Station in low-orbit space travel. The only company having sent passengers to space, Space Adventures' current space program also includes zero-gravity atmospheric flights, orbital spaceflights, and other spaceflight-related experiences including cosmonaut training, spacewalk training and launch tours.
Earlier this year, NASA granted the aerospace corporation $18 million toward plans for a new capsule. CST-100 will be equipped for four professional astronauts to accompany three space tourists, private companies or US government agencies.
During past trips, space visitors have conducted research during their trip, following a cosmonaut-training program including physical training, medical check-ups and courses on all of the technical aspects related to the mission. Past prices have included paid $20 million paid by Space Adventures' first space tourist, multimillionaire Dennis Tito, founder of Wilshire Associates Inc., through to Canadian billionaire Guy Laliberte, founder of Cirque du Soleil, who spent about $40 million on the company's most recent trip in October 2009.