Investing in space technology now may be similar to buying Microsoft shares two decades ago: highly profitable. It seems the next industry area to experience an economic boom will be the exploration of space and space tourism.
That's exactly what a company called Space Adventures, headquartered in Vienna, Virginia, is proposing. It may be an investment for your own
amusement, but the destination is worth every dollar. The company is selling tickets for the first private expedition to the Moon.
Well, they won't exactly be landing on the Moon, they will only navigate around it, but it surely beats every other sight-seeing expedition on Earth, because it's not on Earth.
There's a little problem about the cost, announced to be a whopping $100 million, but since space tourists already paid around $20 million, the remaining 80 seem like a bargain if you wanna say: "I've been around the Moon."
That'll be a tough one to beat and it's guaranteed to make the space tourist the heart of every mundane party. Unfortunately, there's no reason to start packing your bags just yet, since the mission is only in the blueprint stage.
"I hope to have those contracts signed by the end of the year," said Eric Anderson, Space Adventures' president and CEO.
This is the same company that put space tourists Charles Simonyi, this April and Anousheh Ansari, last September, on the International Space Station, so the advertisements for a Moon trip are definitely not a hoax.
"I personally think that it's the biggest thing in private spaceflight. It would change the way the whole world thinks about private spaceflight. It is definitely doable for under the $200 million price tag," said Anderson.
The $200 million will be divided by two, the number of tourists Russia's venerable Soyuz spacecraft can put into orbit at each trip, besides the pilot. The two passengers would soon be able to go into lunar orbit sometime in the near future, although for now the plans include trips to the ISS and spacewalks for private clients.
"I think for a private citizen to go out and do a spacewalk would be huge," Anderson said. "Of course it'll have to be approved by NASA and by everyone else. This person will be very well trained...go outside the airlock and kind of hang around for an hour or two...then come back in."