In September, Boeing and Space Adventures Limited announced plans to market low Earth orbit commercial rides aboard a Boeing capsule that is currently in development. The two companies see a market for taking tourists into space, and they are initiating competition in the new market by charging half as much as Virgin Galactic for tickets. Boeing is aiming for launches by 2015.
Both Boeing and Virgin Galactic ticket prices are a steal compared to what Russia charges private space tourists – $40 million for a ride into space to spend a few days aboard the international space station.
There are sure to be many more companies entering into the booming space tourism market. Budget Suites owner Robert Bigelow, PayPal co-founder Elon Musk and Amazon.com’s Jeff Bezos are just a sample of wealthy business owners funding technology developments for space travel and/or life in space.
National Geographic will air a documentary tonight about Virgin Galactic and their space tourism push.