The t ourism s pace r ace
Virgin and Space Expedition Corporation aren’t your only options in the star-crossed travel brochure. You can also hitch a ride to the International Space Station.
Space Adventures used to offer lifts there aboard Russia’s Soyuz capsules between 2001 and 2009, albeit at a hefty cost of $21 to $42 million.
Elon Musk’s SpaceX is now planning to whisk people away on its Falcon rockets and Dragon capsule. The cargo-only Falcon 9 launches this year, with passengers joining in 2015. At first it will be used by NASA, but in time there should be room for guests.
Similarly, Boeing is building a capsule dubbed the CST-100 to carry crew to space on Atlas 5 rockets.
However, the craziest plan comes from the Space Island Project, which will use solar energy generated by satellites to fund its mission. It promises to build a rental space in space by 2020, able to house 20,000 people, with the population doubling every decade.