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Space & Astronomy

SpaceX in new bid to send tourists into space

By T.K. Randall
February 19, 2020 · Comment icon 11 comments

SpaceX is joining the space tourism industry. Image Credit: NASA / SpaceX
The space firm is expanding into the space tourism sector with plans to send tourists as early as 2021.
Up to four people will be selected to launch into space in what has been described as an "opportunity to break the world altitude record for private citizen spaceflight" as well as "the first orbital space tourism experience provided entirely with American technology."

The endeavour will be undertaken in partnership with Space Adventures - a space tourism company that was founded in 1998 and has sent several high-profile individuals into space including the world's first private space explorer Dennis Tito who flew to the ISS back in April 2001.

For this latest flight, the four lucky participants will be launching aboard the SpaceX Crew Dragon capsule to an altitude of around 250 miles for 2-3 complete orbits of the Earth.
"This historic mission will forge a path to making spaceflight possible for all people who dream of it, and we are pleased to work with the Space Adventures' team on the mission," said SpaceX President and Chief Operating Officer Gwynne Shotwell.

The move towards space tourism puts SpaceX in competition with the likes of Richard Branson's Virgin Galactic and Jeff Bezos' Blue Origin, although neither will be able to offer quite the same experience as SpaceX as they are focusing more on sub-orbital flights.

"Creating unique and previously impossible opportunities for private citizens to experience space is why Space Adventures exists," said Space Adventures Chairman Eric Anderson.

"Honoring our combined histories, this Dragon mission will be a special experience and a once in a lifetime opportunity - capable of reaching twice the altitude of any prior civilian astronaut mission or space station visitor."

Source: The Verge | Comments (11)

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Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #2 Posted by Desertrat56 4 years ago
How do you think they are funding their science?  By selling tickets to fat billionaires to go to space.  They are probably used as guinea pigs while they are on the ship.
Comment icon #3 Posted by Waspie_Dwarf 4 years ago
A totally ill considered opinion, based and no real logic and devoid of any real comprehension of what SpaceX is or of basic economics. What resources are being wasted exactly? SpaceX is NOT a space agency, it is not here to do science, it is a commercial launch company. It launches the payloads of ANY legitimate organisation willing and able to pay for the flight. As such Space Adventure, a company that has been involved in space tourism for many a year, is a legitimate customer. The more flights SpaceX makes, both with the Falcon 9 and the Crew Dragon, the cheaper (and more reliable) the lau... [More]
Comment icon #4 Posted by Desertrat56 4 years ago
I didn't mean experiements, but rather logs kept of vital signs, exercise regimens that would be supervised and monitored, pre health exams & post health exams that would be used to make changes if needed to anything concerning the health and well being of the passengers.  Their data would be used. 
Comment icon #5 Posted by Waspie_Dwarf 4 years ago
That's entirely possible, as I said previous Space Adventures customers have taken part in experiments on board the ISS, however it was experiments the fare paying passengers agreed to and brought along as part of their flight that they took part in. As they are paying it will be their choice. Neither Space Adventures nor SpaceX are scientific organisations. Also space is far more limited. Previous Space Adventure customers were restricted to the Russian section of the ISS as their flight were not NASA approved, however that is still vastly more space than inside a Crew Dragon capsule. I suspe... [More]
Comment icon #6 Posted by geraldnewfie 4 years ago
yes please, this way we can get some flat earthers up there to proof they are nuts
Comment icon #7 Posted by InconceivableThoughts 4 years ago
I'm sure flat earthers even though seeing for themselves will still be ignorant. More likely they will say space x put tv screens in all the windows that brodcasted more doctored videos of thier flat earth.
Comment icon #8 Posted by Desertrat56 4 years ago
I doubt any flat earthers are even millionaires, much less billionaires so someone else would have to pay their way and that would be stupid.
Comment icon #9 Posted by Jon the frog 4 years ago
That's cool, if the space open up for good to private venture, it will be awesome ! IT need to work and not become a short time wonder but SpaceX are the real deal !
Comment icon #10 Posted by Waspie_Dwarf 4 years ago
Firstly it is Space Adventures who are the real brains behind this, they will simply buy flights off of SpaceX in the same way that NASA do. They also have plans to buy flights on Boeing's Starliner. They have also, in the past, bought seats on Soyuz spacecraft. As for it being a short time wonder, Space Adventures have already flown 7 "spaceflight participants" to the international Space Station... one of them, Charles Simonyi, twice. They have been sending tourists into space for nearly 19 years, so there is definitely nothing short term about this.
Comment icon #11 Posted by Jon the frog 4 years ago
That's great!

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