Space Adventures

Founded in 1998, Space Adventures Ltd is the world’s premier private space exploration company and the only company currently providing opportunities for actual private spaceflight and space tourism today.

To date, Space Adventures is the first and only space exploration company to send private clients into space.

The company was co-founded by Eric C. Anderson, the current president and CEO. Mr Anderson joined with several other entrepreneurs from the aerospace, adventure travel and entertainment industries to form Space Adventures.

He began by flying customers to the edge of space where, for $US19,000, a client got to see the blackness of space and the curvature of the Earth from the cockpit of a MiG-25 Foxbat; or, for $7,000, experienced a 30-second burst of weightlessness on a cargo plane normally used by Russian cosmonauts for zero-gravity training.

In 2001, the company moved into serious territory when it sent its first space tourist Denis Tito into space. The California businessman blasted off from the Russian Space Agency's launch pad in Baikonur (that's the same launch pad Yuri Gagarin flew from).

Mr Tito was the world’s first private space explorer and the first "space tourist". He spent over a week orbiting the Earth on Alpha One, the International Space Station.

He is reported to have paid $20 million for the experience. Space Adventures has since sold more than $150 million in tourist space flights, with much of this being paid to the Russian Space Agency for the use of its facilities and spacecraft.