Cost of private space flights

Cost of private space flights At this point in time space travel is out of the reach of most people. After 2009/10, that should no longer be the case as some private companies expect to be able to begin offering "affordable" flights into space. Here is a summary of the cost of buying a ticket into space. These guides are the prices released by the flight providers, as per the second half of 2008.

Space Adventures already offers a "bells and whistles" experience to parallel that of NASA astronauts - a flight to the International Space Station with days on the station and the option of a spacewalk. This option costs upwards of $US20 million and will remain an option only for the very rich for the forseeable future.

Virgin Galactic is gearing up to be the world's first "spaceline" with semi-affordable flights into space at a cost of about $US200,000. There have already been about 85,000 inquiries, so expect a big standby list.

Xcor is offering suborbital flights for $US100,000. Flights are scheduled to begin post 2010. For most people this will be the most viable option for getting into space in the next five to 10 years.

Armadillo Aerospace expects to sell its flights for about $US100,000.

Astrium says it will be offering flights into space via a "space jet" that can take off and land on conventional runways, from about 2012. The flights are expected to cost $US288,000.