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Space Adventures Ltd





Space Adventures logo
An American company, founded in 1998 and based in Arlington, Virginia, which promotes space tourism and entertainment. It was responsible for organizing the flights of the first three space tourists in history – those of Dennis Tito in 2001, South African business Mark Shuttleworth in 2002, and American scientist and entrepreneur Gregory Olsen in 2005. As well as its involvement in arranging orbital flights, Space Adventures Ltd is developing a passenger suborbital space program, with licensed passenger flights scheduled to launch in 2007-2008. Its main rival in this field is Virgin Galactic. Space Adventures also offers a variety of training experiences that can either be booked separately or together as part of a spaceflight qualification program, zero-gravity parabolic flights, and high-performance, altitude, and g-force jet flights.


Explorer suborbital space plane

Space Adventures Explorer space plane
Space Adventures' suborbital fleet is likely to be based on the Russian Myasishchev Design Bureau's Cosmopolis 21 (C-21) vehicle. The Explorer vehicles will carry as many as five people into space, giving them an opportunity to peer back at their home planet for several minutes before returning to Earth. The C-21 is a rocket module that will hitch a ride on an aircraft called the M-55X to an altitude of about 20 km (12.5 miles). From there, it is air-launched and ignites its own engines to reach its maximum altitude.


Updates

Feb. 17, 2006: Space Adventures announced its plans to develop a commercial spaceport in Ras Al-Khaimah (the UAE), with plans to expand globally. Other potential spaceport locations include Asia, specifically Singapore, and North America. The total estimated cost of the global spaceport development project is at least $265 million and will be funded by various parties, along with shared investments by Space Adventures and the government of Ras Al-Khaimah.

Feb. 16, 2006: Space Adventures announced a contract with Prodea, a private investment firm founded by the Ansari family, and a separate contract with the Federal Space Agency of the Russian Federation (FSA), to develop a fleet of suborbital spaceflight vehicles for commercial use globally. This joint venture will fully develop and provide a set of turnkey operational space tourism systems that include the delivery of several suborbital launch vehicles to multiple global locations.

2005: Space Adventures announced its intention to send two fare-paying passengers on a flight around the Moon, lasting between 10 and 21 days, as early as 2008. The trip would cost about $100 million each. The company hopes to work with the Russian space agency to get the Moon visit project off the ground. Its plan would involve two passengers traveling in a Soyuz capsule to the International Space Station and docking there with a booster craft before journeying on to a circumnavigation of the Moon.


External site

Space Adventures homepage


Related categories

   • MANNED SPACEFLIGHT
   • AEROSSPACE & RELATED COMPANIES