Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Space Adventures to make "Big Announcements"

Space Adventures Ltd, thus far the only company to successfully get tourists to space (via the Russian Soyuz launches), is set to make some big announcements on Wednesday, July 11.

One of these announcements will be the identity of their next space tourist. Speculation has already run rampant as to who this will be; the rumors have been that this will be someone highly recognizable, and not just another little-known millionaire. This piece of news seems to confirm that.

The other announcement will be about new orbital tourism services. It turns out that the Russians are planning to discontinue their work with Space Adventures to put people into space very soon. This is likely due to the greater need for the Soyuz capsules once the space shuttle is retired. So Space Adventures will need to find some other way to get people into space once that happens; that is likely what this announcement is about. Speculation is that Space Adventures is making a deal with Bigelow Aerospace to put people on the space hotel that they hope to have operational by 2012. This is due to the fact that Bigelow Aerospace seems to be the company that is third closest to getting tourists into space, short of Virgin Galactic and Space Adventures itself. Virgin Galactic is already selling tickets, but Bigelow Aerospace hasn't gotten that far yet, so partnering with other companies to facilitate sales, training, and launch would seem to be advantageous. Though, the further speculation is that SpaceX's manned Dragon capsules, currently under development, would be used to actually launch people to Bigelow's space hotel.

We'll know a lot more next Wednesday.

I should give an acknowledgment for this juicy piece of news. Normally, I am able to hunt down bits of information myself through press releases or media stories. In this case, however, another blog entitled New Voyage News seems to have somehow discovered this where nobody else had. I highly recommend the blog; they provide lot of running space tourism information, and are a great source of breaking news, as is evidenced by this story.

Progress: 3.73%  Flight Time: 0:05:35

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