It worth $30 millions to travel to space and must also medically fit to be part of the journey. As for now space tourism opportunities are limited and expensive. Only the Russian Space Agency is being involved in this expensive space travel to the International Space Station aboard a Soyuz spacecraft. While NASA is not keen at this moment. Eventhough the cost is now at $30 millions, flights are fully booked until 2009.
As of 2007, six space tourists has made a visit to International Space Station (ISS) on Soyuz spacecraft.
- Dennis Tito (American): April 28 – May 6, 2001
- Mark Shuttleworth (South African / British): April 25 – May 5, 2002
- Gregory Olsen (American): October 1 – October 11, 2005
- Anousheh Ansari (Iranian / American): September 18 – September 29, 2006
- Charles Simonyi (Hungarian / American): April 7 – April 21, 2007
- Sheikh Muszaphar Shukor (Malaysian): October 10 – October 21, 2007
and the list continue for future space tourist candidates :
- Richard Garriott (United States). Expected to fly on Soyuz TMA-13 in 2008.
- Santhosh George Kulangara, a business man from Kerala-India. Mr. Santhosh George would fly on board the Virgin Galactic’s Space Ship by mid 2008.
- Daisuke Enomoto (Japan) – Internet entrepreneur, was expected to fly on Soyuz TMA-9 in September 2006, but was grounded for medical reasons, and replaced by Ansari.
Check this video of the latest expedition which carried Dr Sheikh Muszaphar Shukor, the first Malaysian to be in space. It’s great to see this.
In 2009, maybe my dream will be made possible by Virgin Galactic, a space tourism groups headed by Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Group. $200,000 will be the initial price to fly with VSS Enterprise (Scaled Composites SpaceShipTwo) to go beyond the height of 100 km, which is the internationally defined boundary between Earth and space. Even though the experience would not be the same as the space travel to ISS, passengers would at least experience a few minutes of weightlessness, a view of a twinkle-free starfield, and a vista of the curved Earth below.
As for now, the ultimate dream of a person like me to be part of the travel to the space will only remain as a dream.