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Could You Be Planning Tours To Space?

October 5, 2004

Could You Be Planning Tours To Space?
October 5, 2004 – Yesterday a team led by aerospace designer Burt Rutan and financed by Paul Allen of Mojave Aerospace Ventures won the $10 million Ansari X-Prize. Their rocket plane, SpaceShipOne, flew into space 100 kilometers (about 60 miles) above the Earth twice in a two-week period to win the grand prize. The flight set a new altitude record for the craft and has many asking if this is proof that the private industry can build a viable vehicle for sending paying passengers to space.

The Ansari X Prize is a $10 million purse for the first privately built vehicle that could safely haul a pilot and the equivalent weight of two passengers into space and then repeat the feat within two weeks. It is hoped that advancements pioneered by the contestants for this prize will lead to commercial passenger carrying spacecraft.

The Space Tourism Society (STS) is a new non-for-profit society specifically focused on space tourism. Their goals are to conduct the research, build public desire, and acquire the financial and political power to make space tourism available to as many people as possible as soon as possible.

"This is a milestone for humanity," said John Spencer, president of the Space Tourism Society in Los Angeles.

Shortly after SpaceShipOne became airborne, Spencer told the flight represents "the kickoff of the space tourist industry."

To learn more about the Space Tourism Society, visit or to learn more about SpaceShipOne, click here.

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