JTB and Space Adventures announced yesterday in Japan that they are now taking reservations for trips to space - specifically a round trip to the moon and back. Nothing new right? maybe not but they also announced prices and dates - trips are to start in 2008 and reservations from this October!
The flight program consists of taking a Russian spaceship to the moon which will take 3 days and then flying between 100 - 200 kilos from the moons surface to the other side of the moon and then back to earth.
Training and prep for the trip is needed though and will take 6 - 8 months.
And how much will all this cost? A piffling 22 million yen - 20 million USD. if you think about it - its quite good value for money. If you was a millionaire - would you rather die with a load of money in the bank or spend some of it to go to space?You can read the news in Japanese.
But what if you are not quite a millionaire but still want to go to space? Well you don't have to buy a space development company like my last boss did (which cost millions anyway) - you can pay a measly 2 million yen-ish (about 20,000 USD) to go to the edge of space - you would be taken to an altitude of 8200ft where you can look down at the little blue planet that we live on - for this one you only need 4 days of training and prep. Flights already started and the only dates they have remaining are November 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 8th. 2006 flights start in May. I am actually thinking about taking this trip with my wife in 2006. Will let you know if we actually go - will be fun!
Find out more at the Japanese official Space Adventures site or you can go to the English version (but they don't mention prices). The Japanese site has a time table and prices for the Edge of Space trip - the price depends on the jet you take.