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The Popular Space Tourism

  • Khin Myo Thet

In 60's and 70's the scientists predicted Space Hotels to open in space on 2000's. As of 2007, space tourism is only affordable to wealthy individuals and corporations, with the Russian space program providing transport.

Space tourism is the recent phenomenon of space travel by individuals for the purpose of personal pleasure. It has become so popular that, even at $20 million a ticket, the Russian Space Agency is fully booked until 2009.

On April 28, 2001, Dennis Tito became the first "fee-paying" space tourist when he visited the International Space Station (ISS) for seven days.

He was followed in 2002 by South African computer millionaire Mark Shuttleworth. The third was Gregory Olsen in 2005, who is trained as a scientist and whose company produces specialist high-sensitivity cameras.

Olsen planned to use his time on the ISS to conduct a number of experiments, in part to test his company's products.

After the Columbia disaster, space tourism on the Russian Soyuz program was temporarily put on hold, because Soyuz vehicles became the only available transport to the ISS.

In conjunction with the Federal Space Agency of the Russian Federation and Rocket and Space Corporation Energia, Space Adventures facilitated the flights for the world's first private space explorers: Dennis Tito, Mark Shuttleworth, Greg Olsen, Anousheh Ansari and Charles Simonyi.

The first three participants paid in excess of $20 million (USD) each for their 10-day visit to the ISS.

In 2010 space tourism to the ISS could become much more common as NASA hope to rely on COTS (commercial orbital transportation systems) to send both astronauts and cargo to the ISS. Furthermore it is quite likely other vehicles will be ready by then. NASA Public Affairs has used the term Spaceflight Participant to designate space tourists.

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