The new space race

Zero-G astronaut training

Losing weight is easy – all you have is the right height. To escape the gravitational effects of the Earth is not cheap, but the space tourism is not only Virgin Galactic. Sub-orbital near a popular destination in the tourism industry, and to achieve zero gravity is more competitive than you think …

Virgin Galactic SpaceShipTwo company in

Virgin Galactic SpaceShipTwo

Everyone has heard of the ambitious plans of Richard Branson, but it all went a bit quiet after the death of the co-pilot Mike Alsbury during a test flight in October 2014 The latest news is that the new version of Virgin Galactic six SpaceShipTwo – which removes from the jet White Knight Two cargo plane – will be shown in February 2016, with flight testing to follow.

The exact date, or even a year from wannabe spaceliner first planned 2.5-hour flight from Spaceport America, New Mexico, USA – complete with five minutes of weightlessness before re-entering the Earth’s atmosphere – remains a mystery, although the $ 250,000 / 165,000 £ / AU $ 350,000 per trip Virgin Galactic is unlikely to become EasyJet space travel.

XCOR Space Expeditions Lynx spaceship

You can leave a few coins floating in the pocket on instead for supersonic flight Xcor space missions, which plans to charge a $ 100,000 / £ 66,000 / AU $ 140,000 for a ticket on the edge of space in one of its two rocket-powered Lynx spacecraft. Again, they take off from the ground and Spaceport America in New Mexico, USA, as a conventional aircraft, but they only have two seats.

Sir Bob Geldof and DJ Armin van Buuren among 250 ish ticket holders on the planned 30-minute flight Xcor, which should begin in late 2016, after test flights at the beginning of the year.

airZeroG parabolic flight

airZeroG parabolic flights

The easiest way to experience zero gravity on a parabolic flight, and also known as the “vomit comet”. Pilot steep climb 10,000ft 45-degree angle to create a “gravity” for 40 seconds, which is then followed by 25 seconds of weightlessness as the plane dives back; suddenly falls, the effect wears off prevented by a curved origin that gently increases the severity.

After 25 years of performing parabolic flights for scientists European Space Agency (ESA), the service airZeroG from Novespace, Avico and the National Centre for Space Studies (CNES) began in December 2012 at a price of $ 6,465 / £ 4,245 / 9,070 AU $ per flight. It flies from Bordeaux-Merignac Airport in France a designated air corridor over the Gulf of Gascony.

SOAR transfer S3 in

S3 SOAR shuttle

At $ 2,473 / £ 1,624 / $ 3,470 AU for two hours, the Swiss Space Systems’ (S3) ZeroG Party Zone is the most affordable of all parabolic flight, although there are 40 of you in the hold of a modified Airbus. Pay three times, and this is reduced to 28 passengers – and you also get Breitling S3 ZeroG personalized watch that doubles as a boarding pass. However, S3 will come with a reusable space plane Sub (SOAR) shuttle that runs from the back of the orbit of the A300 Airbus one better. Expect suborbital passenger flights – complete with weightlessness – after 2020

G-Force One

G-Force One parabolic flights

Go ZeroG also offers parabolic experience on board his specially modified Boeing 727-200, G-Force One. For $ 4950 / £ 3250 / AU $ 6945 per trip, the Zero G Experience includes identical weightless experience S3, but with food (in the ‘vomit comet?), Photos, videos and’ certificate of weightlessness complete “also thrown. It removes from Cape Canaveral and Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, Las Vegas, Nevada, and San Jose, California.


Bloon high-altitude balloon

Could you be “bloonaut? This is a blow to space tourism, without missile comes from the Spanish company Bloon, which plans to use helium balloons to carry pressurized capsule for four passengers and two pilots in the stratosphere and back.

2016 or 2017, and $ 119,000 / £ 78,000 / $ 167,000 per passenger AS, Bloon will start from the Virgen del Camino in Spain before dawn, rising 36 kilometers per hour to cruise at the same altitude for two hours. After spending some time with the planet Earth, witness sunrise and the curvature of the planet, balloon will vent helium and slowly descend to – boom! – The cord between the pod and the sail cut, and passengers go into free-fall, with two minutes of weightlessness, to enjoy before the para-foil deployed and stabilizes the pod; it will then descend slowly for 30 minutes before planting 300 miles from takeoff.


Ilyushin 76 MDK parabolic flights

Rise of the Training Center Gagarin in Star City near Moscow – home of space travel, and where both cosmonaut and astronaut crews to train to a mission to the International Space Station (ISS) – a huge aircraft performed acrobatics in the name of weightlessness since 2002 more than 700 people tested attacks of October 25 seconds of weightlessness that IL-76 MDK offers on its 90-minute parabolic flights. Tickets are sold Russian Travel Agency Country Tourism at $ 4,325 / £ 2,840 / 6,065 AU $ apiece.

Space Adventures

Space Adventures International Space Station trips

Only 600 or so people have ever been in space, and if you want to know how many people are now visiting Go to, although it probably will not be more than five or six, all crammed and ISS. Can you join them in weightlessness? Only if you have a whopping $ 52 million / £ 34 million / AU $ 73 million to spare.

That’s the going rate in the world is less busy travel agency, Space Adventures, fees orbital space flight on the ISS for ten days -or-so of weightlessness are located in combination with Roscocmos. Singer Sarah Brightman, 54, recently went out of her planned trip there, although the agency also has a Japanese advertising magnate Satoshi Takamatsu on its books.

Project M-55X

Project M-55X reusable spacecraft

Only Russia launches astronauts to the ISS, it should come as any surprise that he also plans to sub-orbital flights to space tourists? Absolutely not – although details are sketchy. It is said that is almost ready, the project M-55X is a “reusable aerospace system” means the C-21 sub-orbital module separated from the carrier aircraft M-55X after launch (as well as in the design of Virgin Galactic). The five-man crew will experience weightlessness about 100 km during 10 minutes to orbit the Earth. Training is conducted at the Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center in Star City. Price unknown.

inflatable space station Bigelow

Bigelow inflatable space station

It is also possible, as the progress in testing it, as most of the space tourism supersonic aircraft is a privately owned and operated space station. Inflatable Bigelow Expandable Activity Module (BEAM) by Bigelow Aerospace is currently attached to the ISS for testing, and can form the basis for an autonomous space station by 2025
This is very important because with the ISS due to retire in 2024, the space agencies in the hope not just to pay for their astronauts to private space stations – certainly along space tourists, who immediately after the taste of weightlessness.