Space tourism refers to the space or orbit flights, financed by private funds with entertainment or research purposes.
The idea of space tourism for the first time, was reflected in a number of works by Barron Hilton and Eric Kraft, published in 1967. They first tried to promote an idea of space commercialization. At that time, the attempt was not successful.
Space tourism began to develop in the late 20th century. In 1986, the report on the Potential Economic Implications of the Development of Space Tourism was read at the International Astronautical Congress and caused a lot of discussion not only in research, but also in business circles.
The first tourist would become an American teacher Christa Mcauliffe, who died when the space shuttle Challenger exploded in 1986 year. After this incident, the Government of the United States passed a law that prohibited to non-professionals flying into space.
In 1990 and 1991, respectively, there were the first commercial flights with Japan astronaut Toyohiro Akiyama and Helen Sharman from United Kingdom, who flew to the Soviet space station “Mir” on spacecraft Soyuz TM-11/Soyuz TM-10, Soyuz TM-12/Soyuz TM-11 on non-State-funded projects by private broadcaster TBS and the Juno (a consortium of British companies).
The international space station (ISS) is the space object currently used for space tourism. The flights are carried out with the help of Russian Soyuz spacecraft at the Russian segment of the ISS.
The flight organization is carried out by the Russian Federal Space Agency and Space Adventures Company. Space Adventures has partnered with Russian Federal Space Agency since 2001. Only with the help of this company, eight tourists have already visited ISS (as of the end of the year 2012), and one of them (Charles Simoni) twice.
Preparation of space tourism was conducted in Star City, a city of Shchyolkovo, near Moscow, and also in small airplanes, in which weightlessness was created.
Although the cost of the tour to the orbit is about $20-23 million the number of people wishing to see space is steadily growing. Since July 2007, the cost of space travel has grown from 20 up to 30-40 million dollars. In addition, the price of the new service was announced: an open space walk, which costs 15 million dollars.
Besides the Russian Federal Space Agency and Space Adventures Company, the British company Excalibur Almaz has held a presentation at the British Royal Aeronautical society in June 2012, and announced that in 2015, it plans to start of tourist space flights with flight on the Moon orbit.
Among the companies implemented the most significant space and orbital tourism projects are Bigelow Aerospace projects are incarnate, SpaceX, Excalibur Almaz, and Orbital Sciences.
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