Space travel has become quite an intriguing term in recent years. With Boeing's recent news revelations, the first step into space tourism has been made and what can be called nothing else but ‘space taxi' may be launched as early as 2015.
Astronauts are being sent to space on a regular basis, some even stay for months. However, the thought of having a business offering space trips long seemed a bit far fetched. Until now, only the Russian Space Agency has offered several trips to the orbit and to the International Space Station however, it appears a little competition emerges on the horizon. Boeing has recently announced that it plans to offer space flights in partnership with Space Adventures, a Virginia-based company. The latter has already significant experience in organizing trips to space, namely aboard the Russian spacecraft Soyuz.
Boeing received a significant $50 million grant from the US Government to develop a new space capsule which is to transport astronauts to the International Space Station (ISS). The CST-100 (Crew Space Transportation capsule) will have 7 seats, which will be shared by astronauts and space tourists who can afford this bizarre 'space taxi'.
NASA expects selling the seats will save them some costs of running the shuttle. Sadly, only a lucky and rich few will be able to take the trip as initially, a trip to the ISS is estimated to cost between $35 and $40 million. As the technology progresses, hopefully, the price will get a bit lower. However, it is never going to be a $4000 round trip. Boeing and Space Adventures are very positive and hope to launch the first trip by 2015.