Rocketplane Global: Stranger and Stranger


Rocketplane Global’s snake bitten efforts at launching a suborbital tourism business have taken another curious turn.

When we last left the story, Rocketplane had laid off most of its employees, abandoned its base in Oklahoma for Wisconsin, and needed in excess of $100 million just to get to the first flight of its prototype.

This week, it emerged that the company is selling tickets for its non-existent space plane in an Austrian discount supermarket:

Penny Markt doesn’t just sell groceries. As of Thursday, shoppers can pony up a small fortune for a trip into space. All inclusive.

Penny Markt, owned by the Germany-based REWE Group, is offering the space trips in cooperation with Rocketplane Global.

The report indicates that tickets are selling at €209,555 ($313,955), not including the pre-flight EKG. The flights are not expected to take place before 2011.

I dunno. I’m by no means an expert in marketing, but from what little I do know, it seems likely that if I’m shopping for bratwurst at a discount supermarket, I probably don’t have an extra quarter million euros to drop on a space flight.

Of course, I could be wrong about this. Plenty of people with money shop at Costco. Still, it’s an usual approach to things.