Video: Space Adventures Circumlunar Tourism Flight Slips Another Year

Space Adventures CEO Eric Anderson gives an update on his company’s plans for commercial circum-lunar flights. Actually, the only real updates are that the flight has slipped from late 2015 to early 2017 since their last estimate in May, and that they still haven’t sold the second $150 million ticket they need to make the flight possible (but they’re close).

They also want to launch it in time for the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 1 fire as a tribute to the late Gus Grissom, Ed White, and Roger Chaffee. I guess that works. They won’t make their planned 2015 launch date, and the 30th anniversary of Challenger and 45th anniversary of Soyuz 11 in 2016 don’t really fit thematically, so why not commemorate Apollo 1. And it sounds a lot better than we’ve slipped another 13 or 14 months just in less than a year and we still haven’t sold that other ticket.

Roscosmos: No Contracts Signed Yet With Space Adventures for Billionaut Flights

A Russian Soyuz spacecraft in orbit

An interesting notice from the Roscosmos website:

Space Adventures, which had announced the conclusion of an agreement with Russian Federal Space Agency and Rocket Space Corporation Energia (RSC Energia) to commercially offer three seats on the Soyuz spacecraft bound for the International Space Station (ISS), beginning in 2013, has not signed any contract neither with Roscosmos, nor with RSC-E, Roscosmos Human Spaceflight Directorate Head Alexey Krasnov told Marker.

According to Krasnov, the a.m. negotiations may commence in spring, provided that Space Adventures finds funding for increasing of Soyuz production, from four to five space vehicles per year.

(more…)

Dubai Oil Billionauts Get Even More Filthy Rich, Raring to Blow Measly 200 Grand on Spaceflight

Jet set for blast off…
Kippreport

“On track to becoming the world’s first commercial spaceline, [Virgin Galactic] is launching a consumer space travel program whose first flight is scheduled to take off in late 2009. And they have an office in the UAE.

“The reason is obvious. In 2007, the Middle East saw a 15 percent increase – the highest in the world – in the number of high net worth individuals, according to consulting firm Capgemini Group. In addition, global market turmoil does not traditionally quell the appetite of your typical Dubai luxury consumer. ‘Even as financial market turmoil made an impact on the United States during the second half of 2007, luxury goods makers, high-end services providers and auction houses all found ready clients in the emerging markets of the world,’ says Capgemini and Merrill Lynch’s 2008 World Wealth Report.”