And the First Lunar Celebritynaut is….

None of the Above?

That looks that might be the case.

According to NewsCore (who?), “Avatar” and “Titanic” director James Cameron bought the first private trip around the moon. That’s the rumor, anyway.

Space Adventures, which is setting up the trip aboard a modified Russian Soyuz transport, is neither confirming nor denying the story. The trip, would could take place as early as late 2015, is still awaiting the sale of a second $150 million ticket to another would-be lunar billionaut.

Cameron’s participation makes sense. Space Adventures officials have said that the first ticket holder was a prominent personality who was going to do something very special on his lunar trip. A motion picture with Earth as a fragile oasis theme against the backdrop of space would be right up his alley.

The other ticket holder may be one of the four men identified in Parabolic Arc’s recently completed poll at right. Virgin Galactic head honcho Richard Branson narrowly beat out Google co-founder Sergey Brin. The first clown in space, Guy Laliberte, was a distant third with two-time space traveler Charles Simonyi bringing up the rear.

Thanks to everyone who voted! Please vote on our new survey on who you would like to send on a one-way trip to Mars! Vote early. Vote often. Just vote, dammit!

Thank you very much.

Lunar Tourism and the Chairman of the Board

With apologies to the late great Frank Sinatra…

Fly me to the moon
in a really cramped Soyuz
show me lunar craters
while I piss into a tube
$150 mill for a lunar circ
I hope the heat shield works…

Space Adventures’ Lunar Missions Ready by 2012

Space Adventures CEO Eric Anderson was in Dubai this week, talking up his company’s $265 million spaceport in Ras Al Khaimah and its planned human circumlunar tourism flights, now set for launch in 2012.

Business 24-7 indicates that the $100 million flight will involve a 10-day stay aboard the International Space Station. The mission will require two separate rocket launches, one for the Soyuz and a second for a booster to send the spacecraft off to the moon.

The Soyuz will not orbit the moon but rather fly around it at an altitude of 160 kilometers (100 miles). The Soviets sent several robotic Soyuz-derived Zond missions on similar flights 40 years ago, but they have not flown any similar missions since then.

“We are in serious discussions with some clients from around the world, including Americans, Europeans and hopefully some Emiratis in the future,” Anderson said.