27 May 2008
- Tourism (Good)
Space Tourism Options
Activities for all budgets
by Liz Kennick

Although it costs over $20 million to visit the International Space Station, you don't need to be a billionaire to experience space tourism. There are a range of activities for a range of budgets, and they span in cost from as little as $12 up to $200,000. They might not be as fabulous as going to space, but at least they’re easier on the wallet.

- Aviator Sports Max Flight 2000 Simulator, Brooklyn, NY

$12 for a three-minute "ride" in which you seem to be piloting a WWII fighter plane and must control your plane while shooting the enemy and avoid begin shot down. The flight accommodates two people. Call (718) 758-7500 for more information.

- Hayden Planetarium at American Museum of Natural History, New York, NY

Museum: Adults $15, Students / Seniors $12, Kids $8.50, members free
Space shows, IMAX, Special Exhibits: Adults $30, Students / Seniors $23, Kids $19, Members $15.

- Harris Hill Soaring: Glider Rides, Elimira, NY

$75 for 15-20 minutes in a high-performance sailplane. (Passengers have a weight limit of 225 pounds.)

- Hands-on Helicopter Flight in Nashua, NH

$110. Take the controls of a Robinson R22 helicopter while flying over New Hampshire. Begins with ground school instruction, flight inspection, safety check, and 30-minute flying lesson, including straight and level flight, climbs, turns, descent, and hovering.

- SkyDive The Ranch: Gardiner, NY

$175 per person, groups of 5 or more. First tandem skydive includes 15 minutes of training.

- Space Camp for Adults, US Space & Rocket Center, Huntsville, AL

3 days for $449. Simulated missions, space shot blastoff, 1/6th gravity trainer, multi-axis trainer, IMAX.

6 days for $899: Scuba diving in underwater trainer, jet simulators, 3G centrifuge, and simulations of orbiter, space station, and mission control.

- FlyMiG.com: L-39 Albatross flight in Moscow, Russia

$2650 for a 30-minute flight that includes roll, immelman, loop, split-S, climbing, powerful climbing, diving, powerful diving, turns and powerful turns both by pilot and customer.

- ZeroG flight: Kennedy Space Center, FL; Las Vegas, NV; San Jose, CA; Los Angeles, CA

$4147.50 Parabolic flight aboard Boeing 727. Parabolic maneuvers take place between approximately 24,000-34,000 feet. Each parabola takes 10 miles of airspace and lasts approximate one minute. Experience weightlessness similar to freefall at the peaks and withstand 1.8 Gs at the valleys.

- Nastar Space Training, Southampton, PA

$5000 for approximately 2 days. Training includes intro to acceleration, physiological effects of g, g-loc characteristics, anti-g straining, stress and management, physical conditioning / diet, gradual onset run to 4 gz, launch profile up to 4 gx, re-entry profile up to 6 gx. Flight simulator, gyrolab, hypobaric chamber.

- FlyMiG.com: MiG-23 Flogger flights in Moscow, Russia

$8,900 for 30 minutes. Flight includes breaking the sound barrier, roll, immelman, loop, split-S, climbing, powerful climbing, diving, powerful diving, turns and powerful turns both by pilot and customer.

- Space Adventures, Yuri Gagarin Cosmonaut Center, Star City, Moscow, Russia

$15,950 Simulated Soyuz launch / landing G-force profiles. Learn to fly the Soyuz spacecraft from launch to touchdown with the same simulator used by cosmonauts.

- FlyMiG.com: MiG-25 Foxbat flights in Moscow, Russia

$17,250 for 30 minutes: powerful climb up to 80,000 feet, break the sound barrier, fly at speed of Mach 2.5-3, roll, immelman, loop, split-S, climbing, diving, turns by instructor & customer.

- Space Adventures, Yuri Gagarin Cosmonaut Center, Star City, Moscow, Russia

$89,500 for 7 days of Cosmonaut Overview Training. Includes 1 day mini-medical testing, centrifuge simulator, space navigation, Sokol space suit training, Soyuz simulator, spacewalk mission simulation, International Space Station simulation, dinner with a cosmonaut, 5-star hotel accommodations, sedan transfers to / from airport, and use of a personal cell phone while in Moscow.

Space Adventure Sub-Orbital Flights (upcoming) from United Arab Emirates or Singapore

$102,000 for 4 days pre-flight training, flight of 62 miles above Earth including weightlessness, and $4000 cancellation insurance.

- Virgin Galactic Sub-Orbital Flights beginning 2009 (upcoming), Mojave Spaceport, CA

$200,000 for 3 days pre-flight training, flight to over 360,000 feet above Earth including weightlessness, and invitations to pre-flight events.

Liz Kennick is the president of the New York chapter of the Space Tourism Society.
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Carol Pinchefsky 27 May 2008
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