It’s no longer surprising to find tourists in space. Since Russia hosted space tourist and Japanese reporter Toyohiro Akiyama aboard the Mir Space Station in 1990, several more space enthusiasts have followed. In 2001, American businessman and former JPL scientist Dennis Tito became the first non-astronaut to visit the International Space Station. Now, it’s the European Space Agency’s (ESA) turn to support sending tourists into space.
Experts with ESA’s Launchers Directorate will assist the selected companies with their space aspirations. The team will review spacecraft designs and assess each mission’s technical soundness. Part of this assessment will include determining parameters for space tourists — time spent in weightlessness, physical-ability requirements, and what training tourists will need to prepare them for a space adventure.
If you’re one of the few who plan a future venture into space on a celestial vacation, be prepared to spend big money. Akiyama’s visit to Mir cost $28 million.