Visit the International Space Station for $52 million

Being an astronaut is the archetypical dream of boys the world over. Now, thanks to the availability of commercial space flights, professional success can be the means to achieving personal aspirations. United States-based Space Adventures, is offering a 10-day trip to the International Space Station (ISS), 400km away from Earth, for US$52 million (S$74 million). If you are willing to wait a couple of years, from 2017, they will offer fly-pasts around the Moon for a cool US$150 million. Comparably, there’s also Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic venture that will save you some money – a six minute sub-orbital flight time will cost you a mere US$250,000.

Trips to ISS are carried out on board the Russian-built Soyuz spacecraft and training for the flights takes place at Star City outside Moscow and can last up to a year. Prospective customers will undergo the same training as professional astronauts, and will learn how to fly the Soyuz spacecraft and complete a spacewalk.

A visit to the ISS, as space tourist Dr Anousheh Ansari says, is an experience like no other. When you reach Earth’s orbit, you will be travelling at 28,000kmh, over 400km above Earth; you will be weightless inside your spacecraft and viewing the planet as few have done in the history of mankind. Only eight tourists since 2001 have made the trek to Earth’s only space outpost.

Read the full story at The Peak.

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