It used to be that to go to space you needed to join NASA and become an astronaut. But you’re an evil billionaire, and you’re far too busy being evil for all that training in the gravitron.
Lucky for you and whatever evil space plans you’re hatching, SXC (Space Expedition Corporation) offers the dream of space travel to any commoner with US$100,000 lying around, a pittance that will barely put a dent in your underground chamber of dubiously acquired gold bricks.
There are also a number of other aerospace companies offering a variety of space travel flavors, from a few minutes in orbit to a full 9 days at the International Space Station (ISS), complete with space walk. Let’s take a look at the different space travel packages offered, including one that costs US$150 million.
Offered by travel agency JTB for evil billionaires based in Japan, the suborbital flight consists of a straight up flight in a cool futuristic space plane, about five minutes in space, then what appears to be an absolutely terrifying nearly straight drop and several horizontal loops back down to earth. (Cost: $95,000.)
This plan offers space flight plus a whopping ten days on the ISS, where you can observe real astronauts, the better to learn their secrets and take over the world from your space arsenal. The only drawback to this plan is that you have to make the trip in a rickety cold war-era Soyuz space pod. (Cost: oh, just $35 million.)
Again brokered through JTB for Japan-based evil billionaires, this plan will put you in space for nearly a month and involves a few days aboard the ISS, from which you will board a separate space craft for a flight around the moon and back again. You’ll need to take a break from your diabolical scheming for a 6-month training regimen, but on the flipside, if you ask the staff nicely they might let you bring your laser cannon and write your name on the moon. (Cost: one of only two seats just sold for $150 million in 2011.)
▼ “Hey, can I roll down the window for a second?”
With this plan, you’ll live aboard the ISS for about 9 days, with the option of going on a space walk; that is, exiting the ISS into the vacuum of space and strolling around out on the hull, which will certainly make a great story at the next evil billionaire cocktail party. (Cost: a steal at just $25 million.)
Not in the evil billionaire camp but still interested to know what space flight feels like? For about $3,000 you can board an MU-300 reduced gravity aircraft to experience weightlessness and possibly also nausea about six or seven times as the craft pitches up and down in the air.
In Japan, you can go through the Japan Space Forum to sign up, but this seemingly grand achievement will pale in comparison to Japanese actor Koichi Iwaki’s journey into orbit – somehow Iwaki scrounged enough money to become Japan’s first celebrity in space. His flight is scheduled for 2014.
Source: Yahoo! Japan