An international commercial space transportation company based in the Isle of Man, Excalibur Almaz Limited (EA) with a goal to provide the affordable and reliable transportation of humans and cargo to Low Earth Orbit, libration point, the Moon and beyond, has now announced that it’s all ready to sell the tickets for flights aboard a spacecraft that will orbit the moon at a price tag of $155 million. The company founded in year 2005 by Art Dula, a 65-year old renowned space lawyer and patent attorney from Housten, has clear intentions to ferry affluent passengers to and from the lunar orbit in used Soviet spacecraft, starting as soon as year 2015.
The last manned mission to the moon was during Apollo 17 in 1972, but now one might not even have to be an astronaut in order to make an adventurous trip on moon, but yes, one has to be a multi-millionaire to do so. Curious travelers will hop aboard the spacecraft in numbers of three, and will head for the moon, then orbit the space before making a safe return back on home Earth. During a journey that will take about a total of 6-months roundtrip, the module will orbit, but will not land on the moon.
Billions of sovereign government dollars have already been invested in Excalibur Almaz’s program to provide the safest, most cost-effective and reliable approach to space transportation.
The company actually owns fully developed, proven transportation systems such as Salyut-class space stations similar to those currently in use as modules on the International Space Station.
Another space tourism company owned by Sir Richard Branson, Virgin Galactic also expects to begin suborbital joyrides in SpaceShipTwo from 2013, as the company has recently seen the completion of its spaceport in New Mexico. Also, the company has made announcements that the celebrity star Ashton Kutcher will be propelled into orbit aboard Virgin Galactic, making him the 500th customer to sign up for the pioneering space ship. Notably, the Virgin Galactic passangers will be able to buy the ticket for this pioneering suborbital 2.5 hour flight for $200,000 a pop.
The adventurous journeys beyond the blue sky is getting very close to the reality, and in the near future we expect more of these kinds of commercial space programs.