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Boeing plans to start space tourism flights by 2015

Boeing and Space Adventures will offer low orbit flights in spacecraft that should be operational by 2015. Download "The Blue Danube" now.

Space Odyssey? An artist's illustration of Boeing's CST-100 capsule. Boeing

Fancy a ride to the International Space Station? Boeing will offer space tourism flights in low Earth orbit aboard its Crew Space Transportation-100 (CST-100) spacecraft, expected to be operational by 2015, the company said Wednesday.

Boeing says it has agreed to market the flights through Space Adventures, which has already flown seven private individuals to the International Space Station aboard Russian Soyuz spacecraft.

Extra seats on the CST-100 will be available to private individuals, companies and nongovernmental organizations.

The CST-100 can carry seven people on missions up to 100 kilometers (62 miles) above the Earth's surface. It will deploy from different kinds of launch vehicles and fall back to Earth with the help of parachutes. It's being developed under an $18 million contract with NASA.

The craft may also be used to ferry people to an orbital space habitat planned by Bigelow Aerospace, as illustrated in the vid below.

Boeing doesn't have a ticket price yet for CST-100 rides, but Cirque du Soleil founder Guy Laliberte reportedly paid Space Adventures $30 million to $35 million to visit the ISS last year aboard a Soyuz spacecraft.

What would you pay to see our planet from space? Would "The Blue Danube" be on your iPod?